Despite the global health crisis, the Council General is in full swing
On July 21st, 2021, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) enthusiastically celebrates the 182nd anniversary of the founding of the Council General International (CGI), the body in charge of overseeing the observance of the Rule in all countries and of preserving unity in our Institution.
On July 14th, 1839, our founders approved the SSVP’s restructuring with the subsequent establishment of the CGI, which decision was endorsed at a General Assembly on July 21st, 1839.
Throughout its 182 years, the CGI has faced numerous challenges, such as epidemics, wars, struggles and persecutions. On the other hand, the SSVP has grown and reached impressive figures: 47,000 Conferences, 800,000 members and 30 million needy people assisted. During this period, sixteen President Generals have been elected. Today, 120 members from all continents hold service positions at the Council, plus seven qualified staff members at the new headquarters in Paris.
“It is an immense privilege, yet a great responsibility for me, to hold the noble position of President General, especially because I am the first from a developing country like Brazil. I don’t deserve to perform such a service in view of my limitations, failures and imperfections; for this reason, I do believe that only the Good Lord can protect us from the snares of evil and enlighten us to make the right decisions that will yield good fruits for the whole Society. I am very happy, and I do hope to always serve more and better”, stated 16th President General, fellow member Renato Lima de Oliveira.
Let us pray for the International Board and for all the members who render or have rendered some type of service at the International Structure. We recognize, on this date, not only the seven SSVP founders, but also the first members and all those who have served at the Council General in these 182 years, especially those who are already in the Lord’s House.
We kindly request, on July 21st, 2021, to include the following intention during the Holy Mass in all parishes with a Vincentian Conference: “On the occasion of the 182nd anniversary of the SSVP’s Council General International, we pray that it will keep on bringing the message of peace, unity and charity to all its members and to the poor of the world, especially in these gloomy times arising from the international health crisis.”
Testimonials from all Board members and the staff at the general headquarters will be published on August’s issue of Ozanam Network digital magazine about the great honour and inspiration it is to be part of CGI.