Mission et Charité

Mission et Charité was a publication undertaken by the scholarly André Dodin, C.M. (1911-1996), with the help of his close friend and colleague, Maurice Vansteenkiste, C.M. (1915-2007), trained in biblical studies. Its purpose was highlighted on its nearly invariable cover, Doctrine, Action. Similar to the Petites Annales published 1900-1903, this journal sought to explore the dynamism of the teaching of Vincent de Paul. Coming after the celebration of the tercentenary of the deaths of Saints Louise de Marillac and Vincent de Paul, it intended to continue the interest and advances made at that time. Also like the Petites Annales, its purpose was not to supplant the Annales de la Congrégation de la Mission, but to supplement that publication. In fact, however, the Annales ceased publication in 1963.

Mission et Charité began publishing in January 1961 and continued until its final number in June 1970. Scheduled to appear four times a year, it often managed to publish only three times a year, but in this case used two issue numbers simultaneously. In general, it averaged about 100 pages per issue. The final number had been planned as 19-20, for 1965, but delays kept it unpublished until it came out as the issue for January-June 1970. Its special importance is that it collected and published materials that supplemented the edition of the correspondence, conferences and documents of Saint Vincent de Paul published by Pierre Coste, 1920-1925.

Later issues concentrated on themes, such as the work of Père Pouget, or on other topics of the day, many of which were being discussed at the Second Vatican Council: famine, peace, renewal, ecumenism, tradition. Father Dodin sought authors among his confreres in the Congregation, as well as from friends in the scholarly world. One name that appears occasionally is Jules Melot, a pseudonym for Raymond Chalumeau, C.M. To help researchers, the text is searchable electronically. In addition, there are two indices. The first was a work of Vansteenkiste. It consists of a list of articles, arranged thematically, appearing at the end of numbers 35-36. The second, by François Garnier, is a privately made index, typewritten and corrected by hand. In a separate file, it consists principally of names of persons and places mentioned in the 36 numbers of Mission et Charité.

John E. Rybolt, C.M., December 2008

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