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The Congregation of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul marks its 400th Anniversary with major renovation of its Motherhouse in Paris


As the Congregation of the Mission (CM) approaches its 400th anniversary in 2025, the religious community founded by St. Vincent de Paul is renovating its Motherhouse, located in the heart of Paris, where St. Vincent’s relics are enshrined, his presence deeply felt, and his legacy advanced.

The Congregation of the Mission (CM) will celebrate its 400th anniversary in many ways throughout its provinces around the world. The Province of France will welcome three special groups at the motherhouse during the spring of 2025. The first is a gathering of the bishops of the CM (CM priests who were later ordained bishop). The second is a gathering of all the provincials of the world. The third is a gathering of the provincials and other members of their provinces. Each of these groups will spend time in retreat and additional time in meetings and discussions. Central to all of these will be celebrating Eucharist in the St. Vincent dePaul Chapel where his presence is deeply felt. This careful renovation is preserving the historic nature and beauty of of the Maison Mère while better equipping is to serve as the international center of not only of the Congregation of the Mission but of the whole Vincentian family which numbers more than two million. This anniversary serves as an opportunity for everyone who honors St. Vincent’s legacy to renew themselves, just as the Maison Mère is being renewed, to serve even more energetically and effectively, the least of their brothers and sisters.

Fr. Tomaž Mavrič, Superior General Congregation of the Mission, commented on this historic landmark:

“We want the Maison Mère to be the most special place where people encounter St. Vincent and learn his way of holiness. As we celebrate 400 years of the CM, we invite everyone to come to Maison Mère to pray and rest, study and serve, encounter and reflect so that we, the entire Vincentian Family, live more fully the mission St. Vincent started. Place for the closing of our 400. I hope our Maison Mère will become a home for everyone who visits.” 

Maison Mère —What to Expect

The Maison Mère welcomes many guests who seek spiritual enrichment, especially members of the Vincentian Family, pilgrims and people of faith. With comfortable guest rooms, state-of-the-art facilities for technological needs, and flexible meeting rooms, the Maison Mère has become an ideal place for many groups and organizations to meet, plan, connect, and grow, especially those who want to delve into the profound legacy of St. Vincent de Paul. As a place of solace, inspiration, and community, Maison Mère in 2024 emerges not only as a historical landmark but as a vibrant hub for the holistic growth and engagement of all who pass through its doors.

A History of Hospitality and Service

The Maison Mère, situated at 95 rue de Sèvres in Paris is the successor to the original motherhouse of the CM, ancient priory of Saint Lazare (formerly) on the outskirts of Paris where St. Vincent moved his young congregation in 1632. Here the CM grew and thrived. It also was there that St. Vincent died in 1660. The Congregation lost its first motherhouse in the upheavals of the French Revolution.

In 1817, government provided the Vincentians the former home of the Duke of Lorges at 95 rue de Sèvres, Maison Mère’s current location. The Congregation, over the next several decades, adapted, renovated, and expanded the building, acquiring adjacent properties, as needed.

In 2006, the French state made the CM owners of their Motherhouse and its land. In 2019, at a world-wide meeting of the Vincentian provincials, the Province of France invited the whole Congregation to support the renovation of the Maison Mère. 

Fr. Mark Pranaitis, who helps coordinate the renovation project said: 

“With the renovation of all  guest rooms nearing completion, we are welcoming more guests into this holy and lively house. We have more renovation to do, especially on the exteriors of our buildings, and, God willing, we will complete it in the next few years. In the meantime, guests happily come for masses in chapel, meals in our beautiful dining room, and meetings in our increasingly snazzy meeting rooms. We are here. We are open. We are ready. You are welcome.”

A Comprehensive Renovation that Looks to the Future

Today, the Maison Mère stands as an example of the CM’s commitment to its historic roots and engagement of its renewed and expanded mission of evangelizing service to people in need with the whole Vincentian Family. This house with its gracious courtyard, and a large private garden,  is being readied for a future that aligns with the ever-growing Vincentian Family around the world. As Paris remains the historic center of the Vincentian Family, the Maison Mère is uniquely positioned to serve as a hub for exploration, design, and commitment to weaving together a tighter web of charity and justice.

The Maison Mère is poised to fulfill a vision that echoes from the earliest days of the CM: “From Paris to the World. From the World to Paris.” This renewed Motherhouse represents not only a physical space but a spiritual center where the brothers and sisters in the Vincentian Family will grow in holiness as they become better servants of others, especially the most marginalized. The Maison Mère is not just a destination; it is the epicenter of a global movement dedicated to living out the dignity that all, as children of God, inherently deserve.

As the Maison Mère opens its doors more widely, people find here a dynamic force that helps them expand their awareness of their mission, fulfill it more effectively, and grow in holiness. The Vincentian Family seeks to have a transformative impact on the world, just as St. Vincent did in his day. 

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