The International General Council (CGI) of SSVP will promote its international annual plenary session from June 11th to 15th, in Porto (Portugal). The session will celebrate the General Council’s 180th anniversary.
All the activities will take place in the Diocesan Seminary of Vilar, a religious place belonging to the Diocese of Porto, with all the infrastructure and logistics to host such a significant event.
The plenary session is composed of several meetings held by the segments making up the General Council. In the first two days, there will be a workshop with twelve Territorial Vice-Presidents and twenty-three Area Coordinators, responsible for managing the SSVP structure across the globe.
Furthermore, a meeting will be held by members of the General Council board, a workshop on the Vincentian thrift shops, which offer low-priced, second-hand goods to the general public, will be organised, an excellent initiative that helps to strengthen the Councils’ financing by allocating the resources received for the benefit of the poor. The countries that own these Vincentian thrift shops will show their best practices.
The Permanent Section and the International Executive Committee (CEI) meetings will be held on the last two days of the plenary session. The Permanent Section is like a “board of management” of the General Council. The Section approves the CGI’s budget, projects, accounts, letters of aggregation as well as other decisions. As provided in Article 5.1.1 of the International Rule, the Permanent Section “helps the President General to provide a better international service to the members and the poor”.
The CEI is made up of countries with over 1,000 active and aggregated Conferences (there are currently nine countries), and five nations taking part by free election of the President General. Together, these countries account for 85% of all Vincentians in the world. The decisions made in this Committee (as a result of this high percentage) have full force, validity and representativeness. According to article 3.16.1 of the Rule, the CEI “is the Vincentian body closest to the President General, which advises him on all problems” and defines strategies.
During the event, there will be two special lectures: “History and Action of the Religious People of Saint Vincent de Paul”, delivered by father Bertin Sanon (superior general); and “The Role of the Layman in the Church of Pope Francis” presented by Guzmán Carriquiry (Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Vatican).
In addition to all these events, the annual Plenary of the General Council will also feature the launch of the song “The Seven Founders”, the publication of the book “Vincentian Holiness”, the presentation of the Medal “Charity in Hope” to the Scouts and the signing of an international collaboration agreement with the religious people of St. Vincent de Paul (RSV), a branch of the Vincentian Family with a common heritage and roots with our SSVP (taking into account that Jean-León Le Prevost was part of both entities).
All these activities will be broadcast live on Ozanam TV, thus increasing transparency in the management of the international SSVP. We ask for your prayers for the success of the annual meetings of the General Council.