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Society of St. Vincent de Paul Bylaws — What They Are and Why They Matter

Society of St. Vincent de Paul Bylaws — What They Are and Why They Matter 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

The original Bylaws presentation was developed and presented by John Berry, SVdP National President-Elect. This article was written by Mike Syslo.

The Boring Stuff

What are Bylaws: Bylaws are a nonprofit’s operating manual. Bylaws (or Bylaws and Articles of Organization) are the main governing document for a nonprofit organization. They are the main official documents of an organization, nonprofit or for-profit. One of the important things to remember about Bylaws is that the operations of your organization must be in line with what you say they are in the Bylaws and Articles.

The purpose of the Bylaws is to guide the nonprofit Board’s actions and decisions. They are helpful in preventing or resolving conflicts and disagreements. They can protect the organization from potential problems by clearly outlining rules on authority levels, rights and expectations.

If the Board of Directors fails to follow the Bylaws, it can be held liable for breaching its duty to the organization.  Breach of duty can cause a significant liability for the Board of Directors.  Breach of duty can also result in the organization losing its nonprofit, tax-exempt status. The loss of nonprofit status would mean a loss of tax deductibility for donors and the need for the organization to pay taxes on their income.

“Bylaws determine how an organization is structured.   For example, most Bylaws specify whether an organization has members, define the duties of officers and Board members, and identify standing Board committees. An important function of Bylaws (if this matter is not covered in the Articles) is to specify how Board members are selected.” (BoardSource)

What About the Rule?

All groups require rules for effective operation. Our Rule is drawn from the lives and experience of all Vincentians throughout the world. It describes the elements that are needed to maintain the unity of the Society.  There is no group or organization that exists without some set of rules.

In 1835, two years after its founding, the Society formulated its Rule, a series of Articles based upon the practical experiences of the first Vincentians. The Rule of the Society has continued as the guide and blueprint for the Society for the past 188 years. This, alone, is a tribute to its efficacy and to the Holy Spirit who inspired it.  The Rule has gone through a few modifications over those many years, but the essential spirit of the Society that is reflected in the Articles and Statutes is the same as in the first Rule.

Bylaws and the Rule: The Relationship 

Bylaws are significant written rules by which an organization is governed. They determine how the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is structured and, along with state law, determine the rights of participants in the structure.

Membership in the National Council of the United States, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Inc. requires that every organizational unit (Conference and Council) have Bylaws.  Prior to 2003, the Rule included both the philosophy of the Society and its structure and responsibilities.  Since 2003, philosophy has been in the Rule and the structure and responsibilities have been in the Bylaws.  Having the original format of the Rule split into two separate documents has caused the need for all Conferences and Councils to adopt a set of Bylaws and operate in accord with both Rule and Bylaws.

Conferences and Councils must maintain their Bylaws (including any and all amended articles) in updated and amended form. The Conference or Council must keep a copy of their Bylaws together with the Rule document (The Manual 1.3).  In addition, the next higher Council should have a copy of the Bylaws.  For example, a District Council should have a copy of the Bylaws of each of its Conferences.  The Diocesan Council should have a copy of the Bylaws of each of its District Councils.

The Rule is the paramount authority of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Should any bylaw, rule or regulation adopted by a Conference or Council conflict with the Rule and statutes of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul as now promulgated or hereafter adopted by the Council General International or the National Council of the United States, such bylaw, rule or regulation shall be void and of no effect (The Manual 1.3).  This needs to be very clear in everybody’s mind.  You cannot put anything into the Bylaws that in any way conflicts with the Rule or Nationally Approved Bylaws.  If a conflict exists, the Bylaws will be rejected by the next higher Council; and you may not proceed with them.

BUT – Bylaws have been created to be used by SVdP entities across the country and as such do not include language that may be required by your state and local law (see listing of multiple versions of Bylaws on page three).  It is strongly advised that legal advice be sought from a local attorney concerning matters such as the following:  non-discrimination policy language, tax-exemption requirements, and any other areas of the Bylaws in which modification of the language is necessary in order to be in alignment with applicable state and local law.  As of this date, we have not found anything of substance in the Nationally Approved Bylaws that conflict with state and local law.

