(Written by Guido Kelly, ONRC Twinning Chair)

Some Vincentians may ask these questions, “What is TWINNING?”, “What does it mean for our Society?”, “How does Twinning work?”

“TWINNING” is the term given to the very act of SSVP Conferences and Councils of more affluent countries reaching out and helping SSVP Conferences and Councils of less affluent countries. It is a means by which we share both monetarily and spiritually, thereby forming a bond between the members of the twinned Conferences and Councils. It is a bond by which members of the twinned Conferences/Councils celebrate the joy of serving and helping the poor.

“TWINNING” has always been an informal part of our Society on an international level. In 1979, the International Council General (ICG) at its Plenary Meeting issued a statement, “All monies collected in the name of the Society anywhere belong, in principle, to the poor of the world”. The ICG also recommended that all universal twinning be conducted in a north/south route around the world. Conferences/Councils in Canada are now twinned with Conferences/Councils in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

Once your Conference is “twinned”, communication with each other is of the utmost. At my home Conference of Annunciation of Our Lord, we are twinned with the Conference of the Miraculous Medallion in Lima, Peru. We get together on “SKYPE” and say the Rosary together at least once a year. This is usually a very uplifting experience. After the Rosary, they usually share the benefits of their works made possible by our monetary donations to them. The “JOY” expressed by our twin in serving the needy in their area, is then transferred to us (the Donor Twin) with that elevated feeling of “JOY”, hence the “JOY” of TWINNING.

“TWINNING” also opens a window on the culture and people of a foreign country. Vincentians develop an appreciation of the living conditions and injustices affecting those being helped as well as a desire to do more. Here in Hamilton our twins include:

“Conference of the Miraculous Medallion” in Lima, Peru (2005); St. Francis of Assisi, St. John’s, Antigua, W.I. (2012); Superior Council of Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. (2013); and Conference Saint-Joseph de Marche Canard, Mirebalais, Haiti, W.I. (2019). This is therefore an invitation to all Conferences to examine their ability to share their resources and apply to become a “TWIN”. Since there is a need to create a new culture of international solidarity and cooperation around the world, we urge all Conferences to join the rest of us in the “JOY” of TWINNING.

P.S. Through TWINNING, we also get involved with Special Projects. The following page shows photos of a Project that the HPC Conferences were involved with in 2018 in the village of El Tule in Nicaragua. We provided the funds for the installation of 17 latrines for families in the village. The note is from the organization that arranged our involvement.

It is our joy to share with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (CANADA) the execution of this project that aims to transform the living conditions of people who for many years have been living in conditions that lack basic services in the development of children of God, our fellow human beings. See photos of the delivery of materials.