Information Sheet on the work

and decisions of SIEV

nº 4 - October 1999

The members of SIEV, Frs. Jean-Yves Ducourneau, John Prager, Kazimierz Stelmach, Julio Suescun, Roberto Lovera, Executive Secretary, and José María Nieto, delegate from the Curia, held their annual meeting in Rome, at the General Curia, on 7-8 October 1999. The Superior General, Fr. Robert Maloney, also participated in part of the meeting.

The Statutes of SIEV were reexamined in order to determine if its structure and the service it is called on to carry out for the Congregation are up-to-date. Some modifications to the Statutes were suggested. The corrected text was approved by the Superior General and his council and will be published in Vincentiana so that it can be known by everyone.

One of the major aspects studied while the Statutes were being examined was the way to maintain ties and guarantee exchange of information with the Vincentian studies organisms present in the various provinces or regions of the world. Actually, SIEV is aware of the existence of around ten such organisms and wants to maintain close ties with them so as to know each one's projects in order to coordinate them as much as possible and not duplicate the initiatives of SIEV with those of the other organisms.

During the meeting the results of the Symposium on Islam which took place in Beirut, Lebanon in the summer of 1999 were also studied. Some 50 confreres and Daughters of Charity from many provinces participated. In addition, there were confreres and Daughters of Charity from the Province of the Orient and some lay Vincentians working in Lebanon. The texts of the talks and of many testimonies were recently published in an issue of Vincentiana. This year a document, addressed to all the members of the Congregation, will be published by the Superior General and his council on relations with Islam.

With the collaboration of SIEV, a Vincentian Month for the Directors of the Daughters of Charity is in preparation. It will take place in July 2001 in Paris. Also under study for 2002 is a Vincentian Month for the Advisors (Chaplains) to the Vincentian Groups. The commission charged with its preparation will soon be named.

SIEV has abandoned the project of creating a CD ROM with Vincentian texts because actually there are already available several CDs made by individual confreres or Publishing Houses of the Congregation. For its part, SIEV will collaborate fully with whoever might need help in this field.

For the same reason, the project to prepare a computerized archive of images of Vincentian subjects has also been shelved.

Under study is a close collaboration for the development of the web site. Fr. John Freund is principally in charge (web master) and looks after the English language pages, Fr. Philippe Lamblin the French language, while Fr. Julio Suescun, a member of SIEV, handles the Spanish language. The web page could become one of the continuously updated instruments for Vincentian formation.

In preparation for the 2nd centenary of the birth of St. John Gabriel Perboyre (2002), SIEV will personally contact all the Visitors and many confreres involved in Vincentian historical studies in order to find a certain number of confreres available to study particular aspects of the saint's figure and work. If there is a good response, each one will be asked to develop the topic selected by December 2001 and it will be assessed whether to publish the results or bring them to the awareness of all in a conference. This research could become very useful material for a future critical historical biography. No information has reached us from the invitation addressed to the Visitors last year to encourage some university students to choose as the theme of their own thesis the life and work of Perboyre.

The 2nd centenary of the birth and the 25th anniversary of the canonization of St. Justin de Jacobis fall in 2000. The Province of Naples took care of publishing one volume which groups together the six notebooks of the Saint's Diary. The official presentation of the book was held on 10 February 2000 in the presence of the Superior General. The publication of other volumes with de Jacobis' letters and homilies is planned. Also, the magazine Vincentiana is preparing a special issue dedicated to our sainted confrere.

SIEV encourages the Visitors of the older provinces to take to heart the study of the province's history. It would be good if more recently erected provinces began gathering carefully the “chronicle” of the most significant events so that they might serve as a basis for future historical studies.

Thanks to the work of Fr. Rolando Delagoza and Fr. Kazimierz Stelmach the collection of the Holy See's documents regarding the Vincentian Family from 1876 to the present is being completed. Once all the material has been gathered, it will be decided how to put it at the disposition of all those who might be interested.

The next meeting of SIEV is scheduled for 26-27 October 2000 in Rome.

Roberto Lovera, C.M.

Executive Secretary of SIEV

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