The XLIII General Assembly of the Congregation of the Mission of Saint Vincent de Paul re-elected Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM, as Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission and the Company of the Daughters of Charity. Father Tomaž accepted the results of the election and in a simple and humble manner expressed his gratitude to the Assembly and his total confidence in Providence and in the intercession of Saint Vincent de Paul: Many thanks to each one of you! This is our Family, our Congregation, our History … the path which we must journey along together. I accept the result of this election trusting in the help of the God so that we can all work together during the next six years.
A new Vicar-General was elected, Father Gregorio Bañaga, CM (Philippine Province) and Assistants General: Father Rafal Kopystynski, CM (New England Province), Father Nélio Pereira Pita, CM (Province of Portugal), Father Aaron Gutiérrez, CM (Province of Mexico), and Father Dominique Iyolo, CM (Province of the Congo).
At the present time, the missionaries of the Congregation are present in 507 local communities in 95 countries (on the five continents). The Congregation of the Mission is a “society of apostolic life” governed by a Superior General who resides in Rome and who is supported by a Vicar-General and four Assistants. The present Constitutions and Statutes received pontifical approval in 1984. The Congregation is composed of priests and brothers, all of whom (through vows) are dedicated to the evangelization of the poor. Saint Vincent encouraged his followers to practice five virtues: humility, simplicity, gentleness, mortification, and apostolic zeal (indispensable interior dispositions in order to proclaim the good news). The primary ministries continue to be those that were advocated by Saint Vincent: popular missions, formation of the clergy and the laity, spiritual retreats, seminary formation, mission ad gentes, and concrete service on behalf of the poor (https://cmglobal.org).
On Friday, July 8th, Father Tomaž Mavrič celebrated the Eucharist with the new members of his Council and thus, initiate his second term of office. Then, on Thursday, July 14th, Father Tomaž and the 120 delegates to the Assembly will be received by Pope Francis in a private audience.
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September, the Vincentian month: that was the manner in which Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM described the month of September in his message that was addressed to all the members of the Vincentian Family on the occasion of the celebration of the solemnity of Saint Vincent de Paul (September 27th). The month of September is called the Vincentian month because we, members of the worldwide Vincentian Family, prepare to celebrate together the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul with beautifully prepared Eucharists, liturgies of the Word, or other prayer encounters, engaging all the branches of the Vincentian Family in a given parish, village, city, region, or country. We also prepare to celebrate the feast with concrete acts of corporal and spiritual charity toward our Lords and Masters.
Those word of gratitude and affirmation of Father Mavriĉ were directed to the members of the more than 160 branches that compose the Vincentian Family. Creativity, which has always characterized Vincentian charity, has not been ast aside, not even during this time of great difficulty and global crisis resulting from the pandemic.
In his message, the Superior General the technological advances that everyone has had to embrace during this time of social “distancing”, but he exhorts us, whenever possible, to meet face to face, to organize more numerous personal meetings, encounters and gatherings. This is most essential as we continue our journey together and proclaim good news to the poor.
Three main invitations-exhortations:
The greatest challenge for all the branches of the Vincentian Family in the 162 countries in which they are present is that of collaboration. The objective of this collaboration is create more participation and exchanges.
Develop on the international, national, regional and local level a system that enables the members to respond quickly and effectively to natural disasters, wars and other catastrophes … and thus to respond not simply as one branch, but to respond as a united Vincentian Family.
To promote the Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance and the 13 Houses Campaign. The Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance, with the 13 Houses Campaign, is a charitable initiative which unites the Vincentian Family and ought to be promoted, introduced and made a reality in all the countries where the Vincentian Family is present so that every Congregation and Association is included. The hope is that we will arrive at a time when the problem of homelessness is not treated individually (not by any one individual or any one branch), but as a Family on a local, national and international level.
These then are the highlights of Father Mavriĉ’s message to the Vincentian Family on the occasions of the feast of Saint Vincent de Paul. There will be many celebrations, including vigils, moments of prayer and eucharistic celebrations in all parts of the world.
From January 8th to the 12th, the leaders of 160 organizations and institutions of the Worldwide Vincentian Family, which represent more than two million men and women, will meet in Rome for the first time in their history.
Coming from all parts of the world, these representatives will gather together in the Patristic Institute Augustinianum in order to strengthen their relationships, to confront a series of concerns and to lay a foundation for greater collaboration.
Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM, stated: The meeting that we will have as a Vincentian Family during these days presents, in the first place, a challenge to us. A challenge because for the first time we have achieved or at least attempted to gather together all the representatives of the 160 branches of the Family that are spread throughout the world. At the present time we have the following numbers: 200 participants, 97 superiors general or representatives of some branch of the Vincentian Family … that is, congregations of consecrated life and lay associations. There are also a dozen representatives from works in which the members are engaged. We know that it will be most important to share our experiences with regard to the journey that we have undertaken and to address themes that are close to our hearts as part of this Vincentian Family. In light of our Homeless Initiative we also continue to reflect on the ways in which we can create a culture of vocations in those places where the mission represents a place of discernment. We also hope to share our reflections with regard to transmitting our charism and spirituality and at the same time to identify future paths that can help us to be a movement in the Church and to ensure that our charism responds to the concrete needs of the world in which we live. The basis of all of this work is prayer … prayer which is the heart that palpitates in all our activities. In reality, it is prayer alone that, as our Founder St. Vincent de Paul pointed out, enables us to recognize the face of Christ on the face of every poor person whom we meet.