Since the Bylaws have been developed to be in conformity with the Rule of the Society, Bylaws should be modified only to address alignment to state and local law (Bylaws Introduction, SVdP USA).

Where Did Our Bylaws Come From? 

In 2003, the Council General International approved an updated version of the Rule of the Society.  Each separate Superior/National Council was invited to draft their own Part III of the Rule to define the items of the Rule that are unique to each country.  This new version of Part III of the Rule for the United States was different from the former Rule in that details of structure and governance were removed.  Those details were then placed in Bylaws which varied with each type of SVdP structure within the United States.  Placing the structure and governance concerns of the Society into a separate document has forced Conferences and Councils to adopt an appropriate set of Bylaws for their use.

The Bylaws documents were approved by the National Council Members at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s 2005 Annual Meeting and have been revised as needed (last in 2021) so that good governance policies are in place and are in compliance with:

  • The Rule of the Society,
  • The Charter of the Society (a.k.a. Articles of Incorporation),
  • Bylaws of the National Council while leaving flexibility for compliance with national and state laws that govern charities.

How Many Kinds of Bylaws Are There for Councils and Conferences?

Because of the possible structures that exist for unincorporated and incorporated Conferences and Councils, multiple versions had to be created.  There is one set of Bylaws for the National Council and three sets of Bylaws to choose from for each Conference, District Council and Diocesan Council.

  • BYLAWS for Conferences without a Board of Directors
  • BYLAWS for Conferences with a Separate Board of Directors
  • BYLAWS for District Councils with a Separate Board of Directors
  • BYLAWS for Archdiocesan/Diocesan Councils with a Separate Board of Directors
  • BYLAWS for the National Council
  • BYLAWS for District Councils with an Integrated Board of Directors
  • BYLAWS for Archdiocesan/Diocesan Councils with an Integrated Board of Directors
  • BYLAWS for District Councils without a Board of Directors
  • BYLAWS for Archdiocesan/Diocesan Councils without a Board of Directors
  • BYLAWS for Conferences with an Integrated Board of Directors

Why Do We Need These?  Let’s Just Follow the Rule.

Because Bylaws may be cumbersome, they are frequently neglected or even disregarded as a tool for governance.  They are, however, essential to maintaining order and propriety within the organization.

SVdP governing entities must pay careful attention to Bylaws. They can take on added importance during governance disputes centering on the way an organization is carrying out its mission.  These disputes can take many forms:

  • A non-conforming entity needs dissolution.
  • A Board member who is voted out of office seeks reinstatement.
  • A dissident group within the organization attempts to gain control or a faction mounts a legal challenge to a Board decision.

In these difficult situations, carefully-crafted Bylaws, and adherence to them, can help ensure the fairness of governance decisions and provide protection against legal challenges.

Bylaws determine how SVdP is structured. Bylaws specify whether an organization has members, define the duties of officers and Board members, and identify standing Board committees.

An important function of Bylaws (if this matter is not covered in the Articles of Incorporation) is to specify how Board members are selected.  This, along with the specification of the maximum number of Board members, determines how workable as a team the governing body is.

Bylaws, along with state law, determine the rights of participants in the structure, such as the rights of members to be notified of meetings, the rights of Board members or officers whom others may want to remove from office and the rights of Board members to indemnification.

Bylaws determine many procedures by which rights can be exercised.   For example, Bylaws may require a certain form of notice for meetings, or they may specify whether Board meetings can be held by telephone or whether elections can be conducted by mail.  Other procedures defined in Bylaws pertain to the election/selection of officers.

The Fun Stuff – Some Real Situations

  1. The Board of the Diocesan Council, in putting together its slate of officers for the next year has asked Christi to serve as Vice President. Christi has been on the Board for the last three years and they all think she’d be a good fit for the VP job. Christi started volunteering with SVdP when her Church, United Methodist, partnered with the Council on their Food Pantry.
    • Bylaws issue or Rule issue?

This is both a Bylaws issue and a Rule issue.  Christi is non-Catholic and cannot serve as an officer.  The President of the Diocesan Council appoints the officers after consultation with the District Presidents – not the Board.

