The formation session was held in São Paulo, Brazil
On August 22nd, on the 24th anniversary of Antoine-Frederic Ozanam’s beatification, the Metropolitan Council of São Paulo (Brazil) organised a morning formation session with the SSVP’s 16th President General, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira.
The meeting brought together leaders who hold Vincentian office at the 14 Central Councils of the region, as well as board members of the local Metropolitan Council.
The Holy Mass was celebrated by Father Tito Marega, provincial of the Religious of St. Vincent de Paul (RSV). In his homily, he gave several teachings to the Vincentians, especially in times of pandemic, emphasizing home visits and the charitable work undertaken by the Conference, where members deepen their faith, prayer and community life. “The Vincentian Conference is essential, as it represents the memory of the poor within each parish,” commented the priest.
The mass was followed by the talk “Vincentian attitudes adapted to our times”, given by President Lima de Oliveira, where he brought up the issue of certain inappropriate behaviors in our Society, especially among leaders, and proposed a change of course. It was, as he said, a “collective soul-searching”, focused on improving the Vincentian work.
“Certain attitudes and procedures have been detrimental to our Society, and such approaches should be avoided and frowned upon. As leaders, our role is to adopt servant leadership, in accordance with the Vincentian tradition and the Rule. As Ozanam said, “leaders must be genuinely holy, imbued with qualities for those around us to look up to”, said President Renato.
The presentation was divided into four parts: 1) Qualities required for a Vincentian leader; 2) Challenges in the life of a Vincentian leader; 3) Features of a Vincentian leader; and 4) How to achieve servant leadership. After the presentation, the participants were organized into small groups to reflect on some issues; at the end, conclusions were put forward, focusing on how to solve the problems found in the SSVP’s management.
Finally, a delicious lunch was offered by the Metropolitan Council’s President, sister Ines Regina Vieira. For this event, due to the health crisis, all safety protocols established by the Brazilian authorities were followed.
Click here to read President General’s presentation in Portuguese.