Overview on Zambia with Adaptations from
The Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
International Council GeneralLed by nature and faithful to the Church’s teachings, the Conference gathers men and women of every age and situation, united by the same vocation in the same love for the poor in Jesus Christ.The Conference is the very basis of our Society. It takes part in the life of the local community, in the Parish, in the school, etc. Zambia today has more than 1,200 Conferences supervised by 29 Central Councils in the 10 Provinces and 10 Dioceses in the country.
A new Conference must always prove:
• Its ability to participate in the Society
• Its involvement in the Church’s community
• Its involvement in the social environmentFrequency of meetings
Originally, the meetings used to take place every week. Since this is no longer always possible, Conferences should meet at least every two weeks in order to maintain some cohesion between members and to keep the “spiritual flame” and fraternal brotherhood alive.Number of members
In order to foster the minimum activities, spiritual talks, etc., there should be at least four members. The ideal would be 12 to 15 members in a ConferenceStructure of the Society
Conferences are linked together by Councils at local, district, area, regional, superior or national levels, and also internationally the International Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.The visible unifying link within the Society is the Aggregation of the Conferences and the Institution of the Councils declared by the Council General.
AGGREGATION OF CONFERENCES
The Rule states:
“The Council General is solely qualified, provided it has got the relevant Superior or National Council’s advice, to institute new Councils and aggregate new Conferences to the Society.Institutions and aggregations are agreed at particular sessions of the Council General. The “rapporteur,” designated by the President General, registers the recommendations made by the relevant Superior or National Council and gets the advice of the member of the Permanent Section who is especially in charge of the contact with the country in question.”The Aggregation Process
The Conference, subject of an Aggregation Application, must have been created and must have provided services to the poor for at least twelve months.The Aggregation of Conferences and Institution of Councils are presented by a Speaker appointed by the President General, in a session of the Permanent Section. The Speaker receives the proposals and recommendations of the competent Superior Council on behalf of the President General, and obtains opinions from the members of the Permanent Section specifically responsible for handling relations with the Council which has requested the Aggregation or InstitutionThe examination of the Application for Aggregation or Institution is made by means of an Aggregation Application Form (Click to view) available from the Superior Council. The Application Form is filled in triplicate, the originating Conference or Council keeping a file copy, while the other two are forwarded to the Superior Council. After endorsing the Forms, the Superior Council retains a file copy and forwards the other to the International Council General in Paris, France, for final consideration
Tips on completion of Aggregation Application Forms
• The Forms should be filled in carefully, preferably typed
• Use capital letters for names of towns and family names
• Specify whether male or female against each name
• Specify the area of the Conference and name of the Diocese
• Every Conference shall adopt a Saint as its Patron
• Conferences shall be named after their Patron Saints, title of a “Blessed” Christian, Christ, or the Virgin Mary
• Names of St. Vincent de Paul or Blessed Frederic Ozanam should not be adopted in order to avoid too many Conferences in the world having the same Patron Saint
• Before submitting any Application, check that the Conference or Council has not previously been Aggregated or Instituted
• Inform the Council General about any Conferences that have disappeared and, if possible, the reasons behind the disappearance.
INSTITUTION OF COUNCILS
Councils are at the service of all Conferences in their scope, follow their actions and evolution. They also have the role of coordination and linkages with the Superior or National Councils.Conferences are often grouped into Particular or Central (Area) Councils, which usually have jurisdiction over a village, town, city or a district. To enable better organization, functioning and effectiveness, a Council is not expected to have to consist of more than 20 Conferences. Four or more Particular Councils often constitute Central or Diocesan Councils.
This is the same as for Aggregation. Click the Institution Application Form to see the full contents.
Tips on completion of Institution Application Forms
• Clearly indicate the full names of all Conferences or Particular Councils under the jurisdiction of the Council for which Institution is being requested
• Specify for each Conference or Particular Council the name of the city, town or village in which they are situated
• Indicate the dates of Aggregation or Institution (not to be confused with the date of foundation)
• Before submitting an Institution Application Form, ensure that the Conferences or Particular Councils forming it have already been Aggregated or Instituted
• The Superior or National Councils shall always ensure that before submitting the Institution Application Forms to Council General, the Forms shall have been precisely and thoroughly completed and given their own prior agreement
• A “Letter of Aggregation” will be issued by Council General, bearing the signature of the International President General. This Letter is sent to the Superior or National Council for distribution to the concerned Conferences or Councils, preferably during Feast Celebrations or other organized activities.
• Newer members in the Society are particularly reminded that Aggregations and Institutions do not only have an administrative part but do also have a spiritual meaning: they register the admission of new members to the whole Vincentian family, gathered all over the world, in the love for the poor , through love for Christ
• Aggregation Application Form
• Institution Application Form
SSVP Application Form for Aggregation.pdf, Institution Form for Central or Area Council.pdf