The Saint Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) was established in 1833 by a young Frenchman, Frederick Ozanam, to look after the poor, lonely and destitute in his native Paris. Since then, SVP branches, or Conferences as they are called, are to be found throughout the World. Frederick Ozanam was beatified in 1997.
In our parish, meetings are held every first and third Wednesday evenings of the month, except during the summer – attendance is not compulsory and everyone is most welcome.
At these meetings, there are prayers followed by a discussion – in confidence – of matters arising from activities of the members in the previous week and plans are agreed for any action needed.
The Society’s aims can be summarised as follows:
- to assist the Parish Priest in any possible way
- to visit sick or lonely parishioners in their homes or in hospital (and to give them small gifts at Christmas)
- to arrange and provide transport for those who cannot get to Mass, including the disabled at Redcliffe House
- to provide assistance to needy children of the parish, mainly by financial help
- to contribute funds to other needy Conferences, especially in India
Funds are raised mainly by collections at each meeting, although the Parish Priest always helps out with any exceptional needs.