Via dei Capasso, 30
on the work and decisions of SIEV
The members of the International Secretariat of Vincentian Studies (SIEV) held their annual meeting in Paris on 4 and 5 August 1997, just after the conclusion of the Vincentian Month on the Popular Mission. It provided the occasion for making a first evaluation, largely positive, of this Month which gathered confreres of the Congregation, Daughters of Charity, a sister and laity, all involved in the service of evangelization through various forms of popular missions.
Then, an evaluation of the work which had been planned at the previous meeting was made (Cf. Information Sheet n_ 1, of 25 February 1997, published in Vincentiana: 1997/2, p. 74). A series of decisions was taken. These were then submitted for the approbation of the Superior General and his Council. The most significant are the following:
1.We will seek to make as soon as possible a first computerized edition, on CD ROM, of all the Vincentian material, especially the writings of the founder, which are/will be computerized and available in different languages, in particular in French, Spanish, English and Italian. The material will be offered on MS DOS and on Mackintosh. The objective is to make a CD ROM at a reduced price so that it would be available to the greatest number possible of persons interested in the study of Vincentian texts.
We would like this first edition to serve as a stimulus so that all the Vincentian writings be computerized as soon as possible in the greatest number of languages. A later edition would be richer and more universal.
2.In view of the second centennial of the birth of St. John Gabriel Perboyre, which will take place in 2002, SIEV wishes to promote a biography of the saint, of a historical-critical character, which would be well documented and situated in the historical context, but also not too voluminous so that it would remain accessible to the public.
3.Another important undertaking is the publication, on the CD ROM of the Vincentian texts, of a Vincentian bibliography listing all the books which have appeared in this field, in all languages.
It is also planned to make an index of articles found in the Vincentian field, principally taken from our magazines.
4.We are proceeding with gathering and selecting the documents of the Holy See concerning the Congregation of the Mission after 1876. As soon as the nature and quality of the material is known, a decision will be made as to the way of placing it at everyone's disposition.
5.We have the same concern with regard to the conferences given at European Sessions and at CIF. We are in the process of gathering the material in order to proceed with an evaluation of the whole so that we can determine how to diffuse what would be of most significant interest in the field of Vincentian studies.
6.We have asked the collaboration of some confreres in composing a thematic list of books useful for the Vincentian formation of our students. As soon as this work is completed, we will send the results to all the Visitors.
7.We have received from several provinces information on the Vincentian studies organizations. This has been very interesting and suggested to us the idea of proceeding with a more complete census of these organizations so that we might know all of them as far as possible. To this end, we are sending them a form to complete in order to obtain the same information from all. The project then foresees publishing the information received in order to create a network of collaboration.
8.A session on Islam has been programmed for 1999. After an initial phase of study, we are now moving on to the direct preparation. To this end, the Superior General has named a preparatory commission. The session will be for confreres who are directly involved with the Islamic world. The purpose of this session is that the participants might share on their situation and the problems which they confront, reflect on their commitment in this milieu and offer propositions for sensitizing the Congregation on this subject. The session will last around ten days.
The next meeting of SIEV is scheduled for September 1998 in Italy.
In the name of all the members of SIEV, I wish to thank anyone wishing to send us suggestions or advice in order to help us improve our work at the service of all.
20 November 1997
Roberto Lovera, C.M.
Executive Secretary of SIEV