Due to the pandemic, the Council General International agreed to hold its Annual Meeting virtually, split into two sessions (October 4th and December 13th, 2020).
During the first session held on October 4th, feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the following was approved: 11 resolutions, most of which pertaining to the French regulatory compliance observed by the SSVP’s CGI; minutes of meetings held in 2019 by the International Executive Committee and the Permanent Section; as well as activity reports produced by President General and Secretary General, and the CGI’s accounting report prepared by Treasurer General, duly audited by external auditors.
This meeting, broadcasted live on Ozanam TV, began with the SSVP’s hymn, followed by the opening prayers. The President General then gave an inspiring opening speech stressing the need to carry out the charitable work despite the hurdles imposed by the pandemic, to be part of the lives of the most vulnerable people, and to be the guiding light of the world around us.
Besides this speech, the song The world needs to calm down, expressly composed for these hard times of disease and lockdown, was played. Then, a spiritual reflection was delivered on ‘charity and the pandemic’, led by Fr. Andrés Motto, CGI Spiritual Advisor.
With regard to the budget, a special item was created to be allocated to the canonization process of Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam, resulting from the progress being made in his cause, an important milestone in the SSVP’s history. This item is to be managed by Italy’s National Council.
With regard to cooperation and partnerships with other institutional bodies, a collaboration agreement was signed with the International Formation Center (CIF), which belongs to the Congregation of the Mission. The CIF will help Vincentians in their formation process, focusing on two key topics: The anthropological view of poverty, and the theology of St. Vincent.
Furthermore, a ‘Child Safeguarding Protocol’ was established to protect children from all forms of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence. This document is available to all member countries belonging to the Confederation.