Date of publication: 06/05/2023

Slovenia: 154th country in our Confederation

World News

The country has two Conferences, located in the city of Celje

With great joy, the Council General International announces that Slovenia (Europe) has just returned to our International Confederation, after several years without any information or contact. The country will be part of the International Territorial Vice-presidency Europe 2, under the responsibility of Sister Irmgard Groier (Austria).

The history of SSVP in Slovenia is very old. The first Conference was founded in 1876 at the Cathedral of Ljubljana, the capital of the country. In 1936, there were 31 Conferences all over the country. At the end of World War II (1945), the government of the former Yugoslavia, of communist orientation, banned the SSVP, closing the Conferences and confiscating all properties and goods.

In 1994, through the initiative of the Congregation of the Mission (Lazarist priests), the SSVP was re-established with the foundation of six Conferences. Between 1997 and 2020, some of these Conferences were closed for different reasons, and their members joined other charities and catholic groups.

Two Conferences have remained active, both in the city of Celje, one hour away from the capital: Saint Daniel’s Conference (8 members) and Saint Joseph’s Conference (18 members). In addition to home visits, the two Conferences offer special services to sick people, refugees, poor families, the elderly and children, with support from their respective parishes.

“The purpose of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is to cultivate fraternal friendship among members and, through effective charity work (moral, material and spiritual), to provide transformative support to people in need”, commented Father Robert Petkovšek, Visitor of the Congregation of the Mission in Slovenia and spiritual advisor to the Conferences. The Council General takes the opportunity to thank the Lazarist priests for looking after the Slovenian SSVP and ensuring that our work was not interrupted in this country.

“I am very happy about the rejoining of Slovenia to our Confederation. As an immediate act, I have already asked Sister Irmgard Groier, our Vice-president for Europe 2, to visit Celje where we have two Conferences, to embrace our members, supporting them in whatever is necessary. Our idea is that, with the support of the Holy Church and the Vincentian Family, we can take the SSVP to other Slovenian dioceses, taking the legacy of the seven founders forward”, considered 16th President General brother Renato Lima de Oliveira.

With the entry of Slovenia, our International Confederation now has 154 territories, eight of which joined during this mandate: Cayman Islands, Vatican, Liberia, Tanzania, Cyprus, Cape Verde, Albania and Slovenia. The SSVP PLUS Project, focused on the expansion of our Society, has already identified other countries to establish a Vincentian Conference in the coming months, such as Scandinavia, Greece, Morocco, San Marino, Kazakhstan, among others. Let us pray for this!