Vincentian Studies Collection Exhibit Opens to Celebrate 2016 National Assembly

From Monday, June 27 through Friday, July 15, 2016, DePaul University will host the 42nd General Assembly of the Congregation of the Mission. The Congregation of the Mission, whose members are commonly called the Vincentians, is a religious order of priests and brothers founded in France in 1617 by St. Vincent de Paul. DePaul is proud to be the host of the first General Assembly in the history of the Congregation to be held outside of Europe.

cropped-cropped-logo-AGsite-e1439226662599The Congregation holds a General Assembly every six years. Vincentians from all 35 provinces and vice provinces around the world (representing more than 3,000 priests and brothers) gather to reflect on the identity, spirit, and effectiveness of the Congregation in following its distinctive charism. General assemblies also elect or re-elect the Congregation’s international leadership. The present Superior General, St. Vincent’s 23rd successor, is the Rev. G. Gregory Gay, C.M.  His two terms in office will end, and a new superior general will be elected.  This year’s General Assembly coincides with both the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the first Vincentians in the United States and the 400th anniversary of the first sermon of the mission given by St. Vincent de Paul on January 25, 1617, the event traditionally considered as the genesis of the Congregation of the Mission.

1648 letter written by St. Vincent de Paul, current on exhibit in DePaul Special Collections
1648 letter written by St. Vincent de Paul and owned by DePaul, currently on exhibit in DePaul Special Collections

To celebrate the arrival of the General Assembly at DePaul, Special Collections and Archives has curated a small exhibit featuring some of the highlights of the Vincentian Studies Collection. The Vincentian Studies Collection includes books, maps, and ephemeral materials (illustrations, statues, and decorative objects), as well as archival materials, relating to the history and legacy of Sts. Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Elizabeth Bayley Seton, and other Vincentian figures, as well as the religious orders they founded and influenced.

The collection is comprised of over 20,000 individual objects, and ranges from books available to St. Vincent de Paul during his lifetime (1581-1660), materials published before 1818 and brought from Europe to the United States by the country’s first Vincentian missionaries, and more contemporary scholarship relating to the Vincentian Studies Institute based at DePaul. The bulk of these materials are held here at DePaul’s Department of Special Collections and Archives.

To view the exhibit Highlights of the Vincentian Studies Collection, please visit the Special Collections and Archives Department, located in room 314 of the John T. Richardson Library (2350 N. Kenmore Ave.). For more information, please visit http://library.depaul.edu/special-collections. For more information about the General Assembly, please visit http://ag2016.cmglobal.org/en.

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