Congregation of the Mission
Latin: Congregatio Missionis
NicknameVincentians, Paules, Lazarites, Lazarists, Lazarians
EstablishedApril 17, 1625; 398 years ago (April 17, 1625)
FounderVincent de Paul
Founded atParis, France
TypeSociety of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right (for Men)[1]
HeadquartersGeneral Motherhouse
Via dei Capasso 30, 00164 Rome, Italy[2]
3,100 as of 2021
Evangelizare pauperibus misit me

He sent me to bring Good News to the poor
Superior General
Tomaž Mavrič, CM[2]
Saint Vincent de Paul, CM
Main organ
Nuntia and Vincentiana
Father Franssen, head of the French Vincentian Mission in Urumiah, Iran (c. 1934)

The Congregation of the Mission (Latin: Congregatio Missionis), abbreviated CM and commonly called the Vincentians or Lazarists, is a Catholic society of apostolic life of pontifical right for men founded by Vincent de Paul. It is associated with the Vincentian Family, a loose federation of organizations who look to St Vincent de Paul as their founder or patron.


Main article: Vincent de Paul

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 Vincentians were in the suburbs of Paris and in Picardy and Champagne.[3] 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 their priory of Saint Lazare (formerly a lazar-house or leper hospital) in Paris, which led to its members being popularly known as 'Lazarists.[4]

Within a few years the Vincentians 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. Its special aims were the religious instruction of the poor, the training of the clergy, and foreign missions.[4]

On the eve of the French Revolution, Saint Lazare was plundered by the mob and the congregation was 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 Vincentians were expelled from Italy in 1871 and from Germany in 1873.[4]

The Vincentian province of Poland was singularly prosperous; at the date of its suppression in 1796 it possessed thirty-five establishments. The Congregation of the Mission was permitted to return in 1816, where it is very active. In Madagascar it had a mission from 1648 until 1674. In 1783 Vincentians 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 missions in Persia, Abyssinia, Mexico, the South American republics, Portugal, Spain, and Russia, some of which were later suppressed. In the same year they had fourteen establishments in the United States of America.[4]

Present day

As of 2021, the Vincentians number about 3,100 worldwide, with a presence in 95 different countries.[1] Its specific apostolate remains the evangelization of the poor and the formation of the clergy. As of 2017, Tomaž Mavrič is the incumbent worldwide superior general of the Congregation of the Mission, elected during its general assembly on July 5, 2016.[5]

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 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);[6] 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.[7]


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. A major work is the housing program for hundreds of families, especially those affected by demolitions and relocations along the Philippine North and South Railways tracks.

The CBCP[clarification needed] Newsletter announced on July 10, 2008, the appointment of the Philippine Marcelo Manimtim as director of Paris-based Centre International de Formation. Manimtim is the first Asian to hold the office.[8]

Housing programs

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" 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".[9]

Another, younger Vincentian was also assigned by Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales as the Coordinator of the Housing Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila.

Vincentian Center for Social Responsibility

On September 28, 2007, Philippine Vice President Noli De Castro welcomed the launching of the Vincentian Center for Social Responsibility[10] by the Adamson University. The center 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.[11] De Castro also cited the Adamson University and a Vincentian priest named Fr. Riles for their efforts in putting up the Vincentian Center.

The Vincentian Center for Social Responsibility is also responsible for the creation of the Vincentian Facilitators, the Academic Social Responsibility, the Academic Social Entrepreneurship, and the Academic Social Journalism at the Vincentian-owned Adamson University. Through the Vincentian Center, the movement towards academic social networking has become a reality in the university. It is also responsible for organizing the First Northville and Southville People's Congress,[12] consisting of around 750,000 relocatees from Metro Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Bulacan and Laguna.

United States of America

The Vincentians travelled to the United States in 1816 and two years later established St. Mary's of the Barrens seminary.[13] They founded Niagara University (1856), St. John's University (1870), and DePaul University (1898).[14]

The Western Province of the USA has a mission in Kenya, where in conjunction with parish ministry water projects have been initiated to provide clean water to the people.[14]

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.[15]

Prominent members of the congregation

Members of the congregation include:


The religious congregation runs the following institutions of higher education:

Institutions formerly run by the Congregation:

Secondary schools

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.

See also


  1. ^ a b Congregation of the Mission (Global)
  2. ^ a b "Congregation of the Mission (C.M.)", GCatholic
  3. ^ Randolph, Bartholomew. "Congregation of Priests of the Mission", The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 11 September 2021Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ a b c d  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lazarites". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 313.
  5. ^ "Rev. Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM – new Superior General". 2016 General Assembly. 2016-07-05. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  6. ^ Salmon, Jacqueline L. "Catholic Activist Wins $1 Million For Helping Educate African Exiles". Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  7. ^ com/multihousing/content_display/industry-news/e3ib3ddb8f568344814727b8da007499fc6 Multi-Housing News, Opus Group Announces Finalists of $1M Humanity Prize Archived 2007-09-20 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Filipino priest appointed new director of Paris-based institution". GMA News Online. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  9. ^ "Systemic Change: Involve the poor at all stages". FAMVIN NewsEN. 2008-05-25. Archived from the original on 2008-06-19. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  10. ^ "Manila Bulletin Online". 2007-12-20. Archived from the original on 2007-12-20. Retrieved 2017-07-10.((cite news)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  11. ^ "The Philippines Fifth Progress Report - Millennium Development Goals". The National Economic and Development Authority. 2014-08-19. Archived from the original on 2017-01-06. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  12. ^ "Adamson University - News - September 2008". Archived from the original on 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
  13. ^ "History", Kenrick-Glennon Seminary
  14. ^ a b Congregation of the Mission, Western Province
  15. ^ Congregation of the Mission, New England Province

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Congregation of Priests of the Mission". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.