On Saturday, November 24, 2018, the Superior General landed in Benin. He stayed at the house of the Sisters of Mary of the Miraculous Medal in Porto-Novo. On Sunday, November 25, on the Solemnity of Christ the King , the whole Vincentian Family met in southern Benin. The day began with the celebration of Eucharist in the Chapel of the Sisters in Malanhoui. At the beginning of the Mass, Father Stanislav (CM) welcomed the Superior General and asked the whole assembly to open their hearts to the Holy Spirit, so that the meeting could bear fruit. During his homily, the Superior General listed the events that had taken place in the Vincentian Family since the great solemnity of the 400th anniversary of the Vincentian charism.
After the Eucharist, the participants went to the conference center. Father Stanislav invited each branch to introduce themselves. The president and secretary of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, present in Benin since 1905, spoke and presented their branch. This Society is composed of 135 conferences present in several parishes, and has more than 500 members. They provided assistance to the infirm, to prisoners, to abandoned children and the elderly. A health center dedicated to Frederic Ozanam and built by the members of this association, will be inaugurated in early 2019.
The Servants of the Redeeming Love of Christ, a congregation of Sisters founded by the late Bishop of Porto Novo, Vincent Mensah, presented their ministry. Like Vincent de Paul, they are called to be witnesses of the Gospel and therefore, they work in social ministry on a diocesan level.
The Sisters of Mary of the Miraculous Medal, founded in Slovenia in 1878 by Mother Léopoldina Brandis and present in Benin since 1988, also spoke about the mission that they are carrying out in Benin. They are serving their suffering brothers and sisters, imitating Jesus and Mary, and following the example of St. Vincent. They work in hospitals, orphanages and visit elderly people in their homes. They have six communities and the Superior General visited some of them.
The Superior General thanked each branch for their work, and explained the projects of the Vincentian Family. He encouraged frequent meetings at the national and diocesan levels. He also emphasized the uniqueness of each branch and the contribution of each branch to the common good of the whole Family, as well as the mutual support that should reign in the Family. He explained the role of the international office, encouraging the committee in Benin to maintain contact with that office.
Father Stanislav thanked all the participants and invited them to an agape prepared by the Sisters of Mary.
The Superior General the returned to the novitiate of the Sisters of Mary.