Christ Our Hope SVdP Conference
St. Vincent de Paul in Seattle and King County is made up of more than 50 conferences—“all-volunteer neighborhood support groups” who make personal in-home visits and personal contacts to help people with survival and self-sufficiency support. Our Christ Our Hope Conference serves the neighborhood of downtown Seattle. Christ Our Hope volunteers (Vincentians) make these home visits to help determine the exact nature and detail of the assistance required to help our neighbors. We meet the second Sunday of each month following morning mass in the parish living room, all are welcome to join us.
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
National Society of the United States
One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (www.svdpusa.org) is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of about 800,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 150 countries on five continents. With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals more than 160,000 in 4,400 communities. SVdP offers a variety of programs and services, including home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, education and mentoring, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, assistance with transportation, prescription medication, and rent and utility costs. The Society also works to provide care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly.
Mission and Overview
Our mission has endured for almost 180 years. It is the road map for explaining who we are and what we do.
Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic volunteer organization, leads individuals to join together to offer person-to-person service to the poor and the suffering. And in doing this work, we all enrich our lives spiritually.
“When people need help, we’ll be there.” That is our calling. We serve everyone. Period.
Founding of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813 - 1853) was founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Frédéric was a husband and father, professor and servant of the poor. He founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul as a young student with others of the Sorbonne in Paris. Frédéric Ozanam left his home in Lyon, France, in the autumn of 1831, for Paris. He registered in the School of Law at the Sorbonne, University of Paris. Frédéric collaborated with Mr. Emmanuel Bailly, editor of the Tribune Catholique, in reviving a student organization which had been suspended during the revolutionary activity of July 1830. They called their new association "The Conference of History." The group met on Saturdays to discuss various topics, everything but politics. At one of their meetings, a student challenged Frédéric and the practicing Catholics. He admitted that the Catholic Church had done much good work in the past, but "what do you do now?" Frédéric called for a meeting of five of his friends; they agreed to meet at Mr. Bailly's office. The date was April 23, 1833, Frédéric's twentieth birthday. Inspired by their words, Frédéric decided to found the "Conference of Charity" to assist the poor. Emmanuel Bailly, the married layman, was chosen by the six students as their first President. In a short time, they changed their name to The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in honor of their patron.
Blessed Rosalie Rendu, DC (1786 - 1856) was a Daughter of Charity who served for 54 years in the Mouffetard area, the most impoverished district of Paris. Emmanuel Bailly, the President of the Society, sent the founding members of the Society to Sister Rosalie for guidance and direction. Sending them on home visits, she formed them in the spirit of St. Vincent, teaching them how to serve the poor with respect and compassion.