Between March 20 and 27, 2022, the North American cities of New York and Boston received the institutional visit of our 16th President General International, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira.
In New York, President Renato attended a Mass of Thanksgiving for the 40th anniversary of the “Bread & Life” Project, celebrated by the Bishop of Brooklyn, Robert John Brennan. The ceremony took place on the premises of St. Thomas More Parish, maintained by the Vincentian priests, inside Saint John’s University (Congregation of the Mission), where brother Renato also attended the meeting of the Saint John’s Conference, formed by young people.
Brother Renato also met with the Council General delegates at the United Nations and participated in a side event on the impact of homelessness on women and girls. There was also a working dinner with brother Scott Miller, president of the Archdiocesan Council of New York, responsible for the social action of 31 Conferences in the “city that never sleeps”.
In Boston, President Lima de Oliveira was warmly welcomed by brother Robert Smith, president of the Central Council, which is made up of 12 District Councils, 160 Conferences and several social works, among them the Vincentian thrift store (second hand products) they visited in Stoughton, Massachusetts.
Renato also took part at the Central Council’s monthly meeting when he gave a talk about the CGI’s accomplishments in the last five years. Soon after, he visited the Sacred Heart Conference (East Boston) and was very impressed with the work in progress.
Finally, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley was kind enough to receive the President General, accompanied by Vincentian leaders of the city, when they talked about the process of the canonization of Ozanam and the possibility of founding new Conferences in the region, especially at the Holy Cross Cathedral.
“Whenever I am in the United States I feel fully at home. The loving way I am always received is remarkable. The US Vincentians are exceptional fellow members. The quality of the charity work is impressive, and especially the affection with which the poor are treated. The American SSVP is an example of management and charity for our entire Confederation,” attested brother Renato Lima.
Since he was elected in 2016, the President General has visited the following American cities to learn about the work of the Conferences and special works: Baltimore, Washington, New York, Long Island, Phoenix, Saint Louis, Chicago, Trenton, Madison, Detroit, Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia. In May, it will be the State of Florida’s turn.