Vincent de Paul at Châtillon
In August 1617, Vincent de Paul was installed as Parish Priest of Châtillon-les-Dombes, a town of some 2000 people, in the Lyons region of France. His experience of the faith of the country people, encountered at Clichy, was reaffirmed here at Châtillon. It was also at Châtillon that he founded the first Confraternity of Charity, a group of lay people to help those in need. The Confraternities of Charity continue today not only in France, but throughout the world, and are now known also as the International Association of Charities (AIC). More details of their current work can be found on the AIC Page of this Vincentian Encyclopedia.
The French language version of the Vincentian Encyclopedia has a essay CHÂTILLON AVANT SAINT VINCENT written by the noted Fr. Bernard Koch. In this essay, he explains that recent studies of documents prior to the biographical accounts challenge the assumption that the parish was badly run down at the time Vincent served there.
The Church at Châtillon
Châtillon is now called Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne. St Andrew's Church, the parish Church of Vincent's time (shown above), still exists. The Church dates back to 1272, though it was not completed till the fifteenth century. It is of a flamboyant gothic style. There are a number of nineteenth century stained glass windows in the Church depicting the life and work of Vincent de Paul. The roof of the Markets (Les Halles) can be seen in the foreground of the picture above.
Châtillon avant Saint Vincent, Encyclopédie Vincentienne
Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, Site Officiel de la Mairie de Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne