St. Vincent de Paul Society

Overview

Members of the Society (Vincentians) provide service to the poor and others in need, as a result of life's challenges. This ministry is about giving yourself and allows you to both answer God's call to service and to respond to needs within your immediate or wider community. Although home visitations have traditionally represented the core work of the members, Vincentians and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul continue to respond to new needs and realities. ("No work of charity is foreign to the Society", The Rule, Schema 1)

Mandatory Activities/Responsibilities

Vincentians are members of a Conference (generally parish-based) and, as such, their commitments will include:

  • Serving the needy through activities determined by the local Conference. These activities currently include home visitations, holding the poor box after mass, a Christmas basket program and clothing, toy and food drives
  • Actively and regularly participating in the activities of the Society, according to the principles set forth in the General Rule and faithfully attending the meetings of the Conference
  • Contributing to the spirit of fraternity, simplicity and Christian joy which are the hallmark of Conference meetings and being active participants in the process of collectively striving to improve services to those in need
  • Responding to the need for involvement on committees or in an executive position as your talents and interests lead you
  • Meeting and continuing to abide by the membership requirements as detailed in Policy # 1 (Membership) and Policy # 2 (Member Screening/Risk Management)

Skills, Experience and Qualifications

  • 18 years of age or older (unless otherwise approved in special circumstances)
  • "All persons of good will, desirous of living the Catholic faith by loving and serving their neighbour in need, participating in the activities of the Society, according to the principle set forth in the General Rule, may become members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul" (Schema 2, Article 1)
  • Compliance with the screening measures below

Personal Traits and Qualities

  • A deep desire to serve the poor and others in need and to commit some of your time, talents and self to this ministry
  • The ability and the commitment to see Christ in those whom you will serve
  • A genuine spirit of humility and generosity
  • A deep sensitivity to, and respect for, the person and their range of needs
  • A sense of humour especially about yourself

Orientation and Training

  • Complete the member orientation session for new members (provided through Central Council)
  • Become familiar with the Rule
  • Make a commitment to ongoing training as available

Participant Group

  • People with a range of needs will welcome or seek out the assistance of the Society. Some will require financial assistance, others a compassionate ear or some advice. Assistance will usually be provided through home visitation. In other cases, those in need might receive support and assistance at another appropriate location such as the church hall

Support, Supervision and Evaluation

  • The most substantive and regular support and supervision is provided by the president and other members of your Conference. Through regular (weekly or twice monthly, in most cases) sharing of experience and expertise related to the cases of those served, the member is able to self-evaluate and the group is able to assist and guide the member.
  • Where it is the opinion of the Conference president that, in spite of efforts to address the concern, a member is not providing appropriate service to those in need or is behaving contrary to the principle of the Rule, the process describe in the Membership and Member Screening/Risk Management Policies will apply.

Length of Ministry Appointment

  • Vincentians may remain members as long as the continue to be in good standing with a Conference and abide by the requirements for membership including adherence to the principle of the Rule

Benefits and Working Conditions

  • You are provided with the opportunity to answer Christ's call to serve and to respond to the need of those less fortunate. In order to do so, it will be necessary for you to be available to visit homes as the need arises, to attend regular meetings and to assist in other ways. You must be prepared to be generous with your time, talents and compassion.

Screening Measures

Before becoming a full member each candidate must:

  • submit a completed Member Information Form, with references
  • submit an appropriate Police Record Check report
  • Successfully complete the interview process
  • Sign a Service Covenant
  • Complete the Orientation Session

Contact

Parish Office at (416) 489-1540, Ext 221 or Click Here.

The Web sites for the St. Vincent de Paul Society are www.svdptoronto.com (Toronto) and www.ssvp.ca (Canada).