The Vincentian Family came into existence as the result of a twofold experience of Vincent de Paul (1617). In the village of Folleville, France, Vincent came to recognize the spiritual poverty of the country people and then in Châtillon Vincent confronted the material poverty of these people. Those two events marked the beginning of Vincent’s personal conversion which enabled him to respond to the urgent needs that he had discovered. Vincent’s focus was on the whole person and thus on every form of poverty: spiritual, emotional, physical, material. From this small mustard seed that was planted in 1617, the Vincentian Family has become a large tree composed of more than 160 branches (lay associations and congregations of religious life) with more than two million members in one hundred fifty countries. At the same time there are countless men and women who, even though they do not formally belong to some particular branch, are inspired by the example of Vincent de Paul and his service on behalf of those who are poor.
At the beginning of the fifth century of life, the Vincentian Family looks toward the future with the awareness of the necessary urgency of an ever closer synergy with all that came into existence from the “seed” that was planted by the founder. The program, which will consist of four sessions, will begin with a papal audience. Then in the afternoon the participants will begin their formal work. The President of the Executive Committee of the Vincentian Family (who is also the superior general of the Congregation of the Mission), Tomaž Mavric, CM, will open the meeting. He will be followed by Father Joseph Agostino, CM (International Coordinator of the International Vincentian Family Office) and by Father Rober Maloney, CM (former superior general of the Congregation) who will speak about the history of the Vincentian Family. The moderator of the gathering is Sister Mary McCormick, SCNY. On January 9-11 the participants will celebrate the Eucharist in the morning at the Holy Spirit Basilica followed by conferences and dialogues that are programed for the morning and afternoon sessions. Each day a different theme will be discussed (a detailed program is attached and includes the names of the presenters). The January 9th session will begin with an introduction about the mission of the Vincentian Family and the presentation of the Team of the International Office. Then there will be a discussion on the theme of communication in the Vincentian Family. There will also be a sharing on the experience of the Film Festival, Finding Vincent, which took place in 2018. The session will conclude with a presentation on the Homeless Initiative. On Friday there will be a discussion about the creation of a culture of vocations and about transmitting the charism. Saturday the participants will address the question: how do we move forward together … this session will include a panel discussion and there will be time to reflect on the potential of the internet and the challenge that this presents for the future. Sunday morning will be dedicated to gathering together suggestions and proposals as well as assigning specific tasks and responsibilities. Father Joseph Agostino will take care of thanking people and other commentaries. This historic event will conclude with the celebration of the Eucharist, presided by Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM and animated by the music group, Gen Verde.
Journalists and media operators will be able to follow the opening session in the afternoon of January 8 by sending a request through the Holy See Press Office’s online accreditation system (press.vatican.va/accreditations), once the event is available on the calendar.
Interviews with participants
Interviews will be allowed during the work breaks. For further information, please contact Elena Grazini of the Vincentian Family Press Office, email: firstname.lastname@example.org – Cell. +39 338 190 24 36
event, of historical importance for the Vincentian Family, will take place in
Rome, from January 8 to 12, 2020. For the first time, the Superiors and
Presidents of the more than 150 branches that make up the Vincentian Family
will come together and meet. Coming from all over the world, they will meet at
the Patrristic Institute Augustinianum, where they will discuss and, above all,
lay the foundations for a common path to follow together. The Vincentian Family was
born from two intense lived experiences of Saint Vincent de Paul in 1617, in
France: in the town of Folleville, the French priest discovered the spiritual
poverty of the rural population and in the city of Châtillon, he encountered
material poverty. Those two events marked the beginning of his personal
result, he began to respond to the urgent needs he had discovered. His approach
was to care for the person as a whole: spiritually, emotionally, physically,
and materially. Born from that small mustard seed in 1617, the Vincentian
Family has today become a large tree, made up of more than 150 branches (lay
associations and congregations of consecrated life) with about two million
members in more than 150 countries. The family is also composed of men and
women who, although they do not formally belong to a particular branch, are
inspired by Vicente de Paul’s example of service on behalf of the poor.
the beginning of the fifth century of their existence, the members of the
Vincentian Family look toward the future, aware of the urgent need for a closer
synergy with all those realities that flow from the seed that was planted by
This four-day program will begin on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 with a papal audience. The formal work sessions will begin that afternoon and will be directed by those who have served as reference points on the international level. Here we are speaking about Father Tomaž Mavric, CM (President of the Executive Committee of the Vincentian Family and Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission); Father Joseph Agostino, CM (International Coordinator of the Office of the Vincentian Family); Father Robert Maloney, CM (Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission from 1992-2004; he will trace the history of the Family and offer a general overview). The Moderator of the meeting with will Sister Mary McCormick, SCNY.
