on the work and decisions of SIEV

The members of SIEV, Frs. Julio Suescun Olcoz, John Prager, Kazimierz Stelmach, Roberto Lovera, Executive Secretary, and José María Nieto, delegate from the General Curia, held their annual meeting in Kraków, at the Provincial House, from 12-14 September 2002. Fr. Jean-Yves Ducourneau was not present due to pastoral commitments as chaplain of the French armed forces.

The seat of the annual meeting was chosen in context of the interest SIEV has for our most important historical archives. In 2001, in Paris, the archives of the Motherhouse, the Congregation's most important, were visited. This year, in Kraków, Fr. Uminski, who is responsible for the archives, guided the members of SIEV on its visit to the library and the archives of the Province of Poland. The visit was also an occasion for an exchange on the technics of archives and cataloging. Next year, the members of SIEV intend to visit the third large historical archive, that of Turin.

The secretary reported on the proceedings of the 2002 Vincentian Month directed toward the Advisors and Spiritual Councillors of the Vincentian lay groups, which was held in Paris during the month of July. Forty confreres, 60 Daughters of Charity, two religious from other Congregations and one laywoman participated. Many other laypersons from the various Vincentian branches participated during brief periods. The documentation on this month was published in Vincentiana, 2002, N° 4-5.

Among the initiatives planned and supported by SIEV in recent years, an initiative which has now reached a conclusion, was the publication of a series of studies on the figure of St. John Gabriel Perboyre. These studies were written by several confreres on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the saint's birth and were published in Vincentiana, 2002, N° 6.

The problem of animating some young confreres to specialize in Vincentian studies is being kept alive. For this, SIEV has suggested organizing a special meeting. The Superior General and his Council approved this project and offered some useful suggestions with regard to the method. Now SIEV will take care of organizing it.

Another project was presented, which already has the approval of the Superior General: to collect on a CD-Rom all the contents of the magazine Vincentiana beginning from 1995; that is, from the moment when it began to be published in three languages. This initiative hopes to offer to all confreres the possibility of being able to use easily all the material which the magazine published in those years. At present, it is seeking possible collaborators for this work.

A project to stimulate in-depth study of the social doctrine of the Church was drafted. This anticipates asking the collaboration of confreres who are experts in this field in order to publish a series of studies that dig into the social doctrine, making special reference to our vocation and our service of the poor.

The list of the most important documents of the Holy See with regard to the Congregation of the Mission and the Vincentian Family from 1878 onwards is almost finished. The editorial board of Vincentiana will be asked to publish this study in order to place it at the disposition of all the confreres.

This informative report is being sent with considerable delay with respect to the date of SIEV's meeting because during this period the Superior General and his Council reflected at length on the function and tasks of SIEV and on the possibility of restructuring it. For now, the Superior General has confirmed temporarily the members of SIEV who are finishing their mandates.

The next meeting of SIEV is planned, in principle, for September 2003 in Turin.

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