Vincentians realize that many seeking our help are just like us, but due to bad luck that any one of us are vulnerable to, they are now in desperate need of help. A common example is the person who has worked hard their entire life, providing well for the family, but is now suddenly disabled and can no longer work. The income is now zero, until they might qualify for government assistance, but the heating, rent, and food bills do not stop coming.
Family home visits have always been the fundamental activity of Vincentians. Our goal is to personally meet the family seeking help, get to know them and understand their situation, determine the best way we can help, and remain in contact with the family throughout their crisis, continuing to help where possible.
To respect the wishes of those who donate to us to support our works, we do our best to verify the legitimacy of our clients' claims of need before providing any financial assistance.
The Society serves the community by way of Conferences that are affiliated with one or more Catholic parishes. Vincentian members will respond to help those in need, generally in the area of their affiliated parish(es), but are not limited by any geographical boundaries. We will also serve on larger works that may serve the area of the entire diocese.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in Paris, France, over 180 years ago, in 1833, by a young French nobleman, Bl. Frederic Ozanam, to confront his city's devastating poverty. Inspired by his love of St. Vincent de Paul, a 17th century French priest who had an untiring commitment to serving the poor, Ozanam's mission was clear - help the needy on a one-to-one basis and "accomplish through charity what justice alone cannot do."
On April 23, 1833, challenged by fellow students at the University of Paris to practice what they preached, Ozanam and five other like-minded students met with Emmanuel Bailly in his newspaper office and formed the Conference of Charity. Starting with just seven members, the conference membership soared to more than one hundred by the following year. It was Ozanam who believed that the original conference must divide into more units in order to better serve the needy. By 1835, the society had its own official rule and a new official name: The Society of Saint Vincent DePaul.
The Society took Saint Vincent de Paul as its patron under the influence of Sister Rosalie Rendu, DC (Daughter of Charity). Sister Rosalie (who was beatified in 2004) was a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, a group of religious women who take vows to serve the poor and those in need, founded by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac in 1633. Sister Rosalie, who was well known for her work with the most poverty stricken people in the slums of Paris, guided Blessed Frédéric and his companions in their approach towards those in need.
The Society grew rapidly from the start. There were already over 2000 members when Frederic Ozanam died in 1853. Bl. Frederic was beatified in 1996.
Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder Blessed Frederic Ozanam, and patron St. Vincent de Paul.
As a reflection of the whole family of God, members, who are known as Vincentians, are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level. Vincentians are united in an international society of charity by their spirit of poverty, humility, and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings, and adherence to a basic Rule.
Organized locally, Vincentians witness God's love by embracing all works of charity and justice. The Society collaborates with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction in those served because, in them, Vincentians see the face of Christ.