Dear Vincentian Friends,
Conferences and Councils are the heart of the Society. They are where we live out our spirituality, friendship, and service on a daily basis. To meet the Society’s primary purpose of helping our members grow in holiness, there is an ongoing need to strengthen, grow, revitalize and support Conferences and Councils. The National Vice Presidents responsible for our regions have a major servant leadership responsibility to help councils and conferences in fulfilling their mission. It’s a big job.
In order to increase the support provided by the National Vice Presidents to Councils and Conferences, we have decided to add a 9th Regional Vice President. In doing this, changes are being made to several of our regions’ coverage responsibility effective October 1 to better balance the workload across all VPs.
Key changes include:
- Establishment of a new “Mountain” region consisting of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana
- The West region now comprises California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii
- The South Central now comprises Texas and Louisiana
- The Midwest region now comprises Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Tennessee
- The North Central region now comprises the entire state of Illinois (adding Belleville & Springfield dioceses), Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota
- The Mideast region includes the entire state of Michigan (adding the Marquette diocese), Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky
- The Southeast region now includes Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands
- What was previously known as the Eastern Region, will now be called the Mid-Atlantic Region. It still comprises Virginia, West Virginia, District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania
- There is no change to Northeast Region. It still comprises Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Since formed almost 50 years ago, our regional structure has not been adjusted to match the shift in the demographics of our Catholic communities. The value of changing our regional structure has been a topic of discussion in the past and now at the beginning of the term for our new National Council officers it seems like the best time to make this realignment.
(See below for the map reflecting the 9 regions.)
A new Vice President will be appointed for the Mountain region. All other elected Vice Presidents remain in their regions.
To align with the Catholic Church where we draw our members and funding, the Society is organized by diocese. Today, there are 183 dioceses in the United States. The Society has Councils in 128 dioceses. We are present with isolated Conferences in 28 dioceses, and have no presence (yet) in 27 dioceses. The demographics of our Church is changing and many dioceses are going through significant restructuring of their parishes which will impact our Conferences and District Councils.
We believe these changes position the Society for continued growth and revitalization and helps the Vice Presidents and other regional leadership to better support our Conferences. Our regions are communities of friendship and support and we realize the realignment will disrupt some long valued relationships. Hopefully, those friendships will not be lost as new structures are created to meet the challenges faced by our organization. For those who are welcoming new states or Councils to their region, please extend a hand of Vincentian friendship to them, demonstrating our cultural value of One Society.
Serviens in spe,
National Council President
National Council President-Elect