The SSVP is an autonomous entity – a lay society with official legal status in civil law and also recognized by the Holy See as a lay society under the category of ‘Pious Social Works’. The SSVP works in close collaboration with the clergy. In practice, we consult and collaborate with bishops, obtaining their help and advice to establish new Conferences, as well as maintaining constant dialogue and informing them of our activities. In the past, the SSVP has always been highly regarded for the sound administration of its works and for its Catholic spirit.
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is a member of the FamVin (Vincentian Family), which groups together many institutions sharing Saint Vincent de Paul’s charism. FamVin was the brainchild of Fr Robert Maloney CM, who brought together 4 associations united by Vincentian spirituality in 1995:
Over the years, they have been joined by many other organizations. FamVin’s members work together and pool their efforts on projects and issues of common concern.
The Society was admitted to the ECOSOC (United Nations Economic and Social Council) as a non-governmental organization in March 2012. This consultant status gives NGOs such as the SSVP access not only to the ECOSOC but also to many of its subsidiary bodies. It also enables them to attend international conferences organized by the United Nations.