On June 13, during the General Assembly of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul held in Rome (Italy), brother Juan Manuel Buergo Gómez from Spain was elected the 17th President General International for a six-year term (2023/2029).
Juan Manuel Buergo obtained a majority in the first round of voting and replaces Brazilian brother Renato Lima de Oliveira, the 16th President General, who completes his term of office in September.
Juan Manuel is married and has two children. He lives in Madrid and is retired. He has a diploma in Economics and Business Administration (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and a Master's Degree in Construction Management (Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid).
He joined the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in 1992. He has been, ever since, a member of the San Isidro Conference. Conference members carry out home visits and provide support to other conferences with fewer resources (human and economic) in the Madrid region. This conference is very active and even operates a food and clothing warehouse.
Juan Manuel has a lot of experience and a very complete Vincentian curriculum. He is the current National President of Spain, with a mandate ending in 2025. He exercised previously the functions of treasurer (1994/1998) and vice-president (2013/2016) at the Council. He is also coordinator of the Vincentian Family in Spain. He has served in various capacities within the Council General, including "Coordinator Zone 3 - Europe 1, and 3rd Assistant General Vice-president, responsible for the areas of solidarity, special projects, governance, communication and strategic affairs.
"If elected President General, I will act as a servant leader. I will faithfully promote the unity of our Society with a team dedicated to the spiritual growth of our members and loyalty to the Rule," stressed our fellow member. The proposals that Juan Manuel Buergo presented during the electoral process, with some ideas and projects for the future, are available on the website of the Council General International (www.ssvpglobal.org), as well as the images of the election day.
Among the strategic priorities planned by the new president are the spiritual strengthening project called "Growing Together in Faith," expanding the work of the "Historical Research Commission" (on the seven founders), the creation of a digital Vincentian library, the institution of the "International Vincentian Day" (with cultural and musical events), the promotion of youth within the Society and the creation of an international team to raise funds for those most in need.
It should also be noted that the new president intends to promote an environment in which prayer, action and self-giving out of love are inseparable from the formation and the functioning of the conferences. "We need to foster the second network of charity, which is charity among the members of the SSVP, based on fraternal friendship that promotes the healthy growth of conferences. The first network is between us and the assisted," he said.
The entire SSVP and the Vincentian Family pray that the mandate of brother Juan Manuel Buergo will be full of good works in favor of the poor, the Vincentian members and the national councils that are part of the International Confederation of the SSVP.
His inauguration will take place on September 9, at 10 a.m. (Paris time), in the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul, with live broadcast on Ozanam TV (Facebook and YouTube).