Beginning at 08:30am there will be a Eucharistic
celebration in the Basilica of the Santo Spirito (Holy Spirit) in Sassia,
followed by morning and afternoon conferences as well as group work of the
Different themes will be presented every day as well as the Vincentian reality and the activities that the members are engaged in (the detailed program and speakers are attached).We will begin on the 9th with an introduction about the mission of the Vincentian Family and a presentation by the Team from the International Office. Then, the topic of communication in the Vincentian Family will be addressed. The participants will share the experience of the Film Festival of the Vincentian Family, which took place last year and then continue and end the day with a presentation on one of the main initiatives of the family, namely, the FamVin Alliance on behalf of the homeless. On Friday 11th, there will be a discussion on the culture of vocations and the transmission of the charism.
On Saturday we will explore question of next steps: there will be panels and there will also be time for reflection on the potential of the Internet and the challenge it represents for the future. The morning of Sunday 12 will be dedicated to gathering together the suggestions that arose from the “4 days” and to assign specific tasks and responsibilities.A final thanks and some concluding observations will be offered by Father Joseph Agostino CM. The event will conclude with the Eucharistic celebration, presided by Father Tomaz Mavrič CM and animated by Gen Verde.
Journalists and media operators will be able to follow
the opening session in the afternoon of January 8 by sending a request through
the Holy See Press Office’s online accreditation system (press.vatican.va/accreditations), once the event is available on the calendar.
Interviews with participants
Interviews will be allowed during the work breaks. For
further information, please contact Elena Grazini of the Vincentian Family
Press Office, email: email@example.com – Cell. +39 338 190
The Vincentian Family, during the “Finding Vince 400” Film Festival, is organizing together with the Synod of Bishops “When Charity Calls: Charity as a Privileged Place for Vocational Discernment” on Saturday, 20 October at 6PM in Rome, at the Auditorium Conciliazione. “Finding Vince 400 is an attempt to change the way we look at poverty, considering the changes in social conditions and new media: by the same token, «When Charity Calls» is a different way to testify to the freshness of the Vincentian charism, that has just started its fifth century of life, in the wake of the teachings of St. Vincent de Paul” explains the Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission, Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM. This event is an opportunity to think, with the language of art, about Charity and the love of God as it is experienced in the poor and the outcast, that has changed the life of Saint Vincent de Paul and that still calls men and women from around the world, every day, to counter new forms of poverty. “You can be a disciple only if you love. Vincentians are people who love, not people who do. Faith and the experience of St. Vincent are in God’s love. He lifted the veil of Trinitarian life and contemplated the loving souls inhabited by the Trinity. But he is not just happy with feeling love. It became a “mission” to him, explains Father Luigi Mezzadri CM, commenting on Saint Vincent de Paul’s thinking “Action for the poor comes from God. Saints put God’s love at the summit in a supreme way, whereby the action of the Church and mankind should strive to glorify His name, to promote the Kingdom’s enlargement and cooperate to the triumph of the Will… The Vincentian vocation is to love God and make people love Him: « It is not enough for me to love God if my neighbor does not love him » (XII, 262). This love must inspire all actions and direct love towards all creatures so that they are only loved in God and for God. But this love must lead to love for our neighbor”. Many Italian and internationally-acclaimed artists will take turns on the stage of the Auditorium, starting with Jim Caviezel, who played Christ in Mel Gibson’s film The Passion, who will share his spiritual journey in a candid interview. The star of Angel Eyes and Unknown has been very active in the religious domain for years, in addition to his artistic work. As for music, Ron – one of the most popular and appreciated Italian song writers – will be performing, as well as the Gen Verde international group. Piera Degli Esposti and Massimo Popolizio will read excerpts from C. Peguy’s The Portico of the Mystery of the second vertue Sarah Maestri and Giovanni Scifoni will make us discover Saint Vincent’s story, life and way of praying through his writings and the rewritten story of his life. “When Charity Calls” is a story told through images, music and entertainment, directed by Andrea Chiodi and hosted by Arianna Ciampoli. The director explains: “Talking about charity is a beautiful challenge and doing so starting from Saint Vincent’s extraordinary character gives us the opportunity to reread his story and discover writers who have spoken about this virtue in a poetic and impactful way. I decided to start with Saint Paul and then Charles Peguy through the voice of two great artists of Italian theater and cinema like Piera Degli Esposti and Massimo Popolizio. We could not overlook the story of Saint Vincent to rediscover its most important moments and meaningful words, and I wanted to give this task to two young film and tv actors like Sarah Maestri and Giovanni Scifoni; Giovanni will rewrite Saint Vincent’s story for us, with the ironic style with which he has charmed audiences online and on Tv 2000 (and still does). And then music with Ron and the extraordinary voices of the international group Gen Verde. However, for something to be more understandable and true – Andrea Chiodi says in conclusion – we must listen to those who live this way every day and can help us understand, so we will hear directly from Vincentians themselves and from an international voice like actor Jim Caviezel. A story told through images, music and words and its recurring image will be a little girl, who will symbolize charity, purity and the simplicity with which good deeds can be done”.