President General of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Publishes Last Circular Letter of his Mandate

by | Feb 6, 2023 | News, Society of St. Vincent de Paul

The President General speaks of the importance of succession at the Council General and offers some advice to the Vincentians.

Today, January 31st, 2023, we publish another Circular Letter written by brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, 16th President General International of the SSVP (something that has been done since the beginning of his mandate).

The Circular Letters are published annually, and follow a tradition started by the 1st President General   Bailly de Surcy when he wrote the first one in 1841. In it, the President General speaks directly to the hearts of all the Vincentians throughout the world, presenting ideas and proposing reflections.

This year, the Circular Letter contains 17 pages, seven chapters and 70 references as footnotes. Brother Renato, who will be leaving his mission on September 9th, has given the text a farewell tone while at the same time sharing an accountability for his seven years in office.

In chapter 1, there is a general introduction to the content of the Letter, announcing the main highlights. Chapter 2, entitled “The Council General moves forward”, is subdivided into seven themes, addressing the initiatives underway, the challenges faced by the Conferences, the importance of working together with other welfare agencies, the relevance of young people, the good relationship with the Church, the missionary journeys of the President General and an update on the canonization of Blessed Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam.

Chapter 3 is dedicated to the elections for the position of 17th President General, in which brother Renato gives details of the electoral process and lists the best characteristics of a good leader. In chapter 4, spiritual recommendations are given to all the brothers and sisters, focusing on poverty, good works and divine grace.

Chapter 5 lists some challenges to be faced by the SSVP in this post-pandemic period. In particular, Renato invites everyone to reflect on the revitalization of the Conferences and the modernization of Vincentian practices, the importance of recruiting new members and the importance of the Vincentian formation, the need to reduce bureaucracy, to improve the way of doing charity and to get involved with other institutions to better serve the needy.

Chapter 6 is entirely dedicated to the International Thematic Year in honor of brother Jules Gossin, 2nd President General, and the literary competition in his honor, initiating a new phase, called “Vincentian Historical Personages”. Finally, in chapter 7, President Lima de Oliveira thanks everyone for the support he has received during his mandate, and, with much emotion, prepares the transition within the Council General.

Click on this link to read the President General’s full Circular Letter.

All the Circular Letters of this administration are available at this link