General Assembly of St.Vincent de Paul Confederation


VATICAN CITY, 28 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The International Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will hold its extraordinary general assembly in the Spanish city of Salamanca from 28 May to 2 June. The meeting has been called to elect the confederation's fifteenth president, according to a communique released today.

The confederation, which is a member of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", brings together 51,000 national conferences from 142 countries, with more than 700,000 members supported by 1,500,000 volunteers. In this way, it is able to reach thirty-seven million poor people. It intervenes in support of victims of natural disasters - such as, most recently, typhoons in Asia, earthquakes in Indonesia and Chile, flooding in India, etc. - with the aid being distributed by the Vincentian Family and its volunteers. In Haiti, for example, where it is present in the poorest areas, it has created the Zafen network which facilitates access to credit for small business and craftsmen.

Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of "Cor Unum", has been invited by the heads of the confederation to deliver a lecture to delegates. The cardinal will talk about Blessed Frederic Ozanam with reference to questions of concern to "Cor Unum", such as the specific identify of Catholic aid and assistance organisations.

During his stay in Salamanca, the cardinal will also preside at the Eucharist on Sunday 30 May, with Bishop Carlos Lopez Hernandez of Salamanca, and bid farewell to Jose Ramon Diaz Torremocha, the outgoing president of the confederation, whose mandate is coming to an end after many years of service to the organisation.