The Congregation of the Mission celebrates January 25th as its “Foundation Day” but in reality the Congregation was not legally set up until 7 year laters on April 17, 1625. To celebrate the 396th anniversary of the founding of the Congregation of the Mission VinFormation has posted a SlideShare presentation. Visit the Vincentian Online Library for the history and related photos.
The history of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian Fathers) begins on January 25, 1617.
Vincent de Paul (1581) was ordained on September 23, 1600, at the age of nineteen or twenty. In 1612, he was named pastor of Saint-Medard in Clichy, a poor rural parish just northwest of Paris. As pastor, he experienced the priesthood in a way unknown to him to that point, and told the bishop he was happier than the bishop himself, and even the pope.
However, in less than a year, Cardinal Bérulle recalled him to Paris to become chaplain to the Gondi family and tutor to their children. In January of 1617, Vincent was on the Gondi estates in Picardy, and heard the confession of a dying man, who told Madame de Gondi that he would have been damned without Vincent’s ministry. She urged Vincent to preach a sermon on general confessions. He did it on January 25, 1617. His sermon produced such a response that other priests were called to help hear all the confessions.
The Friends of the John Paul II Foundation in New York each year honor Polish priests for the service and dedication extended to the foundation and Polonia. This year the honor was bestowed upon Fr. Marek Sobczak. This took place during the Banquet held on Sunday, June 5, 2011 at the Princess Manor in Greenpoint. In this manner we showed appreciation to St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish which is celebrating its 115th Anniversary and Fr. Marek, who is celebrating his 30th anniversary in priesthood. The banquet was attended by representatives of many Polish institutions, as well as priests from Polish parishes. The guests were greeted by Mr. Michael Pajak, President who offered a brief history and causes of the John Paul II Foundation. The invocation was given by Fr. Prelat and Canon of Holy Cross Parish, Fr. Peter Zendzian. The emcee of the event was George Czastkiewicz.
The Feast of the Conversion of St Paul on January 25 is celebrated as the Foundation Day of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian Priests and Brothers). On January 25, 1617, following an experience with a dying man at Gannes (northern France) some days earlier, Vincent de Paul preached a mission sermon in the Church at Folleville, a few leagues distant from Gannes. For Vincent de Paul, this was the day he came to understand his vocation, and he regarded this mission sermon at Folleville as the beginning of the Congregation of the Mission. The legal formalities for setting up the Congregation of the Mission took place in 1625.
Please pray today for new vocation to the Congregation of the Mission.
Please also pray for God’s blessings for our priests and brothers – especially those who work at our parish, and for eternal happiness for those of us who have passed away.