For the first time, the men and women Superiors and the men and women Presidents of the over 150 branches that make up the Vincentian Family, are meeting in Rome, Italy, from January 8-12, 2020.
The meeting is being held in the Augustinianum Patristic Institute. The participants will dialogue and establish the basis for a common path to follow together, stated a press release of the Vincentian Family.
At the beginning of the fifth centenary of their existence, the members of the Vincentian Family are looking to the future, conscious of the urgent need for a closer synergy with all those realities that have sprouted from the seed planted by Saint Vincent de Paul.
This World Meeting, of historic importance for the Vincentian Family, will address the following topics: the Vincentian Family’s Mission; Communication in the Vincentian Family; the potential of the Internet and the Challenge It Represents for the Future; the Impact of the 2018 Vincentian Family’s Film Festival; the FamVin Alliance in Favour of the Homeless (an important initiative of the Vincentian Family) and The Culture of Vocations and the Transmission of the Charism through the Family’s Branches.
The Meeting’s Program
The four-day program began on Wednesday, January 8, with participation in the Pope’s General Audience.
The formal working sessions began in the afternoon, directed by those regarded as points of reference at the international level: Father Mavric, President of the Vincentian Family’s Executive Committee and Superior General of the Mission Congregation; Father Joseph Agostino, International Coordinator of the Vincentian Family’s Office; and Father Robert Maloney, Superior General of the Mission Congregation from 1992 to 2004, who will summarize the Family’s history and offer a general vision. Sister Mary McCormick is the Meeting’s Moderator.
Conferences and Working Groups
At 8:30 am a Eucharistic Celebration will be held in the Basilica of the Holy Spirit in Sassia, followed by the morning and afternoon conferences, as well as the participants work in groups. Different topics will be presented each day, as well as the Vincentian reality and the activities the members are carrying out.
Sunday morning, January 12, will be dedicated to the gathering of suggestions made over the four days, and the assigning of specific tasks and responsibilities.
The mentioned note states that the roots of the Vincentian Family lay in two intense experiences lived by Saint Vincent de Paul in France in 1617. On one hand, in the city of Folleville, the French priest discovered the spiritual poverty of the rural population and, on the other, in the city of Chatillon he met with its material poverty.
These two events marked the beginning of his personal conversion. His focus was to take care of the person in his totality: spiritual, emotional, physical and material.
Over 150 Branches
Born of this small mustard seed in 1617, today the Vincentian Family has become a great tree, made up of over 150 branches (Lay Associations and Congregations of Consecrated Life) with close to two million members in over 150 countries.
The Family also includes men and women who, although not belonging formally to a particular branch, are inspired in Saint Vincent de Paul’s service to the poor.