Congregation of the Mission

Congregation of the Mission
Abbreviation CM, Vincentians, Lazarists
Motto Evangelizare pauperibus misit me
Formation 1625
Key people
Saint Vincent de Paul — founder

Congregation of the Mission (Congregatio Missionis; abbreviated as "C.M." in the Roman Catholic Church) is a vowed Roman Catholic society of apostolic life of priests and brothers founded by St. Vincent de Paul. It is associated with the Vincentian Family, a loose federation of organizations who claim St. Vincent de Paul as their founder or Patron. They are popularly known as Vincentians, or Paules, Lazarites, Lazarists and Lazarians.


The Congregation has its origin in the successful mission to the common people conducted by Saint Vincent de Paul and five other priests on the estates of the Gondi family.[1] More immediately it dates from 1624, when the little community acquired a permanent settlement in the Collège des Bons Enfants in Paris. Archiepiscopal recognition was obtained in 1626. By a papal bull — on January 12, 1633 — the society was constituted a congregation, with St. 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, whence 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 fresh 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, 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.

In the early 21st century, the Lazarites numbered some 4000 worldwide, with a presence in 86 different countries. Father G. Gregory Gay III, C.M, of Baltimore, is the incumbent worldwide superior general of the Congregation of the Mission, elected during the community's general assembly (June 5–29, 2004) in Rome.[2]

Opus Prize Finalist

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 finalists organizations which contributed to solve most persistent social problems: Father John Adams (of SOME (So Others Might Eat), which serves the poor and homeless in Washington, D.C.); Brother Stan Goetschalckx, F.C, (founder and director of AHADI International Institute in Tanzania, which educates refugees from Congo, Rwanda and Burundi); and Vincentian priest, Fr. Bebot Carcellar, C.M. of the Vincentian Missionaries Social Development Foundation. On November 8, 2007, Rev. David M. O’Connell, CM, president of Catholic University personally bestowed these Opus Prizes at the university's Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center.[3][4][5][6][7][8]


On 2008, the Vincentian family marks its 150 years in the Philippines. It is led by Fr. Bienvenido M. Disu, CM, Provincial, Fr. Gregorio L. Bañaga, Jr,CM,Ph.D. President of Adamson University and Ozamiz, Mindanao Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado. It has a deacon, 5 incorporated brothers and 97 priests. Its most impressive work in its history is the housing program for hundreds of families specially those affected by demolitions and relocations in the Philippine North and South Railways (PNR) tracks.

The CBCP Newsletter announced on July 10, 2008, the appointment of Fr Marcelo Manimtim, C.M. as director of Paris-based Centre International de Formation (CIF). Manimtim is the first Asian to hold the office.[9]

Housing programs

In 1991, Fr. Carcellar, C.M, was assigned to Payatas. With his "Planning for a new homeSystemic Change Strategy," he organized Philippines massive home constructions, which he began by the savings program in Payatas dumpsite. Fr. Carcellar's "The Homeless Peoples Federation Philippines, Inc. (HPFPI)" provided slum dwellers of Iloilo City and Mandaue City, initiatives to survive poverty. On 2008, it promoted savings in Southeast Asia, since the Philippine Federation affiliated with an international network called “Slum/Shack Dwellers International.”[10][11]

Another younger Vincentian was also assigned by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales as the Coordinator of the Housing Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila. He sits at local Inter-agency meetings in order to negotiate better houses and social services for the informal settlers, as well as livelihood programs for them. He also represents the Church in the Metro Manila Inter-agency Committee on Shelter (MMIACS)in order to access funds for, and makes policies and guidelines for the housing rights of the informal settlers of Metro Manila.

Vincentian Center for Social Responsibility (VCSR)

On September 28, 2007, Philippine Vice President Noli De Castro welcomed the launching of the Vincentian Center for Social Responsibility (VCSR)[12] by the Adamson University. VCSR intends to engage the Adamson's academic community more deeply and directly in nation-building and directly respond to the MDG's poverty alleviation initiatives in the country. De Castro also cited the Adamson University and a Vincentian priest named Fr. Riles[13] for their efforts in putting up the VCSR: “it is high time we introduce to students a concept of brotherhood that is not based on exclusivity ...At mas natutuwa ako na ang napili ninyong pilot community ay ang Southville relocation site sa Cabuyao (Laguna).”[14]

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[15] is also responsible for organizing the First Northville and Southville People's Congress,[16] consisting of around 750,000 relocatees from Metro Manila and suburb cities and municipalities of Cavite, Bulacan and Laguna.

Members of the congregation

Members of the congregation include:


The religious institute runs the following institutions of higher education:

Institutions formerly run by the institute:

Secondary Schools

The Vincentian fathers also run a number of second level schools, most notably in Dublin, Ireland where the order is in charge of two such institutions.

See also



External links

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