Blessed Frédéric Ozanam
Founder of the Society Worldwide
Blessed Frédéric Ozanam
St. Vincent de Paul
Our Patron Saint (the Patron Saint of Charity)
Members of the Society of St.Vincent de Paul (or “Vincentians” ) are men and women who strive to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to individuals in need. We are young and old. Our members come in every shade of skin color. Some of us are wealthy, some are financially poor, but all of us are blessed with an awareness that our blessings (time, talent or treasure) are to be shared with our brothers and sisters in need.
We know that we are not alone. We are part of an international society of friends united by a spirit of poverty, humility, and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings, and adherence to a basic Rule.
Energized by the awareness that service to our brother or sister in need is in fact an encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ, members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are keenly aware that poverty, suffering and loneliness are present for millions in our communities. For that reason, we collaborate with all who seek to relieve need and address its causes.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers tangible assistance to those in need on a person-to-person basis. It is this personalized involvement that makes the work of the Society unique. This aid may take the form of intervention, consultation, or often through direct dollar or in-kind service. An essential precept of the Society’s work is to provide help while conscientiously maintaining the confidentiality and dignity of those who are served. The Society recognizes that it must assume, also, a role of advocacy for those who are defenseless or voiceless. Some 12 million persons are helped annually by Vincentians in the United States.
The list of services of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the United States is endless. No work of charity is foreign to the Society. To quote our patron, St. Vincent de Paul: “Charity is infinitely inventive.”
Hearing the cry of the poor, responding to their needs and advocating for their rights…
Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to join together 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.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an advocate on behalf of the poor, seeking to discover the root causes of poverty and to remedy its effects.
“Need, not creed” determines who is helped, and how.
Although affiliated with the Catholic Church, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul helps anyone in need regardless of their race, religion, age, or background. Likewise, no work of charity is foreign to the Society. Consequently, we provide financial and material assistance, along with emotional and spiritual comfort to help people facing all sorts of challenges.
The History of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the City of New York
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, in the City of New York, the oldest district in the United States, has been quietly helping people in need since it was founded in 1856.
New York City Vincentians continue to serve in the same way our forefathers did, through personal home visits to neighbors in need. We still attend to the needs of the poor with respect, love and generosity.
After over 160 years the requirements of the needy may have changed, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul addresses those needs in the same gentle way.