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Circular Letter to SVDP Members - 31 January 2023

The President General speaks of the importance of succession at the Council General and gives some advice to the VincentiansToday, January 31th, 2023, another Circular Letter written by brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, 16th President General International of the SSVP, as he has been doing since the beginning of his mandate. The Circular Letters are published in general, annually, and follow a tradition started by the 1st President General   Bailly de Surcy when he wrote the f...

February 1, 2023

Spiritual Reflection - February 2023

Ko tangata  takahi manuhiri, ko te marae puehu:Insult the visitor and you contaminate the marae.This magnificent whakatauakī (saying) reveals an understanding that something connects us with each other.  The wairua (spirit) of each us comes from the same Source. Because of this understanding, in the Māori world, manaakitanga (hospitality) is key to welcoming visitors onto a marae. Real hospitality is when you are made to feel you belong. Anything less in the Maori world is an insult ...

February 1, 2023

Spiritual Reflection - January 2023

I grew up in south Taranaki with the mountain staring at me as I stood at our backdoor. My memory has me seeing myself positioned right in the middle of this beauty pondering Phantom’s Peak, the mountain in miniature, displaying equal majesty, halfway from the top. A liberal smattering of snow seemed always to decorate what nature had provided for our eyes a long time ago. In my naivety as a child I didn’t think this mountain was anything special and thought all mountains were like that! One...

December 20, 2022

Spiritual Reflection - December 2022

A great meditation for me is to ponder the characters in the Nativity story: Joseph, Mary, the Three Wise Men and observe what comes to mind. When I do this, two words keeps surfacing: generous and listen. Joseph knows how to listen to the Spirit through his dreams. All of his instructions came to him in his dreams. His fiancé is pregnant but he learns not to divorce her. When the child is born he realizes he must remove Jesus from Bethlehem and go down to Egypt (the land that speaks of slaver...

November 30, 2022

Spiritual Reflection - November 2022

You have already been told what is rightAnd what God wants of you.Only this, to live justly,To love faithfully And to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) Christianity is a religion which invites others to discover what we have discovered. However, we are never believed unless our lives witness to what we proclaim. Preaching is one way of spreading the Good News, but we preach most powerfully by living the way of Christ - the way of compassion. We can never claim maturity as a Chr...

November 1, 2022

Spiritual Reflection - October 2022

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free. (Luke 4: 18-19)“Me, a racist? Never, some of my best friends …” Okay then. How many ethnic groups do you have in your parish? How many white people are in your conference? How many representatives from the ethnic groups are in your conference? Befor...

October 5, 2022

Spiritual Reflection - September 2022

We are used to saying, ‘God is Love’ and in modern times we have emphasised the covenant relationship with God through Jesus as being initiated by God out of love. But the word love is not all that easy to understand. St Ignatius says, “it expresses itself in deeds rather than words”. If that is true then one of the deeds that always expresses love is hospitality.  Over the years I have noticed how the spirit thrives in a parish when there is a real effort to welcome all. Hospitalit...

August 29, 2022

Spiritual Reflection - August 2022

While all the people were listening he said to the disciples, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes and love to be greeted in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets, who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive. ...

August 2, 2022

Spiritual Reflection - July 2022

Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these, You did it also to me. (Matt 25:45) Whether it is true or not I leave you to judge, but I think that in days gone by, we all thought that people in monasteries had a greater chance of communing with God than the average person. I suspect the reason for this was the lack of emphasis on the truth that God is in all things.  This was the emphasis of St Ignatius of Loyola and it is found in Māori spirituality in...

June 30, 2022

Terror in Ukraine: 100 days of a senseless war

Today, the Russian military operation that culminated with the invasion of Ukraine reaches its 100th day. Regrettably, international diplomacy has failed to find a quick solution to this occupation.The conflict has already resulted in thousands of dead and wounded military and civilian casualties, and millions of displaced people, mainly women and children, and those unable to move who include the poorest of the poor, the sick and disabled. The war has also heightened tensions between count...

June 8, 2022

Spiritual Reflection - June 2022

Widen the space of your tent,Stretch out your hangings freely,Lengthen your ropes, make your pegs firm:For you will burst out to right and to left. (Is 54:2)In a podcast I made for the St Vincent de Paul Society a couple of years ago, I stated: “If there’s one organisation I would hate to be without in parish life, it would be that of the Society of St Vincent de Paul”. I would still stay that with every fibre of my being. For a parish priest, the Society relieves him of a tremendous burde...

June 1, 2022

Spiritual Reflection - May 2022

HOW AM I DEVELOPING MY SPIRITUALITY? His state was divine,But Christ Jesus did not cling to his equality with God. (Philippians 2:6) For too long in the Church the understanding that priests and religious were expected to have a deeper spiritual life than our laity was the norm. This was possibly due to the perception that one’s relationship with God was all about saying prayers. Perhaps what was missing was the emphasis that God is in all things and all things belong to God.  This e...

