Next Sunday, October 4th*, the General Assembly will be held virtually for the first time in the 181-year history of the Council General International (CGI), with attendees from the main countries making up the International Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP), namely Presidents of Superior Councils, who are members of the International Executive Committee (accounting for 85% of all Vincentians around the world) and members of the Permanent Section (International Board and Territorial Vice Presidents). Given the number of issues and decisions to be made, the Assembly is holding a second session on December 13th.
This meeting will be held virtually due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and border closures arising from the current health crisis. .
During the event, several 2019 reports will be analysed and approved: “President General’s Moral Report”, “Treasurer General’s Accountability” and “General Secretariat’s Activity Report”. The “Child Safeguarding Protocol” and the Cooperation Agreement with the International Formation Centre (CFI), which is part of the Congregation of the Mission (CM), will be signed. The latter is aimed at enhancing the issues covered in the SSVP formation syllabus, such as “The anthropological view of poverty” and “St. Vincent’s Theology”. Nine other motions will also be voted on.
In his opening speech, our President General, fellow member Renato Lima de Oliveira, will express his gratitude for the joint efforts of Superior Councils, especially in times of pandemic, and will ask members to “never give up hope”, since this virtue is the Christian hallmark. “The pandemic has taught us that life can change overnight. Probably, the SSVP will have to adapt to new times without ever straying from key principles. Our regulations, our procedures, our social initiatives and our actions have certainly been affected, which leads us to think about ways to improve in the future. Each crisis is an opportunity for rebirth, renewal and continuous improvement”, stated Renato Lima.
* The day before, October 3rd, the CGI Board’s quarterly ordinary meeting will also be held virtually.