SSVP General Council Launches International Essay Contest on Bailly

by | Feb 17, 2017 | Announcements, News, Society of St. Vincent de Paul

To celebrate more intensely the “Thematic Year on Bailly,” introduced by 16th General President of the SSVP, Brother Renato Lima de Oliveira in his circular letter of January 31, the SSVP International General Council announces today (February 17) the launch of the International Literary Contest: “the First Conference.”

Emmanuel Joseph Bailly was the first General President of the SSVP, and his life was entirely dedicated to the work of charity. It is worth learning about Bailly’s story in detail. For example, it is important to stress Bailly’s gifts of reconciliation.  The first Conference consisted of young men from different backgrounds: some were lawyers, others doctors; some were Republicans, and others monarchists; some were liberal, others conservative. But Bailly was able to lead them all in the same vocation and the same path, and for example, masterfully managed to guide the process of dissolving the Saint Sulpice Conference (the “Mother Conference”), avoiding division and dispersion of those young people, among so many other important contributions he made throughout his Vincentian life. We truly have a lot to learn from Emmanuel Bailly!

Publication of the competition rules and annexes is available on the CGI website ( The written work can not exceed 20 pages. A video (available on social networks) by Karl Hilla, head of the Communication Department of the General Council, was also launched to explain how the contest works.

Prizes will be awarded in cash for the first three places (1000, 750 and 500 euros, respectively). The Vincentian Conferences of the winning authors will also receive the same amount of money, which should be used for the benefit of assisted families or Vincentian works.

Works can be presented in any of these five languages: Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian or French. The deadline for the presentation of the dissertations/essays is June 6, 2017. The organizing committee will announce the final result on July 6, 2017, and the awards will be presented in Paris on September 9, 2017, during the meeting of the CGI board.

This contest is part of the program of the 16th General President, which introduced the thematic years in order to spread the life, work and legacy of the founders of the first Vincentian Conference in 1833. “The General Council hopes that many Vincentians, especially Young people, participate in the contest, not so much for the prizes to be awarded, but above all for the open opportunity to study and appreciate the biography of our dear founders,” said the confrere Renato Lima.

The same contest will be held in future years, until 2022. In 2018, the theme will be “François Lallier.” Join in! We ask the Superior Councils to help the CGI to disseminate this competition among the Conferences and Councils of each country, as well as in Vincentian Catholic schools and universities. More information: (Anne, Marisa and Juan Manuel).