The small town of Noblejas (Spain) hosted the Thanksgiving Mass for the 20th anniversary of the VMY International Secretariat. The local group of the Association was responsible for the organization and put in place an excellent infrastructure to celebrate this date. A special prayer was also made for the 5th General Assembly, to be held in 2020 in Bydgoszcz (Poland). The Eucharist was also attended by ex-volunteers and was transmitted live to be available to any VMY member in the world.
THE INTERNATIONAL SECRETARIAT
The dream of having an international office to coordinate the work of VMY worldwide was not something new. It all began in 1997, when the then president of VMY Spain, Edurne Urdampilleta, was invited by Father Robert Maloney, Superior General, to represent the Association at a meeting of the Vincentian Family in Paris. Edurne was later appointed president of the Interim International Council. In a letter written after the meeting, the Superior General warned of the “need to work for a better organized international structure” for the VMY, which, at that time, was estimated to have 200,000 members.
After this meeting in 1997, conversations and consultations continued. After analyzing the possible venues for the Secretariat, Spain was chosen. The CM and DC leaders of the country offered to receive the volunteers who would do the work for the Association. Thus, in September 1999, the first volunteers arrived in Madrid. The first work carried out was the organisation of the First International Assembly, held in August 2000, in which Gladys Abi-Said (Lebanon) was elected as the first international president of the Association.
Let us thank God for all the volunteers and conselors who have worked and continue to work for the International VMY and let us also pray that our Association might continue to grow in the Marian and Vincentian charism.
Portuguese-speaking ex-volunteer of the International Secretariat
Video of the Eucharist: