General Council: 3 international meetings at the Paris head office in February
The General Council’s head office was a hive of activity in February since 3 international meetings were held there. These meetings brought together the Saint Vincent de Paul Society’s officers and Renato Lima de Oliveira – our 16th President-General – just before his official trip to Africa.
The first meeting was held on Sunday 18 February and concerned officers from the Europe 1 zone. This meeting focused on 3 main topics:
- Various discussions between countries in this zone
- Consolidating National Councils in countries where the SSVP’s presence is weak (Gibraltar, Luxembourg, Malta, Turkey)
- The SSVP+ Project (aimed at countries where the SSVP is completely absent, such as Scandinavian countries, Greece, Cyprus, Andorra, Lichtenstein, and San Marino)
The following Monday, it was the Board’s turn to meet. Their intensive programme covering 2 days’ work addressed many points, including the following:
- Brother Renato Lima’s trip to and business in Rome, his meeting with Pope Francis and the new dicasteries
- The SSVP+ Project with the latest countries to join the SSVP: Albania and Liberia
- The progress of Blessed Frédéric Ozanam’s canonization process
- The end of the first phase of the programme for re-aggregating Conferences
- Taking stock of preparations for the meetings in Salamanca (Spain) this coming June
Besides the International Board members, Jean-Loup de Beauvoir – a descendant of François Lallier – was present. Lallier is taking pride of place throughout 2018 as one of our theme years dedicated to the SSVP’s founders.
Finally, the CIAD (Commission for International Aid and Development) held its biannual meeting. This included studying the latest projects submitted and assessing the Commission’s financial situation.
On the same day, Brother Renato Lima de Oliveira flew to Ouagadougou (capital of Burkina Faso) for the first leg of his official trip to Africa covering a total of 7 countries: Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa.