Vinnies: 153 countries, 1.8 million strong but not at the Synod

Yesterday, I looked at the Pax Romana IMCS (International Movement of Catholic Students) movement, noting that despite having a presence in 70 countries, a million members and a history more than a century long, it was not represented at the Synod.

Today, let’s take a look at the International Confederation of the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP), founded by Blessed Frédéric Ozanam and his companions in 1833 – “Vinnies” as it is known informally in Australia, .

It describes its objective as follows:

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is an international organisation formed of lay Catholics, who seek personal and spiritual growth through service to those most in need.

Indeed, the society is well-known for its work with the poor around the world.

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According to its website, the society says it has a presence in 153 countries, 800,000 members plus another on million volunteers, making a total of 1.8 million people actively involved.

Now, I hope that among the 400-odd participants nominated for the Synod there are at least a few who do in fact belong to the SSVP.

But there’s nothing to indicate that on the list of Synod participants and certainly there is no-one representing that amazing organisation.

In a Church that claims to have a “preferential option for the poor,” surely this is a problem?

Stefan Gigacz