How to Get Involved in a Conference
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul invites you to become a member of a Conference and to take part in our Mission to “see Christ in the face of the poor”. We encourage you to attend a meeting of your local St. Vincent de Paul Conference. You can get involved by finding your Conference or by reaching out to a Conference member in your parish for more information about joining our organization. All Active members of the Society must be Catholic; however, non- Catholics are also welcome to become Associate members of a Conference.
What is a Conference?
- The Conference is the basic unit of the Society. It is made up of a group of volunteers called to grow in holiness through person-to-person service. The members of the Society are called “Vincentians.”
- The mission is to grow together in spirituality and friendship by giving person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering.
- Conference members meet on a regular basis: weekly is the expectation, twice a month is acceptable. The meetings offer Vincentians an opportunity to grow in holiness, community, and service.
- Most Conferences are associated with a Catholic Parish. No work of charity is foreign to the Society, so Vincentians are available and open to help with whatever the need may be. Conferences may also be established at elementary schools, high schools, and universities, or around particular ministries: to prisoners, residents of nursing homes and shelters, to the homeless, etc. The unifying factor may even be a common professional background or cultural interest. The work of non-traditional, non-parish-associated Conferences tends to be more single service or project oriented.
What do Conferences do in the Dayton Area?
The core of our Society’s work is done by more than 960 members in 35 St. Vincent de Paul Conferences across The Dayton area. The home visit is a trademark of our Society. This tradition was initiated by our founder, Frederic Ozanam, as he assisted the poor in Paris. Frederic believed that “the work of the Society should not be conducted in a comfortable meeting room but rather in the cheerless attic tenement, or in the sick room, the jail, the hospital, the old age home or any place where love is needed.” Conferences support their clients with a wide range of needs. They may provide rental assistance or help with utility bills, medicine, food, clothing and furniture. Some Conferences even have their own food pantry. But more important than the physical aid given, the conferences provide friendship and spiritual support to the people they help.
Our members believe that being a Vincentian is a vocation—something that we live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We express our spirituality with our prayer resources.
These weekly Reflections are great tools for volunteer Vincentians to tie together what we do in our everyday lives and our faith. They are originally designed for Vincentians, but are helpful to anyone who needs of a reminder of what we are called to do for our neighbors in need on our blog.
Our members regularly meet to celebrate, plan, and learn. If you would like to attend an event, contact:
Phone: 222-5555, ext. 416