On 21 September, our fellow member Renato Lima de Oliveira, 16th President General International of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP), had a working meeting with Fr Tomaž Mavrič, Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission (CM) and the Daughters of Charity (DC), as well as being the successor to Saint Vincent de Paul. The meeting took place at the headquarters of the southern Province of the Congregation of the Mission in Brazil, in Curitiba, Paraná State.
They shared ideas and suggestions about the future of the Vincentian Family and the many possible ways for cooperation and common projects among the various branches of the Family. “We have carried out a survey and we believe there are 160 branches of the Vincentian Family around the world. I think we can work even closer together to strengthen the Family and spread the Vincentian charism wider.”, said Fr Tomaž Mavrič.
President Renato Lima suggested that, from 2020, the Vincentian Family could take a more active part in events related to the “World Day of the Poor”, which is held on the third Sunday of November each year: “It is a unique opportunity for us, as Vincentians, not only to reflect on the theme of poverty, but above all, to undertake concrete actions, at parish level, to relieve suffering among those who need a friendly, supportive hand.”, emphasised Renato Lima.
The President General took the opportunity to present the Superior General of the CM and the Daughters of Charity with a copy of the “Three-year Report (2016/2019)” of the SSVP’s Council General International, and the book “Passionate for charity and justice”, spiritual readings for Vincentian Conferences (in Spanish). Other topics were also discussed during the meeting, such as news about the canonisation process for Frédéric Ozanam, progress in Vincentian communications, the Vincentian Family meeting in Rome (January 2020) and initiatives for homeless people (“13 Houses” project).
At the end, our fellow member Renato Lima expressed his gratitude for the continuing cooperation between SSVP and the Congregation of the Mission, from the time of our seven founders, the focus of which has intensified in recent years. As it shows, point 5 in the international strategic plan of the SSVP deals precisely with the institutional relationship of the SSVP with the Vincentian Family: ‘permanent, close collaboration’.
The President used the occasion to praise the work of Fr Andrés Motto (CM) as the spiritual adviser to the SSVP’s Council General International. At the close of the session, Fr Tomaž Mavrič blessed the President General, and extended his blessing to all members of the international Board of the Council General.