  1. Christopher was just elected as President of the Council. He has never gotten along with Gracie, the ED; so right after he is installed as President, he fires her and puts Jake in the job.
    • Bylaws issue or Rule issue?

This is a Bylaws issue.  It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors (not the President) to hire and fire the ED/CEO.

  1. The new President of the St. Frederic Ozanam Conference presents his new officers to the Conference at his first meeting. Tom raises an objection to the new Treasurer and Secretary and says he will not support them. Others in the room agree.
    • Bylaws issue or Rule issue?
    • Bonus issue!

This is a Bylaws issue, a Rule issue and an Aggregation issue.  The President appoints the officers after consultation with the Conference.  “Consultation with” does not mean “approval by.”  The President may decide that the objections are not sufficient for a change in choice.  The Conference must work as a team and refusing to support the officers is not an option.    Also, it may have been overlooked, but Frederic Ozanam has not yet been canonized – he is Blessed Frederic.  In addition, unless the parish in which the Conference resides is named for Frederic Ozanam, Conferences are prohibited from having his name.  The same holds true for “St. Vincent de Paul.”

  1. At the regular second meeting of the month, Katie, a member of the St. Mary’s Conference and a member of the parish staff, tells the Conference members that the Church’s A/C system has broken and it’s going to cost the parish $60,000 for a replacement system. The Conference President suggests that the Conference use $10,000 from its bank account to ‘help the parish defray the cost’.
    • Bylaws issue or Rule issue?

This is a Rule issue.  Conferences and Councils are prohibited from giving donations to (and this includes raising funds for) outside organizations no matter how worthy the cause may be.  The parish is an outside organization.  The funds of the Society must be used for the purposes of the Society.

In Summary

Because your Conference or Council uses the National Council’s trademarked name “Society of St. Vincent de Paul” with the express permission of and a limited license issued by the National Council, the Bylaws adopted by your Conference or Council must be formally approved.

Conferences must have their Bylaws approved by their District Council.  The District Council Bylaws must be approved by the Archdiocesan/Diocesan Council.  Archdiocesan/Diocesan Council Bylaws must be approved by the National Vice President for the Region.

06-01-2023 Questions and Answers

06-01-2023 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q: Why is the maximum term for Council/Conference Presidents two three-year terms or six consecutive years total?  How and who decided on that number of years? If, for example, a Conference President is doing a good job and wants to have the position for another term beyond the two served, especially if all members agree and no one wants the position, why is that currently not an option?

A: It’s very simple, it is in the Rule of the Society. At the end of six years, that Vincentian must step down and the Conference must elect another Vincentian as President. The current President must be out of office for at least three years before he/she may be elected again. This requirement helps us assure continued servant leadership through sharing of responsibilities over time.

Q: When our Conference Home Visitors come across a neighbor in need that has put the utility bill in one of their children’s names, should we pay it? Putting the account in a child’s name is basically fraud, but for some families this may be the only way to have electric and gas service. Do we ignore this “crime” and keep the lights and heat on?

A: This is a local decision, but if the request to pay is made by the parent, and both the parents and the child live there, why not pay it?  Don’t do billing work for the utility company.

Spanish Translation

P: ¿Por qué el mandato máximo de los Presidentes del Consejo/Conferencia es de dos periodos de tres años o seis años consecutivos en total?  ¿Cómo y quién decidió ese número de años?  Si, por ejemplo, un Presidente de Conferencia está haciendo un buen trabajo y quiere tener el cargo por otro período más de los dos servidos, especialmente si todos los miembros están de acuerdo y nadie quiere el puesto, ¿por qué actualmente no es una opción?

R: Es muy simple, está en la Regla de la Sociedad.  Al cabo de seis años, ese Vicentino debe renunciar y la presidencia, y la Conferencia debe elegir a otro Vicentino como Presidente.  El Presidente actual debe estar fuera del cargo durante al menos tres años antes de que pueda ser elegido nuevamente. Este requisito nos ayuda a asegurar el liderazgo continuo de servicio a través del intercambio de responsabilidades a lo largo del tiempo.

