Congregatio Missionis (Latin)
|Abbreviation||Postnominal initials: CM|
|Established||April 17, 1625|
|Founder||Vincent de Paul|
|Founded at||Paris, France|
|Type||Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right (for Men)|
Via dei Capasso 30, 00164 Rome, Italy
|3,100 as of 2021|
Evangelizare pauperibus misit me
He sent me to bring Good News to the poor
|Fr. Toma? Mavri?, C.M.|
|Nuntia and Vincentiana|
The Congregation of the Mission (Latin: Congregatio Missionis) is a Roman Catholic society of apostolic life of Pontifical Right for men (priests and brothers) founded by Vincent de Paul. It is associated with the Vincentian Family, a loose federation of organizations which claims Vincent de Paul as their founder or Patron. They are popularly known as Vincentians, Paules, Lazarites, Lazarists, or Lazarians. Its members add the nominal letters CM which is the acronym of its official name in Latin, after their names to indicate membership in the Congregation.
The Congregation has its origin in the successful mission to the common people conducted by Vincent de Paul and five other priests on the estates of the Gondi family. More immediately it dates from 1624, when the little community acquired a permanent settlement in the Collège des Bons Enfants in Paris, which later became a seminary under the name of St. Firmin. The first missions of the Lazarists were in the suburbs of Paris and in Picardy and Champagne. Archiepiscopal recognition was obtained in 1626. By a papal bull on January 12, 1633, the society was constituted a congregation, with Vincent de Paul as its head. About the same time the canons regular of St. Victor handed over to the congregation the priory of St. Lazarus (formerly a lazar-house) in Paris, hence the name of Lazarites or Lazarists.
Within a few years they had acquired another house in Paris and set up other establishments throughout France; missions were also sent to Italy (1638), Tunis (1643), Algiers and Ireland (1646), Madagascar (1648), Poland (1651), and Turkey (1783). A bull of Alexander VII in April 1655 further confirmed the society; this was followed by a brief in September of the same year, regulating its constitution. The rules then adopted, which were framed on the model of those of the Jesuits, were published at Paris in 1668 under the title Regulae seu constitutiones communes congregationis missionis. The special objects contemplated were the religious instruction of the poor, the training of the clergy, and foreign missions.
On the eve of the French Revolution, St. Lazare was plundered by the mob and the congregation later suppressed; it was restored by Napoleon in 1804 at the desire of Pius VII, abolished by him in 1809 in consequence of a quarrel with the pope, and again restored in 1816. The Lazarists were expelled from Italy in 1871 and from Germany in 1873.
The Lazarite province of Poland was singularly prosperous; at the date of its suppression in 1796 it possessed thirty-five establishments. The religious institute was permitted to return in 1816, where it is very active. In Madagascar it had a mission from 1648 until 1674. In 1783 Lazarists were appointed to take the place of the Jesuits in the Levantine and Chinese missions; and in 1874 their establishments throughout the Ottoman Empire numbered sixteen. In addition, they established branches in Persia, Abyssinia, Mexico, the South American republics, Portugal, Spain, and Russia, some of which have been suppressed. In the same year they had fourteen establishments in the United States of America.
As of 2021, the Vincentians number about 3,100 worldwide, with a presence in 95 different countries. Its specific apostolate is the evangelization of the poor and the formation of the clergy. As of 2017 , Toma? Mavri? is the incumbent worldwide superior general of the Congregation of the Mission, elected during the community's general assembly on July 5, 2016.
On August 30, 2007, The Catholic University of America, (with the Opus Prize 2004 Foundation, affiliated with The Opus Group), announced that it would award on November 8 a $1-million and two $100,000 Humanity prizes to finalist organizations which contributed to solve most persistent social problems: John Adams (of So Others Might Eat which serves the poor and homeless in Washington, DC); Stan Goetschalckx (founder and director of AHADI International Institute in Tanzania which educates refugees from Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi); and Bebot Carcellar of the Vincentian Missionaries Social Development Foundation. On November 8, 2007, David M. O'Connell, president of Catholic University, personally bestowed these Opus Prizes at the university's Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.
In 2008 the Vincentian family marked 150 years in the Philippines, led by the provincial Bienvenido M. Disu, Gregorio L. Bañaga, President of Adamson University, and Archbishop Jesus Dosado of the Archdiocese of Ozamiz. The Philippine province has a deacon, 5 incorporated brothers, and 97 priests. Its most impressive work in its history is the housing program for hundreds of families, especially those affected by demolitions and relocations along the Philippine North and South Railways (PNR) tracks.
The CBCP Newsletter announced on July 10, 2008, the appointment of the Philippine Marcelo Manimtim as director of Paris-based Centre International de Formation (CIF). Manimtim is the first Asian to hold the office.
In 1991, Carcellar was assigned to Payatas. With his "Planning for a new home, Systemic Change Strategy," he organized Philippine massive home constructions, which he began by a savings program at Payatas dumpsite. Carcellar's "The Homeless Peoples Federation Philippines, Inc. (HPFPI)" provided slum dwellers of Iloilo City and Mandaue City with initiatives to survive poverty. In 2008 it promoted savings in Southeast Asia, since the Philippine Federation affiliated with an international network called "Slum/Shack Dwellers International".
Another, younger Vincentian was also assigned by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales as the Coordinator of the Housing Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila.
On September 28, 2007, Philippine Vice President Noli De Castro welcomed the launching of the Vincentian Center for Social Responsibility (VCSR) by the Adamson University. VCSR intends to engage the Adamson's academic community more deeply and directly in nation-building and to directly respond to Millennium Development Goals' poverty alleviation initiatives in the country. De Castro also cited the Adamson University and a Vincentian priest named Fr. Riles for their efforts in putting up the VCSR.
VCSR is also responsible for the creation of the Vincentian Facilitators (VF), the Academic Social Responsibility (ASR), the Academic Social Entrepreneurship (ASE), and the Academic Social Journalism (ASJ) at the Vincentian-owned Adamson University. Through VCSR, the movement towards academic social networking has become a reality in the university. VCSR is also responsible for organizing the First Northville and Southville People's Congress, consisting of around 750,000 relocatees from Metro Manila and suburb cities and the municipalities of Cavite, Bulacan and Laguna.
The Vincentians came to the United States in 1816 and two years later established St. Mary's of the Barrens seminary. They founded Niagara University (1856), St. John's University (1870), and DePaul University (1898).
The Western Province has a mission in Kenya, where in conjunction with parish ministry they have initiated water projects to provide clean water to the community.
The New England Province was founded in 1904 by Vincentians from Poland. They staff parishes in New York and Connecticut. The Provincial headquarters is in Manchester, Connecticut.
Members of the congregation include:
The religious institute runs the following institutions of higher education:
Institutions formerly run by the institute:
The Vincentian fathers also run a number of secondary schools, most notably in Dublin, Ireland, where the order is in charge of two such institutions.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Congregation of Priests of the Mission". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.