Useful and Necessary Information for Participating in CIF

Mailing address and telephone :

95, rue de Sèvres; 75006 PARIS, FRANCE.
Telephone: (331);    CIF Fax: (331) (Dan Borlik, C.M.)

The program consists of conferences by experts on the life of Saint Vincent, the history of the Congregation and the major themes of the Constitutions and Statutes. Members of the group are invited to reflect on their experience as Vincentians in small and large group settings. It is complemented by a series of visits to the most important Vincentian sites in Paris and in France.



As preparation, a reflective reading of the Constitutions and Statutes, the Common Rules, and at least a brief life of Saint Vincent de Paul will be helpful.

Documentation :

You will need a valid passport and, depending on regulations in effect for your own country, a visa for France. As the case applies, the Visitor or Provincial Econome of the Paris Province will issue the letter of invitation, requisite for obtaining the visa.

You are urged to begin the application process for your visa immediately. Please send the following information to the CIF team:

  1. Names as written in your passport;
  2. Date and place of birth;
  3. Nationality;
  4. Passport number, date and place of issue, and expiration date;
  5. Date you entered the Congregation of the Mission;
  6. Dates of the CIF program you will attend.

To avoid complications, this should be completed at least two months before the session begins.
 If you are also required to have a special letter of invitation from CIF, please ask for it from the CIF team as soon as possible.

Note:  you may need a special visa, a multiple-entry visa, to return to French territory if you leave any of the countries that belong to the Schengen Agreement (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden; not Switzerland/Liechtenstein) at any time during the session. You will not be able to get this visa in France. Consequently, you must apply for it before leaving your home country.

If you wish to return to your home country after the program through other (non-Schengen) countries, you are strongly urged to apply for necessary visas for those other countries in your own country before you begin the program.

For information, see .



Bring clothing for a cool and wet climate, as well as any sports clothing you will need for exercise, walking, etc. Use of clerical garb is optional. Please bring an alb and stole. It is not necessary to bring bed linen, towels, or soap. Washing machines and dryers are available for use by the participants at no extra charge.



      Average temperatures for Paris: (high/low) (See:


Autumn: 59/46º F 15/8º C

Winter: 43/34º F 6/1º C

Spring: 49/43º F 15/6º C

Rainy months: November-January; dry period: June-August


Community life

Judging from past years, confreres form community easily and overcome language barriers through a sense of brotherhood and good will.  Our common room, the “Salle Pouget” is a natural center to which the confreres gravitate in their free time. As a community room it has snacks and drinks and a small kitchenette. There is also a television room with satellite TV service.  When we travel through Vincentian France, we do our best to accommodate the needs and the comfort of the participants. There is a lot of time for common prayer, sharing and recreation. Optional visits or excursions are the responsibility of the participants.



Please bring Constitutions and Common Rules and the Instruction on the vows (1996). CIF has a small library with some materials on Saint Vincent, but you may find it helpful to bring your own resources for study.


Telling the story

If you have audiovisual material on your province and country, etc., others will be interested in seeing or listening to them. Please also bring recent material (books, articles) from your province on Saint Vincent and other confreres or Daughters of Charity.


If you have special Vincentian music, please bring it, along with liturgical music to be shared with other participants. A musical instrument would be appropriate, although we have a guitar and a keyboard for our use.



Bring your necessary medications with you. There is a well-stocked pharmacy in the house, and a doctor or nurse on call. Be sure that your medical-dental insurance is valid in France in case of serious illness. If you need to have medical or dental insurance only for France, the minimum period for your enrollment is six months. This insurance is expensive. You will be responsible for any possible costs of medicines and medical attention.



The cost of your participation in the program will be billed to your province at the beginning of the session. For your own use, you may wish to have travelers’ checks. Credit cards are usable everywhere and ATM machines are readily available. You should have some personal spending money. The CIF program cannot supply you with mass stipends; they are difficult to find in Paris.

Life in France, particularly in Paris, is expensive. Telephone calls you make and your faxes can also be quite expensive, but economical telephone cards are available and very handy.



220 volts (for radios, computers, tape recorders, etc.), and 50 cycles. You may need a transformer. Participants will need the (round) plugs common in Western Europe.



In Paris, meals are self-service with the use of electronic cards or meal tickets. The mother house kitchen will not be able to offer special meals for those with special diets, apart from low-salt, low-cholesterol.  When on pilgrimage outside of Paris, all meals are covered by the program costs.  Paying for meals taken away from the group will be your personal responsibility.



