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Workshops and Retreats

Improve Sensitivity, Quality and Efficacy

of service to those in need

From the time of the Society’s inception, our founders relied upon others for direction and formation in the spirit of St. Vincent. In that same spirit, the Cincinnati District Council offers formation and training for our Conference Members and Officers to deepen our knowledge of the Society and our spirituality; to improve the sensitivity, quality and efficacy of our service to those in need; and to increase our awareness of available resources.

Workshops & Retreats for the Formation of All Vincentians

Ozanam Orientation (REQUIRED): This covers the essential elements of what it means to be part of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  As Vincentians, we are all required to attend this Orientation at least once.  The Orientation is valuable whether you are a new member looking for an introduction to SVDP or a seasoned Vincentian desiring to deepen your experience of the Society.

NEW! Annual Vincentian Retreat

“Turn Everything to Love” The Rule of the Society calls us to “turn everything over to love.”  This year our annual retreat taps into formation created by the U.S. Society.  All Vincentians in the five districts of the Cincinnati Archdiocesan Council are invited to participate.  The retreat is based on the book, “Turn Everything to Love,” written by Rev. Robert P. Maloney, C.M.  This retreat offers to help us create a sacred space in our hearts for listening to others, supporting them in prayer, and walking with them through life.

Vincentian Discernment: Discernment is a prayer-filled process through which each of us can discover God’s will for our lives. This workshop taps into Vincentian tradition to explore ways we can become more in touch with God’s will for us every day.

First Friday Formation:  Join your fellow Vincentians the first Friday of each month (Noon to 1:30 p.m.) as we share our ideas about topics related to Vincentian Life and Spirituality. Each month we explore a new topic sure to be of interest to all Vincentians. Details of topics are distributed in advance of each session. (Jan. 3, Feb. 7, March 6, April 3, May 1, June 5, Aug. 7, Sept. 11, Oct. 2, Nov. 13, Dec. 4)


Workshops to Form More Compassionate & Effective Vincentians

Exploring Poverty 101: This workshop explores the perspectives of our neighbors in poverty so we can be even more compassionate as we serve them. It provides an insightful lens for looking at some of the differences between economic classes that we often find perplexing. This is ideal for Vincentians who want to deepen their sense of solidarity with those we serve.

NEW! Exploring Poverty 201:  This two-part series explores the complex issues our neighbors face when living in poverty, while challenging our assumptions and biases about other people. It is recommended that you attend both parts.  This series is led by the Ozanam Center for Service Learning.

Part One – Cincinnati Poverty Simulation:  This is experiential learning in which each participant receives an identity and must live out a “month” in poverty over the course of one hour’s time.

Part Two – Implicit Bias Workshop: An educational experience in which we define and explore our unconscious biases in a safe environment and collaboratively identify solutions in order to better serve each other.

“Seeing the Face of Christ via Phone:” Conference Call-taking Workshop: Being a call-taker may be the most challenging job that a Vincentian can have. It can be difficult to make decisions about our neighbors’ needs via phone. In this workshop, we discuss best practices in call-taking, record-keeping and dealing with crisis situations. Extensive Q&A time is included.

Home Visit Workshop: The home visit has been the foundation of our work since the Society was founded. Despite years of practice, there are still ways we can make our visits more fulfilling for our neighbors and for us. Whether you are making your first home visit or you have made many, this is your chance to hone your skills, share insights and ask lingering questions.

Praying During Home Visits: Bringing spiritual support to our neighbors-in-need is an important part of Vincentian life. This workshop examines how we pray with those we serve and provides some suggested tools for deepening that prayer, including a simple process for extemporaneous prayer.

Walking With Our Neighbors: Developing Ongoing Relationships: This workshop shares Vincentian experiences in developing ongoing relationships with neighbors-in-need and uses those experiences to explore alternative approaches to identify which neighbors would be good candidates for these relationships, determine the kinds of ongoing collaboration to be created and assess effectiveness.


Workshops for the Development of Conferences and Conference Leaders

NEW! VIRTUS Training: All Vincentians are encouraged to participate in this training as it helps us understand the Archdiocesan Decree on Child Protection, explores how to deal with suspected abuse that we may observe on home visits, and provides guidance about our reporting responsibilities.

Conference Recruiting and Retention Workshop: This workshop is open to all Vincentians. In it we share our newest learning about what makes Conferences vibrant and how we can apply these learnings to help keep our Conferences growing. Learn from seasoned SVDP leaders and develop your own list of actions to implement with your Conference members and parish.

“Growing in Holiness Together” Conference Spirituality Workshop: The primary purpose of the Society is the spiritual growth of its members. This workshop is for Conference Presidents and Spiritual Advisors (only) and shares tools and practices that enables them to more effectively guide their members along the path to deeper holiness.

Conference Presidents Meeting: This Annual Meeting is for Conference Presidents only and is the perfect opportunity to meet and share ideas with other Conference Presidents, to get updates on what is going on across our District Council and to find answers to questions related to the President’s role and the Society.

Conference Officer Training: Each year we bring together all of our Conference Officers to explore topics designed to enhance their skills as leaders of the Society. Our goal is always to help our Officers create Conferences that are more life-giving for current members, more attractive to new members and more effective in service to our neighbors in need.

NEW! CMS Continuous Improvement: These sessions focuses on better and more efficient usage of CMS for all users. Ultimately, attending any of these sessions reduces your confusion and improve your confidence so you can focus more of your time on assisting neighbors and deepening your spirituality. Regardless of your skill level when it comes to using CMS, we guarantee everyone will get something out of each session.  (Feb. 19, March 18, April 15, May 20, June 17, July 15, Aug. 19, Sept. 16 Oct. 21, Nov. 18, Dec. 16)


Special District and Regional  Events

Cincinnati District Resource Fair: The Resource Fair is designed to help us serve our neighbors with as much care and compassion as we can, while meeting their needs as effectively and efficiently as possible. You meet representatives of local service organizations to learn what they offer (with emphasis on what is new) and how we can help our neighbors best take advantage of their services.

Summer Meeting, Fall Fellowship Mass and Reception, and Christmas Meeting: The Cincinnati District Conferences gather together several times each year to share information, to give thanks for our many blessings, to celebrate our faith and friendship, and to recognize those Vincentians who inspire us in our shared vocation.

To register or ask questions about any of these workshops, retreats or events, please call 513-345-1767.