The St. Vincent De Paul Society (SVDP)
Vincent de Paul, 24 April 1581 - 27 September 1660, was a priest of the Catholic Church who dedicated himself to serving the poor. He was renowned for his compassion, humility and generosity and was known as the ‘Great Apostle of Charity’. He was canonized in 1737.
The French Revolution (1789-1799), not only removed the monarchy in the name of making all men equal, but also dismantled the catholic church for similar reasons. Into this period, Fredrick Ozanam was a devout catholic who spoke out against the atheistic movement in France. Fredrick along with seven friends, were filled with compassion to deliver charity to those who need it, by visiting the needy in their homes. For Fredrick this represented ‘Service to Truth, by the Service to Works of Charity’. The Saint Vincent De Paul Society was formed in France in 1883.
Today, the works of the SVDP remains committed to the same beliefs as Fredrick. As a group, or conference as it is known, we remain committed to helping those in our parish who are in need, whether it be financial help of simply friendship in the form of home visits. To do this we rely solely on the generous donations made by parishioners at each mass. Indeed, the collection box can be considered as the right had of Jesus extended on behalf of His poor. In addition, gifts or legacies left for the purpose to help the poor, assist us in carrying out our voluntary work. The group can also arrange to redistribute material items such as furniture, linen and crockery to those less fortunate.
THE LOCAL CONFERENCE:
St Brides SVDP had a busy year in 2012/13. An additional 5 new members joined the group. This increased membership to 13 which together with continued generous donations from the St Brides congregation enabled assistance to be provided to more than 20 families in the village. Assistance included contributions to energy costs during the winter, provision of food parcels and help with transport costs for appointments. A total of 140 visits were made to provide support to these and other individuals.
Specific contributions were also made to a youth development project and also to provide taxis to women seeking emergency shelter from domestic abuse.
The group meets every second Monday in the church hall. For further information contact either Fr Boland or any member of SVDP.