St Vincent de Paul Society - Our Ministry
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a worldwide Christian community founded in Paris in 1833. The Holy Spirit was undoubtedly present in all of them at the founding of this society. The Society has been Catholic from its origins, and today remains an international voluntary gathering of lay people. Members proudly call themselves "Vincentians".
Members of the Society show commitment through person-to-person contact, and serve with hope. If someone is in dire need, the Society is committed to reaching out to help. Each volunteer serves those in need regardless of creed, ethnic, health, gender, social background or political opinions. Vincentians are guided by the Rule of the International Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and are committed to seek and find those in need, the forgotten.
You will see volunteers throughout the year; we feed the homeless through the Dining with Dignity Program; we provide fresh produce to the homebound; we visit those who reach out with a need, and those who ask for help are comforted in the knowledge that it all will remain confidential. The Vincentians in our parish formed "Soul Stitchers", a gathering who crochet recycled plastic shopping bags into sleeping mats that are distributed in St. Augustine to the homeless, as well as collect clothing and distribute to those in need. We "twin" with other parishes who do not have the resources to support caring for those in need. Vincentians also focus on providing those who request ways to become self-sufficient, and for them to be aware that they can form their own destinies, giving them some control, and some pride in themselves. There is no trumpeting or back-slapping in pride for Vincentians; we do help with compassion, love, and most of all deep reverence for those less fortunate. We attempt to bring the face of Christ into their daily lives.
The source of the financial reserve is the so-called "Poor Box" that you pass each time you come or leave our beautiful church. We do host events such as the Walk for the Poor, usually in October, and a Free Will Supper on Ash Wednesday, as well as the hot dog/hamburger sale after Mass occasionally during the year to bolster our reserves. We are conscientious custodians of the funds that we are entrusted with.
At those times, we provide respite either financially, or provide information where those in need can use resources available in our community. Our borders are our zip code, but in the event a need is discovered beyond that, we reach out to "twin" with the Vincentians in their own parish. It is the Vincentian spirit that guides us to help each and every person.
If you would like to learn more about what we are, what we represent, what we do, and how we work, please feel free to attend a meeting that we have each month on the third Thursday.
If you have a need, please call us. We have informational cards in the vestibule of the church, you can call the parish office, or the conference directly (904) 412-3899. Remember, all calls, all requests are confidential.