A Beloved Testimony of Service, Faith and Charity
After six years in office, President of SSVP India addresses some farewell and loving words to the brothers and sisters of his country
My dear Vincentian brothers and sisters,
February 28th, 2015 was an important day in my Vincentian life. It was on that day that I took over the responsibility of the servant leadership of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in India.
My mandate as the National President is ending on 27th February 2021. Looking back over the past six years, I believe that we were able to hold the Society in the hearts of the poor the way Blessed Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam wanted it to be.
We worked as a team, as brothers and sisters, to make the SSVP more useful to the needy. There hasn’t been a day in these 6 years that I didn’t enjoy being a Vincentian. I loved to be a Vincentian and I enjoyed being a Vincentian. What a blessing to say that!
You have been my second family and you have supported me in my servant leadership. My mandate as the National President was very challenging and also very rewarding. I was privileged to be the part of a team which could achieve a lot for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in India, all because of the mutual understanding and trust that we developed these years.
We were able to support the victims of natural disasters that struck our country in the past few years. We could reach out to the poor in various ways in difficult situations. It was all possible because of the dedicated support of all the Vincentians in the country.
As I had always expressed, a true leader in the SSVP is the one who considers oneself as only a servant to others. We are all servant leaders for the benefit of the poor.
I must thank all the members of the National Board and the National Managing Committee without whose support the National Council could not have taken the right decisions at the right times. My brothers and sisters in the National Council, as Central Council presidents, were the greatest inspiration for me. Seeing the functioning of the Central Councils, I was motivated to offer more and more to the Society since we are all members of a great family.
We received immense support from our brothers and sisters of the international community, especially from our twinning nations like England & Wales, Australia, the Netherlands, Scotland, the USA, Canada etc. They were always willing to support us whenever we needed it. I am grateful to all my Vincentian brothers and sisters in all the twinning nations for their continued support. I cannot forget the assistance England & Wales gave us during the heavy floods in Kerala
For the first time in the history of the Society in India, there are as many as 4 Vincentians at the Council General International holding different positions. I am very grateful to President General International General, Brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, for the love and concern he has for the Vincentians in India. When natural calamities struck our country, the Council General International was kind enough to support us greatly along with our twinning nations.
We were also privileged to have Rev. Ms. Stanislaues Kunnel as our National Spiritual Advisor, who was one among us and could lead us to better spirituality through his guidance.
I congratulate brother Randolf Rodricks for producing the Reachout Magazine, a publication different from the previous ones, and for his efforts and innovation. We were honoured by the President General who published it on the international website.
I believe and pray that this great organization will continue to grow in the service of the poor and I trust that each one of us will be happy and fulfilled as a member. Keep up the good work. May the blessings of Blessed Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam be with us all. Thank you for everything!
Brother Johnson Varghese
National President – SSVP India