April 29, 2022

Spiritual Reflection - April 2022

Welcome to the second of our monthly spiritual reflections from our Spiritual Advisor Father Alan Roberts. The intention is for you to share this spiritual reflection with your Conference members, Associate and Prayer members and volunteers. Share as widely as possible. Each Reflection will include a prayer intention that we ask you to pray for daily during the month. Prayer is the lubricant of our work and is the major difference between us being a spiritually led society or just another welfar...

April 1, 2022

Circular Letter to SVDP members - January 2022

Please find a link below to read the January 2022 Circular Letter by the 16th President General - Brother Renato Lima de Oliveira. ...

February 7, 2022

Spiritual Reflection - February 2022

Welcome to the first of our monthly spiritual reflections from our Spiritual Advisor Father Alan Roberts.Father Alan will be sending these out at the beginning of each month for you to share with your Conference members, Associate and Prayer members and volunteers. Please ensure you share these as widely as possible. Each Reflection will include a prayer intention that we ask you to pray for daily during the month. Prayer is the lubricant of our work and is the major difference between us being ...

February 2, 2022

Season's Greetings!

We invite you to read our December 2021 Christmas letter below or download the PDF....

December 16, 2021

Latest Issue of ‘Ozanam Network’ Digital Magazine

The Issue #03/2021 of ‘Ozanam Network’ digital magazine, translated and edited by Council General International’s Communications Department, is now available. One of the highlighted news is the CGI’s Historic Board Meeting in Lyon. This issue is also packed with other news and relevant information, including:Christmas message 2021Results of the International Contest for Jules Devaux YearCouncil General International’s Annual meeting – Madrid 2021Cape Verde: The 153rd T...

December 16, 2021

World Day of the Poor - November 14

Around the globe, the Catholic Church will celebrate the World Day of the Poor on 14 November. Father Motto has prepared an excellent reflection which will be very useful for all members ofour Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, and for all the other branches of the Vincentian Family. It isnot lengthy, but is a very profound and knowledgeable piece. Going from the Introduction tothe Conclusion, it is divided into three, very well-written parts: Jesus and the poor; Vincent andthe poor; Ozanam and t...

October 23, 2021

COVID-19 Update

Those dates are to be reviewed by the Government on Monday 13th September 2021. You will also be aware that Alert level 2 rules have been strengthened. In keeping with the New Zealand Government guidelines all Vinnies shops and staff must follow public health rules. Details for Alert Levels can be found at:ALERT LEVEL 4 GUIDELINES: https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-...ALERT LEVEL 2 GUIDELINES: https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-......

September 7, 2021

News from the Council General International

At the request of our brother Renato Lima, we are happy to inform you that there are several new features on the website of the Council General, among them: New edition of the newsletter OZANAM NETWORK: https://www.ssvpglobal.org/latest-issue-of-ozanam-network-digital-magazine-3/ The international contest for the choice of words for the song THE SEVEN FOUNDERS: https://www.ssvpglobal.org/cultural-competition-for-the-7-founders-song/ International Day of SSVP Women members: https:/...

August 27, 2021

News from the Council General International

The President General, brother Renato Lima, urges you to read the following published articles containing recent and important news about the Council General and the SSVP in general.1. 2020 CGI Activity Report2. Prospects for 20213. Meet the new Headquarters of CGI4. New International StructureThank you for your support....

January 12, 2021

The SSVP and the World Day of the Poor

This year, the Council General requests Conferences to give greater visibility to Vincentian Charity. The WORLD DAY OF THE POOR will be held on 15 November 2020 on the theme “Stretch forth your hand to the poor” (Sir 7, 32), drawn from the message written by his Holiness Pope Francis (link to the message is provided below). The World Day of the Poor, established by the Vatican in 2016, is celebrated on the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time. Pope Francis published his message a...

November 16, 2020

100th Anniversary

The proceedings which dispelled any controversy on this matter took place in Corrientes (Argentina), in 1920.The SSVP Marks the 100th Anniversary of Being Officially Recognised as an Autonomous Body of the Church The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) was founded in 1833, but its first Rule was developed in 1835, a document embodying the practices of the young organisation, independent in its administration and organisation. The Society began to grow, and by 1845 it was already present thro...

November 16, 2020

Important news from the Council General and SSVP

The President General, brother Renato Lima, urges you to read the following published articles containing very recent and important news about the Council General and the SSVP in general. 1. Documentation of a Second Alleged Miracle of Bl. Ozanam Delivered to the Vatican 2. First Annual Meeting Held by Council General International 3. Q&A Session with the PGI: Transparency and Dialogue Thank you for your support....

October 19, 2020

Vincentians recognised as community heroes

Two Vincentians are among those recognised for outstanding community service in the 2020 New Plymouth District Council’s Citizens Awards.Mavis Bridgeman is a member of the St Joseph’s Conference in New Plymouth and Kaddy Smale is a long-time supporter of the Society’s weekly community meals.  Mavis has been one of the most active members of the St Vincent de Paul Society.  “She is a regular visitor of those suffering from poverty,” says Gabrielle Carman, President of the St J...

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