The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is an international, lay Catholic organization whose mission is:
To live the Gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice and joy. The Mission of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul implies that as Vincentians, we see Christ in anyone who suffers, come together as a family, have personal contact with the poor and help in all possible ways.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded by Frederic Ozanam, in France, in 1833. Ozanam and his friends, assisted by Professor Bailly and Sister Rosalie, a Nun of the Congregation of St. Vincent de Paul, formed a “Conference of Charity” to serve the poor through personal visitations in their homes. The Society spread rapidly and by the time of Frederic’s death, in 1853, there were about 1,500 Conferences. By 1900, the Society had spread throughout the world. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul now spans the five continents, in more than one hundred nations, with hundreds of thousands of Brothers and Sisters serving the poor under the same common ‘rule’.
Our St. Luke’s Conference, founded in 1991, serves Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. The majority of requests in recent years has been for food supplies. At present, we provide healthy monthly hampers to approximately 23 families. We also provide emergency hampers upon request. At Christmas we put together beautiful hampers to approximately 40 families. These hampers include a turkey or ham plus gifts. In order to fulfill the above needs, our St. Vincent de Paul Conference has been blessed with on-going very generous financial and food donation support from our parish and local businesses.
St. Luke’s Conference also provides social and spiritual support. There is no work of Christian charity that is beyond the scope of the Society. We have been visiting sick, lonely, and elderly people. Some of our members visit and pray with people who are dying. Others have been reaching out to street people and those living in the local ‘tent city’. In our outreach work we have partnered with the monks at Westminster Abby, the Salvation Army, Christmas Haven and the United Church.
For more information about how you might help or get involved in the various works of charity through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, please contact St. Luke’s parish office at 604-465-5383.