P: Cuando los Visitadores de nuestra Conferencia se encuentran con un prójimo en necesidad que ha puesto la factura de servicios públicos a nombre de uno de los niños, ¿deberíamos pagarla? Poner la cuenta a nombre de un niño es básicamente un fraude, pero para algunas familias esta puede ser la única manera de tener servicio de electricidad y gas. ¿Ignoramos este “crimen” y mantenemos las luces y la calefacción encendida?

R: Esta es una decisión local; pero, si la solicitud de pago es hecha por el padre, y tanto los padres como el niño viven allí, ¿por qué no pagarla?  No estamos haciendo un servicio para la compañía de servicios públicos.

05-25-2023 Questions and Answers

05-25-2023 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q: A police officer with young children died from an illness and his funeral was held at our parish. His obituary read Due to the family’s unexpected loss, the family requests assistance in covering funeral costs and the education and future for their children. Donations may be made directly to the family,” at a website provided. Can our Conference provide the assistance requested in the obituary?

A: A Conference is not permitted to simply respond to an advertised request for help. If the family comes to the Conference requesting help, we can respond.

Q:  Is it permissible for a Vincentian and a non-Vincentian volunteer (spouse, friend, etc.) to conduct a Home Visit, or do both visitors need to be Vincentians?

A: If a volunteer accompanies an active member on a Home Visit, they are considered to be an associate member and therefore allowed to go on a Home Visit. It is not an issue with liability insurance because they are acting on behalf of the Society as an associate member. This is also one way we get new members into the Society — by inviting others to come along and help out. This is an opportunity to show ‘charity at work.’ The Vincentian inviting the volunteer must be comfortable with the individual and that they will act appropriately.

Spanish Translation

P: Un oficial de policía con niños pequeños murió de una enfermedad y su funeral se llevó a cabo en nuestra parroquia.  Su obituario decía: “Debido a la pérdida inesperada de la familia, la familia solicita asistencia para cubrir los costos del funeral y la educación y el futuro de sus hijos. Las donaciones pueden hacerse directamente a la familia”, en un sitio web proporcionado.  ¿Puede nuestra Conferencia proporcionar la asistencia solicitada en el obituario?

R: No se permite que una Conferencia responda simplemente a una solicitud de ayuda anunciada.  Si la familia viene a la Conferencia solicitando ayuda, podemos responder.

P: ¿Es permisible que un voluntario Vicentino y un voluntario no Vicentino (cónyuge, amigo, etc.) realicen una Visita Domiciliaria, o ambos visitantes deben ser Vicentinos?

R: Si un voluntario acompaña a un miembro activo en una Visita Domiciliaria, se le considera un miembro asociado y, por lo tanto, se le permite realizar una Visita Domiciliaria. No es un problema con el seguro de responsabilidad civil porque están actuando en nombre de la Sociedad como miembro asociado. Esta es también una forma en que conseguimos nuevos miembros a la Sociedad: invitando a otros a venir y servir. Esta es una oportunidad para mostrar “caridad en el trabajo.”  El Vicentino que invita al voluntario debe sentirse cómodo y actuará adecuadamente con la persona.

05-18-2023 Questions and Answers

05-18-2023 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q: Can the “advisors” on a Council advisory committee vote on advisory committee issues?

A:  Yes, the committee members can vote on matters concerning the committee. Committees are advisory. Any matters/recommendations presented to the Board of Directors must be approved by the voting-eligible Board members before the recommendation becomes policy and can be passed on to the Vincentians in the Council at large.

Q: Are Conferences allowed to pay a stipend say of $100 to a volunteer (who is not a Vincentian) that does a lot of volunteer work in their food pantry?

A: We are required by law to pay at least a minimum wage to people who work for us. If this is done often or on a regular basis, then that person needs to be an employee or under contract. If under contract, we need to issue a IRS Form 1099 if the total exceeds $600 in a calendar year. Stipends are usually only paid for a temporary, short-term job.


P: ¿Pueden los “asesores” de un comité asesor del Consejo votar sobre asuntos del Comité asesor?

