September 18, 2011
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been working at our parish for 10 years. During that time, through your generous support, we have distributed 1.5 million dollars. This is money that you have contributed in our monthly collections, and our volunteers have given to those in temporary need. We meet with those families in their homes, when they are referred to us from other agencies or when they call the parish office.
Your donations have helped a family of four in Johns Creek remain in their apartment so their children can attend the same school, rather than move to a shelter. Your funds helped keep the power on for a woman in Alpharetta who cares for her infirmed mother when her air conditioning bills were unusually high during the summer months. Your donations kept a car from being repossessed from a Roswell father who needs his transportation to go to his job, even though his hours were cut back.
This service, of visiting those in need in their homes and listening to their stories, is part of our ministry at Saint Brigid and at 69 other parishes in North Georgia. But service to those in need is not the reason that our society was formed in France more than 150 years ago.
The number one reason that we meet twice each month is to grow in spirituality and friendship. Each meeting starts with a reflection and discussion. Before we visit a client, our volunteers are encouraged to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and discernment. Although many of the folks we visit are not Catholic, we often will pray with them to help them gain strength through their challenging time.
As our National Episcopal Advisor, Bishop John Quinn of Detroit, recently wrote:
“Anyone can give food to those who are hungry or clothing to those in need. It doesn’t take a Vincentian to pay someone’s rent or medical bills. You don’t need a member of the Society to take someone for a doctor’s appointment or help them fill out some paperwork to get additional assistance. People all over the world are doing that every day. So what makes it so special for members of the Society? In order for any work of charity to truly be done in a Vincentian way, it must be done out of love and it must be done for God. Doing the work simply because it is needed is not sufficient.”
The need is great in our area. Please continue to pray and support our ministry. And please consider attending a meeting to see if there are others ways you can help.
St. Brigid, St. Vincent de Paul Volunteer
[Editor’s note: SVdP meetings are held on the second Saturday of the month at 8:00 AM and the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7:30 PM in Room 135.]