25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

St Vincent de Paul (27 September)
St. Vincent de Paul (1576 - 1660) was born in Gascony, France, and died in Paris. He studied theology at
Toulouse and was ordained a priest in 1600. As a young priest he fell into the hands of Mohammedan pirates who carried him off to Africa. After his return to France he became successively parish priest, grand almoner of the galley slaves, and spiritual director of the Visitation nuns. He founded the Congregation of the Priests of the
Mission or Lazarists to preach especially to country people. With the help of Louise de Marillac he established the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity to care for young girls, for the needy, sick, and orphans.
His motto: "God sees you."
He died at St. Lazarus's which was the centre of his Congregation. Leo XIII proclaimed him special patron of charitable institutions.
Patron: charitable societies; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; prisoners; volunteers; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Vincentian Service Corps; Madagascar; diocese of Richmond, Virginia.
In Ireland the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is the largest, voluntary, charitable
organisation. Its membership of 10,500 volunteers throughout the country are supported by professional staff, working for social justice and the creation of a more just, caring nation. This unique network of social concern also gives practical support to those experiencing
poverty and social exclusion, by providing a wide range of services to people in need.
Dublin's first Youth Conference of the Holy Ghost was established in Blackrock College in 1900. It was not for secondary school students but for those preparing for university examinations. During a coal strike in Britain in 1926 which affected the supply of coal to Ireland and because of coal being essential to what were regarded as "poor families" by the civic authorities of the time, the SVP was asked to undertake the sale of coal at fixed prices.
The Society then organised all its members in Dublin in dealing with the coal emergency and paid for 1,500 bags of coal which it organised to be distributed free to those in great need. SVP members then visited the houses of the working people in their localities and distributed 8,000 vouchers that enabled families to buy a bag of coal for 3s.6d. Electricity and gas were unknown in the tenements of the time in Dublin. The Society also set up a 'coal fund' through which people could pay a few pence a week towards the cost of fuel for Christmas.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) is a direct service non-profit organisation whose work primarily
involves person-to-person contact with people who have a variety of needs. In addition to direct assistance, they try to promote self-sufficiency, enabling people to help themselves. Any assistance offered by the Society is given in a non-judgemental spirit of compassion, based on the need of the individual or family.
St. Vincent de Paul act as a short-term safety net for those who fall outside the care of the Welfare State or need emergency financial support. They try to embrace those who are marginalised by helping them to rekindle their self-respect and sense of worth. The Charity's Mission is also to rectify the causes of poverty which perpetuate the problems faced by those they work with. Since the beginning of the recession the calls SVP have doubled.
The Local SVP office is:
SVP North East Regional Office, 53/54 Trinity Street, Drogheda, Co Louth
Telephone 041 9873331/ 1800677777
"Let us love God; but at the price of our hands and sweat of our face."

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