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Society's Prayer

From The Spiritual Director

I am delighted, and feel highly privileged to be asked to write the introduction of this latest edition of the National Manual for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP).

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in France by Blessed Frederic Ozanam in 1833 and extended to Nigeria in 1960. Blessed Frederic chose St. Vincent de Paul (the apostle of charity of the Universal church) as the Patron Saint of the Society. The Society belongs to the wider family of the Vincentians.

The first Nigerian edition of this Manual was published under the auspices of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in 1984. The late Cardinal Dominic Ekandem of blessed memory described the first edition as “Zealously compiled”.

We are deeply indebted to the daughters for their immense contribution to the Society. This new manual is a review and an enrichment of the old one. In the spirit of Vatican II Council, the Council General of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Society worldwide has recommended the updating of the previous Manuals of each country to reflect the needs of different cultures without watering down the spirit of the Society. The primitive aim of the Society remains intact but gives room for local adaptations.

We owe a huge gratitude to the members of the drafting committee under the chairmanship of our legal icon, Justice A. P. B. Utsaha, National Legal Adviser who worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances to produce this masterpiece. We are blessed with men and women who are available to sacrifice their time, skill and energy to work selflessly.

In sum, I want to thank the Council General of St. Vincent de Paul for recommending this review to reflect the needs of all cultures in the church, in the spirit of Vatican II which insists that the faith should wear a local garb whenever it exists. We pray to God that this new Manual will put a greater energy in our work. We pray for the poor, our masters that we serve. As we serve to see Christ in them may they see Christ also in us.

Rev.Fr. Joachim Nwaorgu, CM
National Spiritual Director