“If anyone wants to be first, let him be the last of all and who serves all” (Mark 9:35). This was the motto chosen by Renato Lima de Oliveira, who serves as the 16th President General International of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. In his inaugural 100 days in office, institutional changes have already been implemented based on a “work plan” that Renato presented during the electoral process.

The following are among the many projects and measures already taken by the President General and his Board :

  • Appointment of Father Robert Maloney (CM), 23rd Superior General, to serve as International Spiritual Advisor.
  • Official visits to Portugal and Spain.
  • Creation of the Ombudsman General’s Office (cgi.og@ssvpglobal.org).
  • Creation of the Fund for International Solidarity (FIS).
  • Extension of the roles of the Commission for International Aid and Development (CIAD).
  • Review of Strategic Planning.
  • Promotion of two Board meetings (September and December).
  • Publication of two issues of the newsletter “Ozanam Network.”
  • Negotiations for the signing of agreements with social and religious NGOs.
  • Creation of another International Territorial Vice-presidency for Oceania.
  • Video with the President’s Christmas Message.
  • Establishment of the “Terms of Reference” for all CGI services.

The first “Circular Letter” of the new General President (a Vincentian tradition from the time of the founding of the organization in 1833) will be announced on January 31st, as it will also be the launch of the literary competition on the founders of the SSVP, an event that is inserted in the Project “Thematic Years” (2017 – Year of Bailly).

“All these innovations are only really relevant if they bring improvements to the daily life of the Vincentians and, above all, to the poor served by the Conferences and special works of the SSVP. The General Council International, with great humility, wishes to be the inducer of the necessary advances for our Society around the world,” commented Renato.

On March 1st, the General President will have an audience with the Holy Father, Pope Francis. During the month of March, he will visit six countries: India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Chile.

During 2017, CGI will hold many other formation, youth and communication activities. Also in 2017, the SSVP will be celebrating the 20 years of the beatification of Ozanam and the 400 years of the Vincentian Charism. These are excellent opportunities to enhance the charitable actions of our beloved institution around the world.

Brother Renato’s term runs from September 2016 to September 2022. We pray for the success of all these initiatives so that they become improvements for all those most in need.

Source: SSVP Global


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