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Cincinnati District Council - Conferences
The core of our Society’s work is done by more than 900 members in 59 St. Vincent de Paul Conferences across Hamilton County. A conference is a small group of volunteers, typically associated with a parish or school, who visit those in need to assess their situations and help however possible. The home visit is a trademark of our Society. It 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 offerings. They may provide rental assistance, help with utility bills, medicine, food, clothing and furniture. Some of the conferences even have their own food pantry. Conferences will typically provide special food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Often, parishes will join with the St Vincent de Paul Conference to buy gifts for families at Christmas. But more important than the physical aid given, the conferences provide friendship and spiritual support to the people they help.
St. Vincent de Paul said, "Give me a person of prayer, and such a one will be capable of accomplishing anything." The following resources can be used by individuals or conferences as they seek to grow in the spiritual strength of which St. Vincent speaks.
Click on the titles below to access each document or website.
- Vincentian Spirituality and Sacred Scripture: a series of eight prayer sessions focused on short Scripture passages that are at the heart of the spirituality of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Inspired by pp. 59-66 of the Manual. (Can be used with quote handouts, below.)
- Quote Handouts for Vincentian Spirituality and Sacred Scripture: sheets of Scriptural quote cards that can be used in conjunction with the prayer sessions above.
- Meditation on a Recent Home Visit: guided questions to help you look back at a recent encounter with a neighbor and see more clearly where Christ was present in the joys or challenges.
- Prayers for the St. Vincent de Paul Society: packet of prayers compiled by the Vincentian family.
- Prayers for a Life of Service: several prayers taken from across the Catholic tradition, intended to provide guidance and support to those living a life of Christian service.