As we may know, charity is at the heart of the mission of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. The Society began in Paris in 1833 when a young law student, Frederic Ozanam, formed the first “Conference of Charity” to visit the poor and disenfranchised and provide them with needed aid and assistance. The Conference was soon placed under the patronage of Saint Vincent de Paul who spent his life serving the poor and needy in France in the 16th century. The Saint Vincent de Paul Society formed its first American Conference in 1845 and the Society flourishes in the United States to this very day.
Here at Saint Brigid, our local Saint Vincent de Paul Society Conference works quietly and effectively to help those in need in our local community. It has a team of trained case workers who carefully evaluate the needs of those who seek assistance. It seeks to help those in need to regain spiritual, financial or emotional stability. While doing proper “due diligence” in striving to evaluate true needs, it is always willing to err on the side of charity.
The following prayer titled “OPEN MY EYES” from the Saint Vincent de Paul Society reϐlects the essence of its ministry and mission:
Move my hands that they may feed the hungry.
Touch my heart that it may bring warmth to the despairing.
Teach me the generosity that welcomes strangers.
Let me share my possessions with people in need.
Give me the care that strengthens the sick.
Help me share in the quest to set prisoners free.
In sharing our anxieties and our love, our poverty
and prosperity, we partake of your divine presence.