Presenter Information

John E. Rybolt C.M., Ph.D.


From its beginning, the Congregation has worked in education, although until recently this was seen to conflict with its primary focus on missions. However, its involvement began with Vincent de Paul’s interest in instructing poor persons in religion. Vincent was also concerned with the reform of the clergy, so the Congregation became heavily committed to seminaries. Seminaries became especially important to the rebuilding of the French church after the Revolution. After the Jesuits’ suppression, the Vincentians took over many of their secondary schools and replaced the Jesuits at universities. In many international missions, the Vincentians intended to start seminaries but ended up fulfilling the need for general Catholic education. Today, their universities help poor persons advance and cultivate faculty and fellow students’ awareness of the poor. This is now essential to the Congregation’s mission. Vincentian institutions from around the world are profiled. Formation is also discussed.