R: Sí, los miembros del comité pueden votar sobre asuntos relacionados con el comité. Los comités son consultivos.  Cualquier asunto / recomendación presentada a la Mesa Directiva debe ser aprobada por los miembros elegibles para votar antes de que la recomendación se convierta en política y pueda transmitirse a los miembros Vicentinos del Consejo en general.

P: ¿Se les permite a las Conferencias hacer un pago, digamos, de $ 100 a un voluntario (que no es Vicentino) que hace mucho trabajo voluntario en su almacén de alimentos?

R: Estamos obligados por ley a pagar al menos un salario mínimo a las personas que trabajan para nosotros.  Si esto se hace a menudo o de forma regular, entonces esa persona debe ser un empleado o bajo contrato.  Si está bajo contrato, necesitamos emitir un Formulario 1099 del IRS si el total excede los $600 en un año calendario.  Los pagos generalmente solo se pagan por un trabajo temporal a corto plazo.

05-11-2023 Questions and Answers

05-11-2023 Questions and Answers 150 150 Michelle Boyer

Q:  Can a former President of a parish Conference that closed become president of an active Conference whose president’s second 3-year term has ended?

A:  They can, as long as the members of that Conference accept him/her as a member, of their Conference. S/He has to be an active member which means attending meetings and performing Conference works.

Q: Where can you find information on the installation of Conference officers?

A: The procedures/prayers for the installation of Conference officers can be found beginning on page 58 of Vincentian Celebrations – Rituals and Ceremonies.

Spanish Translation

P: ¿Puede un ex Presidente de una Conferencia parroquial que ha sido cerrada, convertirse en Presidente de una Conferencia activa cuyo segundo mandato de 3 años del Presidente ha terminado?

R: Pueden, siempre y cuando los miembros de esa Conferencia lo acepten como miembro de su Conferencia. Tiene que ser un miembro activo, lo que significa asistir a las reuniones y realizar trabajos de la Conferencia.  Obviamente es católico si fue Presidente de la Conferencia.

P: ¿Dónde puede encontrar información sobre la instalación de Oficiales de Conferencias?

R: Los procedimientos/oraciones para la instalación de los Oficiales de la Conferencia se pueden encontrar a partir de la página 58 de Celebraciones Vicentinas – Rituales y Ceremonias.

05-04-2023 Questions and Answers

05-04-2023 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q: During our bylaws review, our district officers brought up a question about VOP and 501(c)3 compliance regarding advocacy. How can VOP do advocacy without jeopardizing the Society’s 501(c)3 status?

A: IRS Publication 1828 states that churches and religious organizations are allowed to lobby unless it constitutes “a substantial part of its overall activities.” Given the amount of time our volunteers spend on service to neighbors in need, we don’t have a danger of meeting that test.

Keep in mind that members of the Society can never endorse a candidate for office. That is clearly prohibited by IRS regulation. Members are encouraged to fully participate in elections and support candidates of their choice. They must do so as citizens, rather than use the name of the Society.

Q: When a neighbor in need has been interviewed and a recommendation has been made by the two people who visited, what is the rule on voting to honor that recommendation?

A: First, if a related policy has been made by the Conference, all members must honor it. The Home Visit team assesses the neighbor’s situation and presents their recommendation(s) to the membership body. A decision can then be made properly by the Conference in Vincentian fellowship from the recommendations.

Spanish Translation

P: Nuestros oficiales de Distrito plantearon la pregunta durante nuestra revisión de los estatutos sobre la VDP y el cumplimiento de 501c3 donde habla sobre la abogacía. ¿Cómo puede la VDP trabajar sobre este asunto sin poner en peligro el estado 501c3 de la Sociedad?

R: La Publicación 1828 del IRS establece que las organizaciones eclesiásticas y religiosas pueden cabildear a menos que instituyan esto como “una parte sustancial de sus actividades generales”. Dada la cantidad de tiempo que nuestros voluntarios dedican al servicio de los prójimos en necesidad, no tenemos peligro de cumplir con esa prueba. Tenga en cuenta que los miembros de la Sociedad nunca pueden respaldar a un candidato en específico para un cargo. Eso está claramente prohibido por la regulación del IRS. Se alienta a los miembros a participar plenamente en las elecciones y apoyar a los candidatos de su elección. Pero deben hacerlo como ciudadanos, en lugar de usar el nombre de La Sociedad.

