Next Sunday, 8 December 2019, the Council General International is pleased and delighted to declare the close of the successful INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF PAUL LAMACHE.
This year, the end of the Themed Year coincides with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, one of the traditional feasts of the Church and of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. What a wonderful and providential coincidence!
We ask that all the Masses celebrated around the world on this day should include the intention of the founders of the SSVP, especially the memory of Paul Lamache.
The Themed Year began on 8th February, and was mentioned in the 2019 Circular Letter of our President General International, Renato Lima de Oliveira, who wrote a section about Paul Lamache.
The “Themed Years” project involves various activities: issue of a special stamp for the founder for that year, an international writing competition, issue of a heart-shaped logo of the person concerned, special spiritual readings for Conferences, dissemination of the founder’s biography, a visit to his tomb and a special Thanksgiving Mass at the end of the year.
The main purpose of this project is to spread new or little-known details, year by year, about the personal, professional, Vincentian, religious and family life of the seven founders, as well as highlighting their contribution to the establishment of the first Conference, and the SSVP’s expansion around the world. So far, Bailly de Surcy (2017) and Lallier (2018) have been studied, to the great benefit of members all over the world.
“This is exactly what we wanted for the Themed Years project: a great and better understanding of the life and work of our founders, their qualities and virtues, as well as their flaws. It is one of the main objectives in the field of formation, which we wish to pursue during this term of the Council General”, emphasised our president Renato Lima.
Paul Lamache (1810-1892) was the last living member of the founders. He studied Law at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1832, Lamache met Ozanam, and joined him in the “Conference of History”, playing an active part in the discussions. Together with his friends, he founded the SSVP on 23 April 1833. He was the first Catholic writer to declare himself firmly and publicly against slavery and its harmful effects on humanity. Lamache was also a scholar in the field of education. His academic life and his political and institutional views were equally admirable. Lamache died in Grenoble (France) at the age of 82. He was the last of the seven founders to die.
“The Council General’s International Board keeps on working to ensure the seven founders are better known, loved and admired, because the founding of the SSVP was a collegiate undertaking, and each of them was outstanding in our Society’s story”, said the Vice-President for Training & Formation, Marisa Téllez.
The new International themed year, dedicated to the founder Félix Clavé, will open on 8 February 2020.