If you have ever said these words to yourself – you can, whatever your age, whatever your skill. All we ask is a few hours of your time.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam, a 20 year old student of the Sorbonne University in Paris.
In answer to a challenge for Christians to “Practice what they preach,” Frederic Ozaman and a group of fellow students started to seek out and visit the poor of Paris in their homes, taking them bread and clothes, their friendship and concern. This small group took as their patron the great French priest, who alerted the world to social problems, St. Vincent de Paul.
Similar groups began in Paris, then in the rest of France and eventually spread throughout the Christian world with the object of visiting, for the love of God, those in need.
Today the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (known as SVDP) is a worldwide lay organization of Catholic men and women, young and old of every race, numbering 880,000 of whom some 60,000 are in the United States.
The members meet in Parish and district groups in order to help in a personal way those in need.
There is no need which is outside the concern of the Society
Be it sickness or disability,
mental or physical,
social or economic,
the loneliness of old age,
the alcoholic, the drug addict,
the grieving, the alienated.
The aim of the SVDP is to bring social justice and the friendship of true charity to all in need.
No matter how good the welfare services provided by the State may be, the work to which the SVDP is called will always be necessary. It is fundamentally the giving of oneself in friendship to another which can only be a personal encounter.
All people search for peace within the world and also within themselves, needing assurance of their worth. The Gospel tells us again and again that true peace is possible only if we live as Christ showed us by His own life.
The work of the SVDP is the Gospel message in action
I was hungry
I was thirsty
I was a stranger
I was naked
and you cared
What Membership Involves
St. Matthew SVDP meets at 7:15 pm on the first and third Thursdays of every month.
Short prayers are said before and after the meeting to remind members that the motive for their work is the love of God.
At the meeting the “helping” contacts of each member are reported and discussed, necessary action is taken, and plans for follow-up are agreed upon. The business of the meeting is strictly confidential.
Home visits are conducted in teams of two on a regular basis.
Members of the SVDP Society are called Vincentians. They strive to see the face of Jesus in all their clients.
If you have the desire to join with others to help those in need for the love of God, you may want to consider membership in the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
In addition to providing aid for those in need of food, temporary housing and assistance with utility bills, the SVDP schedules a special food distribution at Thanksgiving and Easter and sponsors the Christmas Giving Tree.
Our funding comes from the “Poor Box,” private donations, and foundation contributions.
If you are interested in membership, kindly contact us at 732-207-5617.