P: Cuando tenemos un prójimo en necesidad que ha sido entrevistado y tiene una recomendación hecha por las dos personas que visitaron, ¿cuál es la regla para votar para honrar esa recomendación?

R: En primer lugar, si la Conferencia ha adoptado una política relacionada a este asunto, todos los miembros deben respetarla.  El equipo de las Visitas Domiciliarias evalúa la situación del prójimo y presenta su(s) recomendación(es) a los miembros.  La decisión puede entonces ser tomada apropiadamente por la Conferencia en comunión Vicentina a partir de las recomendaciones.

04-27-2023 Questions and Answers

04-27-2023 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q:  Our new president was told by our parish priest that he had the authority to shut us down if there were problems within our Conference. Can you give us some insight into this, as I was of the assumption that only our District Council has that authority?

A: The parish pastor does indeed have the authority at any point in time to tell the Conference to go away and not operate in his parish. We are present in parishes at the invitation of the pastor. However, priests do not have authority over the Conference operations. According to our Rule, the pastor and bishop are the Society’s authority only on matters of faith and morals.

Q: We have a Conference celebrating 80 years. Is there a certificate or some other form of acknowledgement available from National? The plan is to celebrate the Conference milestone at a district meeting.

A: A Certificate of Appreciation from the National Council is available in five-year increments for Conferences aggregated, Councils instituted, and for Special Works. For more information, contact Pam Hudson Johnson, phudson@svdpusa.org. You could also request a letter of congratulations from the National Council President.

Spanish Translation

P: Nuestro párroco le dijo a nuestro nuevo presidente que tenía la autoridad de cerrarnos si había problemas dentro de nuestra Conferencia. ¿Puede darnos una idea de esto, ya que yo estaba bajo la suposición que solo nuestro Consejo de Distrito tiene esa autoridad?

R: De hecho, el párroco tiene la autoridad en cualquier momento para decirle a la Conferencia que se vaya y no opere en su parroquia. Estamos presentes en las parroquias por invitación del párroco. Sin embargo, los sacerdotes no tienen autoridad sobre las operaciones de la Conferencia. De acuerdo con nuestra Regla (Cita), el Pastor y el Obispo son la autoridad de la Sociedad solo en asuntos de fe y moral.


P: Tenemos una Conferencia celebrando 80 años. ¿Hay algún certificado u otra forma de reconocimiento disponible de Nacional? El plan es celebrar el hito de la Conferencia en una reunión de distrito.

R: Un Certificado de Reconocimiento del Consejo Nacional está disponible en incrementos de cinco años para Conferencias agregadas, Consejos instituidos y para Obras Especiales. Para obtener más información, comuníquese con Pam Hudson Johnson, phudson@svdpusa.org.También puede solicitar una carta de felicitación del Presidente del Consejo Nacional.

04-20-2023 Questions and Answers

04-20-2023 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q: Can a Council or Conference twin with their associated or other SVdP-run Thrift Stores?

A: If a Conference or a Council owns a thrift store, they can transfer funds to that store’s operations at any time. This is an internal transfer of funds. For SVdP reporting, it has no income value to the store or expense value to the Conference or Council since the funds are already owned by the Conference or Council. Check with your CPA to affirm this.

However, if a Conference wants to send money to its own separately incorporated store or one owned by any other Conference or Council, this is considered twinning.

Q: We have two friends who recently lost a spouse. Are we allowed to help them with the cost of the funeral?

A: This is a service provided by many Conferences. The extent of help is up to the Conference. Assistance should follow the same protocols and limitations as would assistance for someone unknown to the members.

Spanish Translation

P: ¿Puede un Consejo o Conferencia hermanarse con sus tiendas de segunda mano asociadas u otras administradas por SVdP?

