Date of publication: 19/09/2022

Fourth Board of Directors’s meeting – 2022

Council General International

A Memorandum of Understanding with Depaul International for aid to Ukraine was approved

The International Board of Directors met in Paris on September 10 to discuss a number of important issues for the International Confederation of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. The event was held in the Ozanam Room, which is located in the Motherhouse of the Lazarist Fathers (Congregation of the Mission) in the Vincentian capital of the world.

This time, the 16th President General, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, invited 12 young people, members of the International Vice-Presidency for Youth, Children and Adolescents, to attend the meeting. These same young people were gathered in a workshop held from September 7 to 9, at the same location.

The meeting started with opening prayers, followed by special intentions, such as the end of the war in Ukraine, the canonization of Ozanam, young people, and the election for the presidency of the General Council. Fr. Andrés Motto (CM) presented a beautiful spiritual reading on the theme “Poverty, faith and prophetism”. The minutes of the previous meeting, held on June 5, 2022, were approved, as well as the economic and financial reports.

The President General reported on the latest activities carried out, letters sent, his participation in recent events and scheduled missionary trips. Following this, the other Board members presented their reports, and proposed some new actions. One of the highlights was the “All Africa Assembly”, which took place in Nairobi (Kenya) last June, which obtained excellent results based on the seven resolutions approved by the 41 national presidents.

During the meeting, a fixed annual allowance was approved for the institutional activities that the General Council conducts at the United Nations in New York, with the support of the Archdiocesan Council of New York. Also voted was a “Memorandum of Understanding” to be signed with Depaul International, a Vincentian Family member very present in Ukraine. The MOU will help the SSVP in the humanitarian action that is being done in that very suffering region of the planet.

It was also approved that the 2nd Workshop of Territorial Delegates for Formation will be held in Madrid (Spain) on November 3 and 4, with the aim of modernizing the global Vincentian formation. The winners of the Contest “First Conference – Le Taillandier” were announced. The complete story has already been published on the General Council’s web site. The Board also approved the proposed text of the new Brazilian Rule, with the President General’s favorable vote, which will receive final approval on December 15, when the Permanent Section meets.

Another important issue was the General Assembly to be held in Rome, June 12-18, 2023, when two documents will be introduced: “Global Report” (containing information about the SSVP in all countries) and the “Guide for the Rejuvenation of Vincentian Conferences”. During the assembly, a unique moment in the history of SSVP, the election for the 17th President General will be held, in addition to voting on
minor updates of the International Statutes of our Confederation. There will also be a meeting of the Portuguese-speaking countries two days before the Assembly.

After these activities, everyone went to the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul, where the body of the Father of Charity rests, for the celebration of Mass (valid for Sunday), presided by Father Andrés Motto, International Spiritual Advisor.

“I was extremely happy with the results of the meeting of our Board of Directors, which took place in an atmosphere of cordiality and fraternity. Many subjects were discussed and approved, with freedom among all the members. The presence of young Vincentians stirred us all, and I want to register here my satisfaction in having them with us, asking intelligent and very appropriate questions. I am sure that future Presidents General and many national presidents will come out of this crop of young
territorial delegates”, exhorted President Lima de Oliveira.

Accompanying us at the Board meeting was the Ozanam TV team, which was in Paris to record the Christmas message of the Council General International for 2022, and also to produce a short documentary about the International Thematic Year of Jules Devaux (2021), whose tomb could only be visited in September 2022, due to the pandemic.

According to the International Rule of the SSVP, the Board of the Council General must meet at least three times a year (article 3.16.1). The next session will be held in virtual format on December 3. For 2023, in view of the end of the current mandate under the leadership of brother Renato, only one meeting will be organized on February 25, with the others in September and December, by members of the new Board.

Ozanam Day

The day before, September 9, everyone was deeply moved. Members of the Board of Directors and the territorial youth delegates attended the Holy Mass in the Church of Saint Joseph of Mount Carmel, where the crypt of Blessed Antony-Frederic Ozanam is located. The celebration was presided by Father Jacques Germaix (Congregation of the Religious of Saint Vincent de Paul – RSV), followed by a prayer at the tomb. The event was coordinated by the Central Council of Paris, whose president is the dynamic brother Jérôme Perrin.