Summary of Congress 2023+

As it happened… Congress 2023+ 

St Vincent de Paul Society’s first national Congress since 2017 was held in Sydney from 27- 29 October, with 200-plus Members of the Society in attendance. After several months of planning and consultation, Delegates came together from around Australia and overseas (the USA and New Zealand), to discuss what changes and refinements could enhance the Conference model for the benefit of the people we serve. 

After a Welcome to Wongal Country by Uncle Brendan Kerrin and an Opening Liturgy, the National Council President, Mark Gaetani, welcomed delegates and thanked his predecessor, Claire Victory, for her wonderful service to the Society. He discussed how the intent of Congress 2023+ was to formulate ways of revitalising the Society at a time when charitable organisations are facing great pressure, including the increasing challenge of attracting volunteers. 

Mr Gaetani encouraged delegates to explore ways that might help us to better serve our Companions and to reshape the Society so that all Members can fulfil our mission to serve Christ in the poor.  

Guest speaker Claire Madden analysed trends shaping the generations across Australia. A panel chaired by Geraldine Doogue AO, which included Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv (Diocese of Parramatta), Andy Rajapakse (Rotary International) and Rebecca Bromhead (Society Member), discussed how faith-based organisations are adapting to new and changing circumstances. 

Closing Mass was conducted by Fr Alan Gibson CM, Provincial Superior of the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers in Oceania. 

Here are some of the highlights from our time together.   

Man wearing a white robe and green shawl is talking into a microphone

Two rows of people sitting and two rows of people standing

3 levels of people sitting and standing facing the camera for a group photo

3 rows of seated and standing people in a large group photo, all facing the camera

Images: Attendants at Congress 2023+ in Sydney - October 2023

A middle-aged women holding a microphone and a man with glasses looking at her

Image: Geraldine Doogue AO and Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv (Diocese of Parramatta)

Find out more about Congress 2023+

Journeying Together, Revitalising our Mission

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