Our Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
“Knowledge of the poor and needy is not gained by pouring over books or in discussion with politicians, but by visiting the homes where they live, sitting by the bedside of the dying, feeling the cold they feel, and learning from their lips the causes of their woes.”
~ Blessed Frederic Ozanam (1813-1853)
About the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul operates internationally in over 4200 locations. Inspired by Gospel values, the Society leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person services to the needy and suffering, in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, and its 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. Organized locally in conferences, generally at the parish or university level, Vincentians witness God’s love by embracing all works of charity and justice, making no distinction in those served because, in them, Vincentians see the face of Christ.
“No work of charity is foreign to the Society. It includes any form of help that alleviates suffering or deprivation and promotes human dignity and personal integrity in all their dimensions. The Society serves those in need regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender or political opinions. It strives to seek out and find those in need and the forgotten, the victims of exclusion or adversity. Faithful to the spirit of its founders, the Society constantly strives for renewal, adapting to changing world conditions. It seeks to be ever aware of the changes that occur in human society and the new types of poverty that may be identified or anticipated. It gives priority to the poorest of the poor and to those who are most rejected by a community.”
About Our Conference
Our parishes have always been available to assist parishioners in emergency situations, but with the establishment of our conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a significant and coordinated response can now occur. While our SVdP Conference operates independently of the Collaborative, its membership is made up of parishioners from both parishes. The funding to sustain its mission comes from ongoing individual donations from our parishioners.
Our Conference serves the community within the boundaries of our parishes, regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender, or political opinions. While it may appear, on the surface, that need doesn’t exist in places like Wellesley and Newton, there are, in fact, many in our community who are well below the guidelines for comfortable living and are silently struggling just to come up with the basics for themselves and their families. Some times these needs are long-term and complex. At other times, they can be triggered by the loss of a job, a divorce, a medical crisis, or other life-changing event that leave them with no resources to pay a utility bill or rent or a mortgage. Elderly residents on a fixed income may be struggling with how to afford needed medications while still sustaining their housing.
The Society offers tangible assistance to those in need on a person-to-person basis, and it is this personalized involvement that makes the work of the Society unique. When assistance is requested, two members of the Society, called “Vincentians”, make a home visit. Home visits allow Vincentians to provide emotional and spiritual support to our neighbors in need, as well as an opportunity to better understand their individual circumstances, struggles, and needs. After the visit, the case is presented to the Conference so a determination can be made as to the assistance provided, which can include both monetary and in-kind support, through gifts of food, furniture, etc. (The high degree of confidentiality that SVdP strictly observes makes it impossible to give more specific examples of the types of requests our conference has received.)
For More Information Or To Request Assistance
Please email us at SVDP@sjspwellesley.org. You may also call either parish office (St. John the Evangelist at 781-235-0045 or St. Paul at 781-235-1060.) All information received is kept completely confidential.