St. Vincent de Paul
What is a St Vincent de Paul Conference? What does it do?
Conferences are parish and/or community based groups of lay volunteers that provide direct services and referral information to poor and needy individuals and families. Conference members become personally involved in helping the poor of their community, and seek to grow and develop their own spiritual lives.
Conferences have also been organized at schools, universities, hospitals, prisons and other places where they can meet the corporal and spiritual needs of others. Each conference decides what programs and services they will offer, based on the needs of the parish, local community and neighbors.
In parishes, Conferences work closely with the pastor and congregation to serve the poor and needy in the community. They obtain their funding through regular and special collections in the parish, fund raising drives
and member donations.
At the heart of the St Vincent de Paul Society and each Conference are its lay volunteers. The most concrete embodiment of the volunteers’ mission is the home visit, where dedicated members work with families and individuals and help them overcome challenges to self-sufficiency. St Vincent de Paul volunteers assist with emergency food and shelter programs; conduct food, clothing and toy drives; furnish financial assistance for utilities; transportation or temporary housing. They provide referrals to victims of domestic violence, runaways and those in need of medical or dental treatment; help individuals with filing paper work for government assistance; and visit elderly shut-ins or those in prison.
The Conference of Our Lady of Refuge Church is a part of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, Council of Los Angeles which is a part of a worldwide organization of lay Catholic men and women who are committed to live and grow in their Christian faith through prayer and personal involvement in charitable works. The Society’s mission is accomplished through parish and community-based groups called Conferences (volunteers) and programs called “Special Works.” The Society’s work includes any actions that promote the dignity of the person, alleviate suffering and distress, while correcting the conditions that caused them.
“No Act of Charity is Foreign to the Society.”
Spirituality is the first objective of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The primary role of volunteers is not to pay the bills, furnish groceries or clothe someone It is acting out the faith by providing loving and compassionate interest in individuals. If that interest calls for food, clothing or other assistance so be it. It is in loving others where the contact with Christ emerges. That contact with Christ is what separates the Society of St. Vincent De Paul from just another social agency. Although our objective is to bring love and hope, when we see our brother or sister suffering, we naturally want to help. So we collect food and raise funds in order to help and demonstrate the truth of the central message of Christianity to “Love one another.”
How you can help
If you would like to donate to this mission of charity please use the blue envelopes in the church pews. Checks are to be made out to: OLR - SVdP.
If you have large items to donate, please contact SVdP directly at (800)974-3571.
Note: Every six (6) months the SVdP truck comes to OLR for your donations. Please check the OLR bulletin for more information.
Every donation, large or small, helps the Society to continue the work of its volunteer conference
Sometimes it feels as individuals we are unable to make meaningful changes in our neighborhoods. But by supporting the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, virtually 100 percent of your contributions go to helping poor and needy children and families. When you assist the St Vincent de Paul Conference at Our Lady of Refuge Parish, you work for change in our local community. You personally identify with and assist individuals and families strive for self-sufficiency.
If you are interested in participating in the St Vincent de Paul Conference of Our Lady of Refuge Parish, please contact: Lynn McCormick at (562) 857-9350 or email at [email protected]
May God reward you for your generosity and service to the poor.
Visit the website of the St Vincent de Paul Council of Los Angeles for information about works of charity sponsored locally: St Vincent de Paul Council of Los Angeles
You can also donate online to the St Vincent de Paul Society using Paypal.