We are pleased to announce that this year’s Circular Letter, written by the President General International, has been published. The work of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, still marked by the pandemic, has not been hindered; instead, it has become a real challenge, as it was for the founders of the Conferences, who endured similar situations in their times.
The President General states that “inequality and deprivation have increased, among nations and within them” and that “God expects much of us, the members, now more than ever, as the consequences of the pandemic, as well as so many tragic deaths, are disastrous for the whole mankind.”
In this regard, Renato Lima elaborates on the myriad of initiatives undertaken by the Council General International in these times, which is clear evidence that we can keep on serving in hope, despite all the hardships, and reach out to the most vulnerable.
The President General also addresses the importance of education to alleviate poverty, the care and respect of the environment, the Vincentian behavior, and the good practices in the management of charitable works and at the Councils.
Furthermore, the President General makes some recommendations for members: Observing the SSVP’s Rule, body and soul; working in harmony with the precepts of the Church; and always being charitable towards our companions on this Vincentian path, so that Conferences may truly be a “place of holiness”.
Like in previous Circular Letters written by our dear President, he kindly requests each and every Vincentian to nurture the “moral duty to care for the Vincentian Family, as a priority in our strategy” wherever Conferences are present and take care, with the same zeal, of younger Vincentian members, while giving unlimited support, organizing projects and programs especially for them, seeking creative ways for training them, investing in their future and opening up more spaces for them to take decisions within the SSVP at a national level.
Moreover, upcoming presidential elections at the Council General are therein addressed, and ideal conditions thereof are put forward by Renato Lima. The candidate, among other attributes, should lead a Vincentian life, be charismatic and kind, have managerial skills, and speak several languages.
Finally, it is worth highlighting the commitment made by the President General and his team, who are working hard so that the Church can declare Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam, our main founder, a saint, and the initiatives launched by this Presidency to make the history and origins of our institution known, like the themed years dedicated to each of the co-founders of the SSVP (2022 is devoted to Le Taillandier).
In his final message, the President General stresses that, with God’s help, the Society has expanded and grown throughout its history, always with a defined goal: “the holiness of its members and standing beside those who suffer on a path of charity”.
The Circular Letter is recommended reading during meetings at the Conferences and Councils. Due to its length, it should be read out piecemeal for deeper reflection.