Date of publication: 20/05/2020

The President General issues an Extraordinary Circular Letter dedicated to the presidents of the Vincentian Conferences, about the Covid-19 pandemic

Council General International

Since 1841, it has been a tradition for the Presidents General of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) to publish Circular Letters, at least once a year, on topics relevant to our institution. In 2020, our President General, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, had already published a Circular Letter on January 31st; however, due to the current circumstances caused by the Coronavirus crisis, the President considers it important to launch a second letter, of an extraordinary nature.

“We are living in an atypical moment, which requires exceptional measures. Therefore, sensitive to the sufferings of the SSVP members themselves and after praying and asking for divine inspiration, I thought it would be appropriate to publish an Extraordinary Circular Letter, reinforcing the role of the Conference Presidents in this context,” declared President Renato Lima.

In the document, the President General addresses the issue of friendship among the members of the Conference, the fundamental role of the President of each Conference, the personal situation of each member during the pandemic (unemployment, illness, economic difficulties, etc.) and the need for eventual mutual assistance among the members to overcome adversities. At the end, the President General invites all of us to participate in the celebration of a Holy Mass on 9 September (Ozanam’s Feast Day) and offer the Eucharist for all the Vincentians and our friends in need who have died from the disease.

“The Circular Letters of the Presidents General are very useful instruments of formation so that all our members are well informed, updated and connected to the most relevant issues of our institution. In this Extraordinary Letter, brother Renato has been truly enlightened by the Divine Holy Spirit in writing such moving words that will touch our hearts, especially the Conference presidents, who have a great responsibility in accompanying the daily life of the other members,” considered fellow member Marisa Tellez, International Vice-president of Formation & Training, within the General Council.

All the Superiors or National Councils are kindly asked to make available, through the communication channels they have, the integral content of this “Extraordinary Circular Letter” to all the Presidents of the Conferences, and obviously to all the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and the members of the worldwide Vincentian Family in each of the 152 territories where we are present.

The Council General International takes this opportunity to thank all the members who occupy positions of leadership within the SSVP structure, at whatever level or function, for the zeal and dedication with which they care for our Society, our members, the people we visit, the staff of our works, the dear spiritual advisors and all those who help the SSVP to fulfill its original objective: to unite the whole world in a great and solidary network of charity.

Click here to read the Extraordinary Circular Letter 2020.