The Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians)

The Congregation of the Mission, more commonly known as the Vincentians, is a society of apostolic life founded by St Vincent de Paul in Paris in 1625, for the evangelisation of the poor and the formation of the clergy. In 2015, the congregation had a worldwide membership of 2,995 priests and 3,365 brothers.

The first Vincentians arrived in Australia from Ireland in 1885. They arrived in the Diocese of Bathurst in 1889, where they took over the running of a boarding school, St Stanislaus College. In recent years, the Vincentians have ceased running schools. At the time of this report they were working in parish ministry, formation for church leadership, and aged care, as well as providing chaplaincy services in hospitals, prisons and a number of schools, and ministering to people with HIV.

Like many other religious orders in Australia, the Vincentians have also been involved in allegations and cases involving child sexual abuse. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Vol 16, Book 2 of its Final Report (2017), provided the following data showing how involved the Order had become in such behaviour:

  • Between 1980 to 2015, 49 people made a claim of child sexual abuse to the Vincentians;

  • Of the people who made a claim of child sexual abuse to the Vincentians, 88 per cent were male;

  • Of the 17 alleged perpetrators identified in claims of child sexual abuse made to the Vincentians, all were male;

  • Of these 17 alleged perpetrators, 14 were identified as priests;

  • Forty-five of the 49 people who made a claim identified one or more priests as alleged perpetrators;

  • Of all the alleged perpetrators, two (12 per cent) were the subject of 10 or more claims of child sexual abuse;

  • The highest number of claims made in relation to a single alleged perpetrator was 19;

  • Between 1950 to 2010, the Vincentian had 147 priests who ministered during this period. The weighted proportion of alleged perpetrators, taking into account the duration of ministry, was 8 per cent and the unweighted proportion was 8.8 per cent; and

  • St Stanislaus College in Bathurst, New South Wales, which was operated by the Vincentians, was identified in 29 claims received by the Vincentians.

Artemis Legal has represented clients and is still representing clients who were victims of physical and sexual abuse at institutions run by the Vincentians.

We invite former victims, students (especially of St Stanislaus College), teachers and parents to contact us to tell us confidentially what information they may have, and we will explain what options are available to help with these cases.

Call us or complete the confidential enquiry form.