R: Si una Conferencia o un Consejo posee una tienda de segunda mano, pueden transferir fondos a las operaciones de esa tienda en cualquier momento. Esta es una transferencia interna de fondos. Para los informes de SVDP, no tiene valor de ingreso para la tienda ni valor de gasto para la Conferencia o el Consejo, ya que los fondos ya son propiedad de la Conferencia o el Consejo. Consulte con su Contador Público Certificado para afirmar esto.

Sin embargo, si una Conferencia quiere enviar dinero a su propia tienda incorporada por separado o a una propiedad de otra Conferencia o Consejo, esto se considera hermanamiento.

P: Tenemos dos amigos que recientemente perdieron a su cónyuge. ¿Se nos permite ayudarlos con el costo del funeral?

R: Este es un servicio proporcionado por muchas Conferencias. El alcance de la ayuda depende de la Conferencia. La asistencia debe seguir los mismos protocolos y limitaciones que la asistencia a una persona desconocida para los miembros.

04-13-2023 Questions and Answers

04-13-2023 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q:  How long can a person hold the office of Interim President? I have searched the Rule and cannot find this topic mentioned.

A: When a President resigns or is no longer able to fulfill his/her role, the vice president assumes the role of “Interim President” until an election is held. For Conferences the bylaws say the elections should occur within three months. Council bylaws article 12 say that the elections should wait three months so Conferences can be consulted. This is prescribed in the bylaws under Extraordinary Circumstances as follows:

Extraordinary Circumstances

Should the President resign, become permanently incapacitated, be removed from office, or die during the term of office, then the First Vice President of the Corporation Board shall serve as President until the election of a new President.

Upon the vacancy of the office of President prior to the completion of a three-year term, the First Vice President shall, within 10 days from receipt of the notice of the vacancy of the office of President, convene a Nominating Committee whose duty it will be to initiate the election process. A slate of candidates shall be prepared and presented to the Corporation Board. A period of three months should be allowed for Corporation Board members to consult with Conferences within their own District Council. 

Q: What is the term of service for Presidents at each level? What is the Rule / Statute for this?

A: The term of office for a President in the Society can be found in each set of bylaws under the header Term of Office and Term Limits for Officers. Click here to view all nationally approved bylaws.

This information is also found in the Rule, Part III Statute 12 for all levels of the Society in the U.S. The term of office of the President for Conferences, District and Diocesan Councils is three years (ending on September 30 of the third year). Once a President has served for two consecutive terms, that person will not be eligible for re-election as President until a three-year term has elapsed under a different President. The term of office of the National Council President is six years. It begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. It is not renewable.

The Rule Part II Statute 3.4 states that the International President General term has changed to only one six-year term (not renewable). This was by resolution, and we have not changed Part II in our printed Rule.

A vote must be held for the elected office of presidency at all levels of the Society, regardless of the first term incumbent’s desire to run a second term. Consideration of other candidates for election must be allowed. An election must be held whether there are several candidates or just one.


P: ¿Cuánto tiempo puede una persona ocupar el cargo de Presidente Interino? He buscado en la Regla y no encuentro este tema mencionado.

R: Cuando un presidente renuncia o ya no puede cumplir con su mandato, el vicepresidente asume el papel de “Presidente Interino” hasta que se celebre una elección. Para las conferencias, los estatutos dicen que las elecciones deben ocurrir dentro de 3 meses. El artículo 12 de los estatutos del Consejo dice que las elecciones deben esperar 3 meses para que se puedan consultar las conferencias. Esto está prescrito en los estatutos bajo Circunstancias Extraordinarias de la siguiente manera:

Circunstancias extraordinarias

En caso de que el Presidente renuncie, quede incapacitado permanentemente, sea destituido de su cargo o fallezca durante el mandato, entonces el Primer Vicepresidente de la Junta de la Corporación deberá servir como Presidente hasta la elección de un nuevo Presidente.

Ante la vacante del cargo de Presidente antes de la finalización de un mandato de tres años, el Primer Vicepresidente, dentro de los diez días siguientes a la recepción de la notificación de la vacante del cargo de Presidente, convocará un Comité de Nominaciones cuyo deber será iniciar el proceso de elección. Se preparará una lista de candidatos y se presentará a la Junta de la Corporación. Se debe permitir un período de tres meses para que los miembros de la Junta de la Corporación consulten con las Conferencias dentro de su propio Consejo de Distrito.

