On 21 July 2023, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) enthusiastically celebrates the 184th Anniversary of the founding of the Council General International (CGI), the body in charge of overseeing standards across all countries to preserve unity in our Institution.
Our founders approved the SSVP’s restructuring with the subsequent establishment of the CGI, which was endorsed at a General Assembly on July 21st, 1839.
Throughout its 184 years, the CGI has faced numerous challenges – epidemics, wars, struggles and persecutions. Nevertheless, the SSVP has grown impressively: 51 000 Conferences; 800 000 members; and 30 million needy people assisted. Seventeen President Generals have served the organisation through the years. Today, 120 members from all continents hold service positions at the Council, plus seven qualified staff members at the new headquarters in Paris.
“It is an immense privilege, yet a great responsibility to hold the noble position of President General, especially because I am the first from a developing country like Brazil,” said Renato Lima de Oliveira, our 16th President General.
“I don’t deserve to perform such a service in view of my limitations, failures and imperfections; for this reason, I do believe that only the Good Lord can protect us from the snares of evil and enlighten us to make the right decisions that will yield good fruits for the whole Society. I am very happy, and I do hope to always serve more and better”, he said.
Let us pray for the International Board and for all the members who render or have rendered some type of service at the International Structure. We recognize, on this date, not only the seven SSVP founders, but also the first members and all those who have served at the Council General in these 184 years, especially those who are already in the Lord’s House.
We kindly request, on July 21st, 2023, to include the following intention during the Holy Mass in all parishes with a Vincentian Conference: “On the occasion of the 184 Anniversary of the SSVP’s Council General International, we pray that it will keep on bringing the message of peace, unity and charity to all its members and to the poor of the world”.