Who We Are

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 those who are needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, and patron, St. Vincent de Paul.

As a reflection of the whole family of God, members, who are known as Vincentians, are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level. Vincentians are united in an international society of charity by their spirit of poverty, humility and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings and adherence to a basic Rule.

Organized locally, Vincentians witness God's love by embracing all works of charity and justice. The Society collaborates with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction in those served because, in them, Vincentians see the face of Christ.

"The king will say to those on his right: 'Come. You have my Father's blessing! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you. For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me." Matthew 25:34-40

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an organization whose central purpose is to serve God and grow spiritually by service to others.

The Society of Vincent de Paul adheres to a set of principles that are central to our creed and ministry and these principles guide our actions.

We believe...

  • In the dignity of the human person
  • In the identification of Jesus with the poor
  • In the preferential option for the poor
  • That Jesus is the Evangelizer and Servant of the poor
  • That growth in intimacy with Jesus is a lifelong process
  • That poverty of spirit is the primary beatitude
  • That our primary concern is charity and justice
  • That prayer is essential: personal and communal
  • In the virtue of humility: personal and corporate
  • In the virtue of charity, inside and outside the Society
  • In Divine Providence
  • In Friendship
  • In Community
  • In Simplicity

Started by Frederic Ozanam in 1833 and modeled after the charity of St. Vincent de Paul, the organization was first named "The Conference of Charity." From then to the present members have always strived to serve all poor without distinction. "No need is foreign to the Society" and we seek to serve not only the material and physical needs but the spiritual needs as well.

The Society is structured to offer assistance through a local parish group known as a "Conference" mirrored after that first "Conference of Charity." Composed of men and women from all walks of life, every age group, color, and economic level, members come together to help those in need and are known as "Vincentians." Assistance is offered through person to person contact, home visitation and other initiatives. Conference members meet regularly to provide mutual support, spiritual reflection and discuss how best to respond to the people they assist. These Conferences are the basic unit of organization and the service they give is the heart of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.