S.V.P. Awareness Month
The St Vincent de Paul Society in England and Wales has around 10,000 members who, last year made over 500,000 visits to families and individuals who were house-bound or in need. Our theme for ‘Awareness Month’ this September is ‘Welcoming the Stranger' Over the next few weeks we will be putting posters on our notice board focusing on Homelessness, Grief, Loneliness, and Hunger.
The work of the SVP in this and many other parishes is to extend the hand of friendship to those in our community.
Much of our work is to visit people who are living alone , in their own homes or in residential or nursing homes. Very often people who live alone just love to have someone come and spend a little time with them to have a chat and maybe a cup of tea. Maybe they need just a little help with getting to that hospital or dental appointment which without a little friendly support can be quite a challenge or at least a worrying time. Just being there with and for someone at their time of need is indeed meeting Christ in our neighbour when he said
“ Whenever you do this for one of the least of my brothers, you did it for me.”
The SVP supports people in all kinds of need: debt, disability, sickness, people struggling to put food on the table , isolated older people, single parents and those who just need a little extra support, friendship and compassion. Much of our work is confidential and SVP members only make visits by invitation.
In all they do, the SVP is supported by the parish community to which they belong. We could do nothing without your help.
At Christmas, we made up about 80 food parcels and thanks to the wonderful group of helpers they were all made up, bagged and wrapped and delivered in record time. Thank you to everyone who helped.
This year also we helped sponsor some pilgrims to Lourdes. Thank you again, for your support when we made our appeal.
At the back of our Church are notice boards and one is specially for the SVP. Posters tell a little about what we do, who the founders were and where we fit in today’s society.
As well as working in this Parish we also help in a small way other SVP Groups across the world. In the past months the SVP International has been working with other aid agencies to help those affected by hurricanes or the extreme flooding which has resulted in the loss of many lives and homes. This help will continue long after the news broadcasts.
In our diocese we have several Community Support Projects and three of our St Vincent Shops are in the Cardiff area: Abergely Road Trowbridge, Holton Road Barry, and Tweedsmuir Road Tremorfa. They are always in need of goods to sell so please remember them when you next have a sort-out.
In the SVP, all members are committed to helping those they meet, whether it is a friendly word , a visit, material help, whatever it might be. We ask that you remember us in your prayers and if you know of anyone who might need a visit, please don’t just let it be a passing thought, tell an SVP member so that we can act upon that information and continue our commitment to support people in our community.
Vincent de Paul was born in 1581 in France and became a Priest who dedicated his life to serving the poor and disadvantaged in Paris. He was canonised by Pope Leo Xlll in 1837.
Frederic Ozanam was born in 1813 in Italy.
He and six friends founded the Conference of Charity and took as their patron St Vincent de Paul. This Charity became known as the SVP.
Frederic was beatified by Pope John Paul ll in 1997 but has yet to become canonised.
St. Vincent de Paul Prayer
Lord Jesus, may the example of St. Vincent de Paul
inspire us to be generous of hearts and hands to the needy.
May our generosity flow from humble gratitude for your many gifts to us,
rather than from false pride in our own abilities.
We are all needy in our own ways-
and so are dependent on your generosity and that of others.
Help us to respond willingly to the Gospel call to self-giving love,
to look for ways to serve rather than expecting to be served.