P: ¿Cuál es el período de servicio de los presidentes en cada nivel? ¿Cuál es la Regla / Estatuto para esto?

R: La duración del cargo de un presidente en la Sociedad se puede encontrar en cada conjunto de estatutos bajo el encabezado Duración del Cargo y Límites de Mandato para Oficiales. Haga clic aquí para ver todos los estatutos aprobados a nivel nacional: https://members.ssvpusa.org/governance/bylaws/.

Esta información también se encuentra en la Regla, Parte III, Estatuto 12 para todos los niveles de la Sociedad en los EE. UU., haga clic aquí: https://members.ssvpusa.org/governance/the-rule-the-manual. El mandato del Presidente de Conferencias, Distrito y Consejos Diocesanos es de tres años (terminando el 30 de septiembre del tercer año). Una vez que un presidente haya servido durante dos períodos consecutivos, esa persona no será elegible para la reelección como presidente hasta que haya transcurrido un período de tres años bajo un presidente diferente. El mandato del Presidente del Consejo Nacional de los Estados Unidos es de seis años. Comienza el 1 de octubre y finaliza el 30 de septiembre. No es renovable.

Para internacional, en la Regla Parte II del Estatuto 3.4 establece que el mandato del Presidente General Internacional ha cambiado a un solo mandato de seis años no renovable. Esto fue por resolución, y no hemos cambiado la Parte II en nuestra Regla impresa.

Se debe realizar una votación para el cargo electo de la presidencia en todos los niveles de la Sociedad, independientemente del deseo del titular del primer mandato de postularse para un segundo mandato. Debe permitirse la consideración de otros candidatos para la elección. La elección debe realizarse ya sea que haya varios candidatos o uno solo.




04-06-2023 Questions and Answers

04-06-2023 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q: What is the difference between Society twinning and co-pays?

A: In Part III of the Rule, Statute 26 (Use of Funds) it states: The funds of the Society shall be used for the works of the Society, including Vincentian twinning and collaboration in payments for people we serve.  When funds are given from a Conference or Council to another Conference or Council to be used as the receiver finds appropriate, this is called twinning.  The distribution should be recorded as twinning.  When funds are sent to another Conference as collaboration in payments for people we serve, then this is called a co-pay.  When the intention for the negotiated distribution was to help a specific person or family, the co-pay should be recorded as aid to people we serve, and a case record should be established for this transaction.

Q:  May we pay medical co-payments for our neighbors in need? 

A:  Yes, one-time medical co-pays is allowed.  However, for ongoing medical co-pay requests there must be a strong consideration of the Conference with all members in agreement to avoid long-term commitments.

Spanish Translation

P: ¿Cuál es la diferencia entre el hermanamiento de Sociedad y los copagos?

R: En la Parte III de la Regla, el Estatuto 26 (Uso de Fondos) establece: Los fondos de la Sociedad se utilizarán para las obras de la Sociedad, incluyendo el hermanamiento Vicentino y la colaboración en los pagos de las personas a las que servimos. Cuando se entregan fondos de una Conferencia o Consejo a otra conferencia o Consejo para que se utilicen según lo considere apropiado el beneficiario, esto se denomina hermanamiento. La distribución debe registrarse como hermanamiento. Cuando los fondos se envían a otra Conferencia como colaboración en los pagos de las personas a las que servimos, esto se denomina copago. Cuando la intención de distribución negociada fue ayudar a una persona o familia especifica, el copago debe registrarse como ayuda a las personas a las que servimos, y debe establecerse un registro de caso para esta transacción.

P: ¿Podemos pagar copagos médicos para nuestros amigos en necesidad?

R: Si, se permiten copagos médicos únicos. Sin embargo, para solicitudes de copagos médicos continuos debe haber una fuerte consideración de la Conferencia con todos los miembros de acuerdo para evitar compromisos a largo plazo.

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