Rome, 25 January 2024 Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul Foundation
Day of the Little Company


The whole Congregation of the Mission goes on a Mission

To all the members of the Congregation of the Mission
My very dear confreres,

May the grace and peace of Jesus be always with us!

Last year, all the members of the Congregation of the Mission began their three years’ spiritual preparation, what we might call “ad intra” preparation for the upcoming 400th Anniversary of its Foundation, next year, 2025. To accompany our spiritual preparation, I would like to announce and launch today, for the whole Congregation, a so-called “ad extra” preparation for our 400th Anniversary.

If the “ad intra” preparation has to do with our personal inner preparation, the “ad extra” goes out to meet our brothers and sisters, telling them about Saint Vincent de Paul and the Congregation of the Mission. Jesus, in His Mercy, is giving us this unique, extraordinary, and very special moment in the history of the Little Company, 400 years of service within the Church through our Vincentian Spirituality and Charism.

The “ad intra” preparation, accompanied by the “ad extra” preparation, can give us an immense inner fire, strength, motivation, and a reason for being a member of the Congregation. Stability in our vocation, as promised through the vow of “Stability,” one of the four vows of the members of the Congregation, offers us a sense of giving our whole lives to “proclaim the Good News to the Poor.”

The conviction that our Vincentian Spirituality and Charism are much needed in the life of the Church, and Humanity as a whole in today’s world, so often mentioned by Pope Francis through words, but mostly by his personal example of life, simply can reinvigorate the hearts of every single confrere, revitalizing every corner of our being that needs such a moment of grace. This unique moment of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Little Company will not be repeated for another hundred years, when, if Providence so desires, our next generations of confreres will celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Foundation.

Having all this very much present in our hearts and minds, I would like to announce and invite “The whole Congregation of the Mission to go on a Mission.”

What do I mean by this announcement and invitation?

I would like all of us to get involved in going to the places all around the world, in the 100 countries where we presently serve, but where, in many areas and dioceses, Saint Vincent de Paul and the Congregation of the Mission are not yet or are little known, to make all possible efforts so that the life of Saint Vincent and the Spirituality and Charism of our Congregation become known in those areas and dioceses, at least in general terms.

The initiative is linked not to parishes where we are serving, but to parishes where we are not present. Here I mean especially diocesan parishes. Having in mind our provinces, vice- provinces and regions, as well as our international missions and the missions ad Gentes we have opened in the last few years, and, if Providence so desires, will continue to open in the years to come, I would like to suggest a concrete plan for preparing and putting into practice this initiative.

Our provinces, vice-provinces, and regions generally are situated in one country, although sometimes more than one, and in some countries we have more than one province. Considering the whole country, all the dioceses in the country, and all the diocesan parishes in each diocese, we have a picture of the number of parishes this initiative hopes to involve and visit.

How can we make the first contacts and begin the actual process?

  • Contact the bishop of the respective diocese and ask his permission, on the 400th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Congregation of the Mission, to visit all the diocesan parishes to present briefly the life of our founder, Saint Vincent de Paul and the Spirituality and Charism of the Congregation of the Mission he left us.

It would be very good to ask the bishop for a letter, in which he mentions his full support for this initiative. This letter then can be presented to the respective deans, pastors, or anyone else who should be informed of it.

If the bishop agrees to invite us to visit the diocesan parishes, we will ask him for the Diocesan Directory, so that we can begin contacting, perhaps firstly the Deans of the deaneries of the diocese, and then start calling the pastors of the respective parishes.

In the process of calling the parishes, we may find that some pastors are not interested in inviting us to visit their parish, but, overall, I have much confidence that most pastors will be happy to have us in their parishes.

  • Our visit to the parishes can be for one, two, or a maximum of three days, taking always into account the weekends, when most parishioners attend Holy Mass.

The presentation can be at some point during the Eucharist or at the end.

Every province, vice-province, and region will prepare, as most appropriate, how to present the life of Saint Vincent and the Congregation of the Mission, using different techniques, materials, etc. It would be well to bring to the parishes various printed materials that you already have, or that you will print as part of the visit.

  • It would be a wonderful opportunity, if you do not have them already, to prepare pamphlets or other materials as part of the “Vocation Ministry” and distribute them in the parishes so that the youth can contact the confrere responsible for coordinating the Vocation Ministry in a given province, vice-province, and region.
  • How long will the initiative last?

All will depend on the number of dioceses and the number of parishes in each diocese in a given country or countries where we have a province, vice-province, or region. The initiative will start this year, 2024, but depending on the number of parishes, in order to cover all of them, the initiative can last a few years, up to our next General Assembly in the middle of 2028.

  • I would like to ask that the preparations for this initiative begin next month, February 2024, taking all the needed steps, making a list of all the confreres who will participate in this initiative, and remembering the title of the initiative, “The whole Congregation goes on a mission.”

Making a list of the visits to the different parishes probably will take a long time. With the exception of the confreres who, for reason of health or age, cannot participate actively in the parishes, but surely will participate actively in prayer, I trust that all the other confreres will participate actively in the parishes, some more often than others, but, overall, everyone will become part of the initiative.

The beginning of the mission will depend upon when the preparations are concluded, but, of course, the sooner the better.

  • I ask all the Visitors and Regional Superiors to send me the plan of the whole mission, as well as the time it will take to conclude the visits to all the parishes in the countries and parishes that invite us. Please send them by 30 April 2024 to this address:
  • Dear confreres, the mission in which the whole Congregation will get involved, will, on the one hand, be an additional service to the many other services and ministries in which you are already On the other hand, trusting firmly in Providence, such a mobilization of the whole Congregation will have two specific goals: briefly

presenting the life of Saint Vincent and the Spirituality and Charism of the Congregation, as one of the preparations to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Little Company, and it may bring abundant graces and even miracles unforeseen, unknown, unthought-of, so as to become one of the signs of the new Pentecost at the beginning of the fifth century of the Congregation.

Your brother in Saint Vincent,
Tomaž Mavrič, CM Superior General