Presenter Information

James E. Smith C.M.


Vincent de Paul pioneered missions exclusively for the rural poor. France had badly trained and often vocationless clergy, and people were ill educated about their faith, especially in the country. The missions were free and conducted when the people were not working. Missioners would meet with local clergy in advance to address each parish’s specific needs. Missions consisted of sermons, two catechisms, confession, First and general Communion, and the resolution of personal disputes. Provisions were also made for the ongoing care of the parish’s poorest, usually with the establishment of Confraternities of Charity. Details on all aspects of the missions are given in the article.