The Jubilee Year (8/12/2016 – 10/12/2017) will give every national and local AIC group a chance to celebrate our 400th anniversary together, with all the volunteers, all the most disadvantaged people and everyone else with whom we work and who supports us in our services. It will also give us an opportunity to renew our commitment to greater “affective and effective” service, and work within the Vincentian Family in order to change the structures that foster poverty within our communities.
The celebration of the 400th anniversary of our foundation will also be a wonderful occasion to deepen our Vincentian charism, promote among those around us everything that drives our commitment as volunteers within our association (our charism and our actions), attract and enthuse new volunteers and partners into joining us, and look ahead to the future… towards 2117!!
Important dates and events
At international level
- AIC International Assembly of Delegates, in Châtillon from 12th to 15th March 2017
- Theme: “400 years with Saint Vincent, on a journey towards the future in our Common Home”
- Invitation of 400 participants from the 53 national AIC member Associations [Link to our webpage on the Assembly, and the button to register]
- Promotion of participation in the Vincentian Family’s global initiative to celebrate 400 years of our charism
- Theme: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me…”, welcoming refugees, migrants, the displaced or those subject to discrimination, the homeless, single people, etc. into our communities.
- Invitation to all presidents to send their concrete proposals to AIC International, to bring this initiative to life within the AIC network, in specific projects. [Links to the relevant Vincentian Family web page and to our own web page about the Vincentian Family]
At local and national level
- 7th March 2017: Conference at the Centre Sèvres (35 bis Rue de Sèvres, 75006 Paris) at 7:15pm organised by AIC France, on the topic: “From Saint Vincent to Pope Francis, modernity and the challenges of loving our neighbour…”
- 8th March 2017: High Mass in Notre-Dame de Paris at midday, with Cardinal Vingt Trois presiding, attended by all the “Friends of Saint Vincent”: volunteers from AIC France (ESV), the people who they support in their work, AIC members from all over the world, members of the Vincentian Family, donors, friends, etc. After this celebration, a journey by boat is planned along the River Seine, for people supported by AIC France volunteers.
- Throughout the year: All AIC groups are invited to take the opportunity offered by this Jubilee Year to organise their own pilgrimages to the main Vincentian places in France. In order to help with the organisation of these pilgrimages, some practical guides have been produced for Châtillon, Dax/Le Berceau and Paris. [Link to our web page about the pilgrimages]
- Celebrations in Châtillon on the “anniversary dates”:
- From 20th to 23rd August 2017: Three days of spiritual renewal with Saint Vincent de Paul to celebrate the foundation of the First Confraternity of Charity in 1617, known today as the International Association of Charities (AIC) around the world, and as Equipes Saint Vincent (ESV) (St Vincent Teams) in France.
- From 8th to 23rd December 2017: celebration of the official foundation of the First “Confraternity of Charity”.
- Elsewhere in the AIC network:
- In the Philippines, the AIC volunteers have produced a calendar to commemorate the 400th anniversary.
- In the UK, AIC volunteers are celebrating with Masses in 3 different places across the country on 3 different dates (London – 25th February, Liverpool – 24th June, Carfin (Scotland) – 30th September).
- AIC-USA has created a 400th anniversary celebration guide, a recommitment ceremony and a new website especially dedicated to celebrating the Jubilee Year: aic-usa400.org.
- AIC-Mexico has managed to get images evoking AIC’s 400th Anniversary printed on the Mexican National Lottery tickets for the prize draw taking place on 27th September. Some local AIC-Mexico groups have decided to offer the people they support a lottery ticket so that they can participate in the draw.
The Jubilee is the result of 4 years of preparation…
- 2013-2014: Period dedicated to the deeper understanding of our charism:
- AIC volunteers were sent 2 training booklets (2013) and then 12 monthly spiritual reflections (2014) intended to remind them of the specific details of our association, in terms of its present structure and organisation, as well as the spirit and method of Saint Vincent’s project. [Link to Publications page]
- 2015-2016: A period for Communications (“Making our association better known”):
- Drafting of an AIC Charter, the purpose of which is to explain our identity as an association. The AIC Charter was sent out in 10 parts and each group of volunteers was invited to work on them as a team. A single document will then be produced, taking volunteers’ suggestions into account.
- Creation of a Facebook page in September 2015
- Creating a logo and slogan relating to this celebration.
- Developing a new website.
- Gathering video testimonies from national associations, in order to produce a promotional video about AIC