Participants heard presentations from Vice-president Eduardo Marques as well as Vice-presidents Ed Keane and Renato Lima. The latter gave a general survey of the history of the different LatinAmerican meetings and specially on this fifth meeting whose motto is “Growth of the Society, with quality and quantity” and it is essential to emphasize that there were the presence of 28 countries and that for the first time it will be broadcast live through the site www.ozanam.tv
At the end of the opening meeting, the President General, Michael Thio, addressed some words and thanked the organizers and benefactors who helped to the carrying out of the ,meeting, and he highlighted the spirit of the SSVP’s meeting, fulfilling Frederic Ozanam’s dream of having “a charity network that encircles the world”
The meeting began in the evening of the 26th July 2012, with the Colombian hymn and the SSVP’s anthem, and it continued with the welcome of the president of Medellin’s Council: Margarita Henao and the President of Colombia’s National Council, Manuel Flores.
After the Second Vatican Council, CELAM, the COnference of Latin American Bishops, held two conferences which were important in determining the future of liberation theology: the first was held in Medellín, Colombia, in 1968, and the second in Puebla, Mexico, in January 1979. The Medellín conference debated how to apply the teachings of Vatican II to Latin America, and its conclusions were strongly influenced by liberation theology.