On February 20th, at noon (Paris time), the Council General International (CGI) is holding this year’s first Board meeting virtually, due to existing Covid-19 travel restrictions.
In addition to Board members, Father Giuseppe Guerra (postulator) has been invited to join in to elaborate on the canonization process of Bl. Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam. It is worth noting that it will be the first meeting to welcome the three new International Vice-presidents recently appointed by President General: brother Ralph (the United States), brother Gianfico (Italy) and brother Juan Manuel (Spain).
Father Andres Motto, CM, CGI’s spiritual advisor, will reflect on this year’s Circular Letter. The meeting minutes of the previous meeting, held on December 6th, will be presented for consideration and approval by sister Marie-Françoise, Secretary General. The CGI’s financial statements will be presented by brother Larry Tuomey, Treasurer General.
The meeting agenda is packed with issues to be addressed by Board members, namely the extension of mandates of several National Councils whose requests have already been submitted to the CGI; the release of booklets and books on Vincentian formation; Famvin’s initiatives worldwide; specifics on the Themed Year of Jules Devaux; updated information on the international strategic planning; the revision of the Reference Terms for each ministry within the CGI; the possible deferral of upcoming international events due to current Covid-19 restrictions; the progress made on “Ozanam Historical Space” (to be inaugurated at the General Headquarters); prospective new international cooperation agreements with key partners; the online meeting gathering International Territorial Vice Presidents (April 25th); special commissions (logo and statutes); and communication.
Another topic to be addressed will be the unfolding global Covid-19 health crisis, and its toll on the economy and mortality, which brings on poverty and social inequality. Hence, the SSVP must rally to serve the poor more efficiently. “We do miss face-to-face Board meetings, which have been replaced, for a year now, by virtual meetings. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the CGI’s activities: trips to be made by members within the Structure and the President General were cancelled, plans to expand the SSVP in new territories were stalled, and several projects were hindered. However, with God’s grace, we will win this battle. We kindly ask all members to pray the Hail Mary for a successful Board meeting”, said brother Renato Lima, the 16th President General.