A fraternal chat bringing the CGI’s day-to-day work closer to all brothers and sisters.
On October 30th, another live talk show with the President General, Renato Lima de Oliveira, was held. The event was a real success on Facebook’s Ozanam TV, with Vincentians from all over the world asking questions about the future of the Society to the person who presides over the Council General International (CGI) and makes, on a daily basis, major decisions about the future of the conferences.
Main issues addressed revolved around Ozanam’s canonisation process, Vincentian formation, the SSVP youth, the World Day of the Poor, the SSVP’s presence in the world, the work undertaken by Conferences in times of pandemic, the Vincentian ministry and the global issue of homelessness and refugees. In this regard, the President General gave first-hand information and made comments based on his experience.
With regard to Ozanam’s canonisation process, he stated that this day is coming soon; that’s why, he asks Vincentians to keep on praying for this cause.
During the talk show with President General, questions were raised about Vincentian formation; and Renato Lima took the chance to recall the importance of learning about the history of the SSVP and the life and work of the main founders. The CGI is striving to provide information thereof. As far as Vincentian books are concerned, a project is being developed to make the figure of Amélie Soulacroix Ozanam even better known, and the President General’s new book, Vincentian Chronicles, has been published to enhance the formation and charism of members.
As for youth, the President talked about the publication of the Guide for Creating Youth Conferences at Universities (available on www.ssvpglobal.org), and about the need to give youth their space so that they can reach out to the most vulnerable while exercising charity in a straightforward and imaginative way.
The President General also spoke about the World Day of the Poor and the need to always walk together with the Church, especially when it comes to such Vincentian issues. The spiritual advisor, Fr Motto, on behalf of the CGI, has produced a document (also available on www.ssvpglobal.org) on the importance of this event for our charism.
The Vincentian ministry in times of pandemic was another highlight discussed during the talk show. According to President General, there are two words encompassing the Vincentian positioning in these times: compassion and resilience. He also talked about the need to be close to those in need and to resume Vincentian works always respecting health and safety protocols. Furthermore, the Vincentian ministry was brought into focus, since it should be based on supporting poverty-stricken communities, not just by distributing clothes and food, but by going further: providing education and training so that they can ultimately get a job. This is the systemic change, which is the core mission of Vincentians: to provide, with faith and Christian commitment, real opportunities for social integration to those who can’t get out of the poverty cycle.
Renato Lima also spoke about being an advocate for the underprivileged, including the homeless and refugees. Vincentians have to reach out to these people and put themselves in their shoes. They must understand that these vulnerable people want the same as any other human being; hence, we must protect their rights and be their voices. The 13 Houses Campaign, a Famvin Homeless Alliance initiative, is a clear example of service to the homeless, an initiative that should be fostered and undertaken by members in our Society.
Finally, Renato Lima called for the protection of the family, understood not only as the Vincentian Family, to which we all belong spiritually, but also as the pillar that underpins the social and personal stability of each one of us, a place where love grows and the focal point for living together and learning Christian values. The protection of the family is essential for human development, and Vincentians should safeguard it from all damaging external agents.
We would like to thank the Ozanam TV Team for the production and broadcast of this event, as well as the presenter, brother Rodrigo Santos, for his great work. Talk Show with the President General is an initiative, which was launched before the pandemic, and it is part of the goals set out in the CGI’s strategic planning: transparency and dialogue with the grassroots.
Upcoming edition of this great experience with the President General is being held on April 24th, 2022.
We look forward to meeting you again!