Each participant has his individual room, with heater, hot and cold water, and telephone (bills payable monthly). There are 15 en-suite rooms at St. Mark corridor for the use of participants.



CIF (the Salle Pouget) has a bank of computers and a printer online for use at Salle Pouget. Wireless internet use for your portable computer is available here as well. Internet use in the rooms come at a charge.



You are welcome to arrive a day or two early. There is no extra charge from the house for this. We include current estimates for the cost of transportation here. It is best to check on-line (via the links) for current rates.

Please let us know your flight and date and time of arrival in order that our Maison Mère staff be prepared for you. Here are the options for getting to 95 rue de Sèvres. First, be alert to pickpockets and others who may try to “help” you with your luggage or with directions. Then:

I. AIRPORTS: [Note: you can download a subway map from ; instructions are in French and in English. For airport information, check for terminal maps, etc.]

      (a) From Charles de Gaulle Airport (=CDG) (also called Roissy):

(1) By train and subway (métro): [Difficult with a lot of luggage]

–Take the free shuttle bus outside Terminal 1 by taking an elevator down to the Airport Shuttle level, and then take Bus #2 for the RER/SNCF station. (From Terminal 2, follow the signs, take the bus, etc.) — Buy a ticket for Paris; it includes the subway (métro).

–Take the train in the direction of Paris, and get off at the Saint Michel stop.

–Transfer [ Correspondance ] to the Métro, line 10 (M10) in the direction of Boulogne, and exit at the Vaneau station. This is located across the street from the mother house.

This takes about 50 minutes, and costs about €9,70

(2a) By Roissybus and métro or taxi : [Roissybus: ]

–Take the Roissybus outside the airport terminal, Gate 30, Terminal 1, to Opéra.

–Then take the métro at the adjoining station, line 8, direction Balard; change at Concorde for line 12, direction Mairie d’Issy; change at Sèvres Babylone to line 10, direction Boulogne, and stop at Vaneau. This takes about 45 minutes, and costs about €9,40.

(2b) By Air France bus and métro or taxi :

–Take the “Car Air France” at the airport to Place de l’Etoile (Charles de Gaulle)

–Then take the métro at the adjoining station, line 1, direction Château de Vincennes; change at Concorde, etc., as in (2a) above, and stop at Vaneau.

About 45 minutes, and €8,00. Or : instead of the métro, take a taxi.

(2c) By Air France bus and métro or taxi :

–Take the “Car Air France” at the airport to Montparnasse or to Invalides.

–The take the métro (line 13, direction St. Denis/Gabriel Péri from Montparnasse, or Châtillon-Montroug e from Invalides), and change at Duroc (to line 10, direction Gare d’Austerlitz) and stop at Vaneau. This takes about 45 minutes, and costs about €17.00. Or : instead of the métro, take a taxi.

(3) By taxi : About 30 minutes, and €50 to 60. A tip of about 10-15% is expected.

(4) By “Airport Shuttle” (from CDG only) : Reserve on-line before leaving: , or call toll-free, no coins, from public telephone after you arrive in Paris: 0800 50 56 10. Door-to-door service. About 45 minutes, and about €25,00.. A tip is welcome. English, French and Spanish spoken. (You may have to wait for some time.)

(b) From Orly Airport :

(1) By train and subway (métro) :

–Take the Orlyval train to the Antony station (its only stop), and transfer to the RER getting off at Saint Michel as mentioned above (a.1). Then subway as mentioned above.

This takes about 40 minutes and costs about €10,80.

(2) By bus : Take “Car Air France” to either the Montparnasse or Duroc station. If Duroc, you must tell the driver you wish to get off at Duroc, and you should not put your luggage in the storage area under the bus, since the driver will not open it at Duroc. From Montparnasse, take a taxi. From Duroc you are within walking distance (4 blocks) to the mother house. This costs about €7.00.. If you go to the Air France terminal at Invalides, you could take the métro (as 2.c above) or take a taxi to the mother house, as it is too far to walk with luggage.

(3) By taxi . This takes about 20 minutes, and costs around €40.00.. A tip of about 10 15% is expected for the driver.


    If you arrive by train, consult the subway (métro) map at the station [each train station is connected to the subway], and take the proper subway line to connect with M10, stopping at Vaneau. Or, take a taxi from the train station.


      Outdoor parking will be available at the mother house. Remember to avoid bringing in anything to France that could cause problems with customs authorities.


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