St. Vincent de Paul

Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, and patron, St. Vincent de Paul.

As a reflection of the whole family of God, members, who are known as Vincentians, witness God’s love by embracing works of charity and justice. The Society collaborates with other people of good will to help relieve the suffering of those in need, with no distinction as to race, gender, color or belief.

At St. Linus, members of our St. Vincent De Paul conference meet with those who come to us for help to:

  • Verify the type of need that exists (food, clothing, counseling, etc.);
  • Determine ways that we might assist the person in need;
  • Where necessary, solicit help from neighboring SVDP conferences and other organizations to meet the family’s needs.

Where food is the issue, our St. Vincent De Paul conference often assists those who come to us by providing a box of food to assist with immediate needs and/or to refer them to an organization that can provide food on a longer term basis.

If the problem is financial, our SVDP conference is often able to assist with at least the partial payment of utility bills, or even rent or a house payment. Because our resources are limited, payments by the SVDP are also limited, so in the case of a larger need, local parishes will often share that burden through a process called “twinning.” In that way, a substantial need can be met by more than one SVDP conference sharing the burden.

Where the problem is of a personal nature, SVDP representatives will refer the person to an agency that can better assist them. Such referrals have helped people obtain food stamps, apply for Social Security benefits, negotiate an overdue utility payment, seek help for addictions, and even arrange the adoption of a child who could not otherwise be cared for.

Our St. Vincent De Paul conference also participates in the solicitation, preparation and serving of food at St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen and St. Patrick’s Senior Center each year and at the serving of Thanksgiving dinners each November at Manna House in Detroit. Our conference is also involved in the preparation and delivery of 130 food baskets at Christmas and in the gathering of clothing and toys at Christmas for families who are in need.

Food and funds for our St. Vincent De Paul conference come mainly from donations from parishioners who recognize the work of the SVDP and who wish to share in the scriptural call to help those who are in need. We also benefit financially from two fundraisers staged by the SVDP each year — the annual Friends of the Poor Walk in September, and a casino fundraiser each spring. And we benefit, too, from donations by parish organizations, most notably the Men’s Club with their annual golf outing, the Foresters Club with their Soup and Bread fundraiser, and by contributions from the Knights of Columbus.

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