Have you ever wondered what the ladies and the men of the S.V.D.P do? Do you see them as old timers who collect money in their boxes at the back of the church. Well, they do many other things as well – some pleasant and some not so pleasant. But they do it all with a the spiritual aim of following the Christ-like example of Frederick Ozonam, the founder of the S.V.D.P.
His aim was to alleviate the suffering of the poor and lonely in every parish. Today, over 180 years later, the members of the St Vincent de Paul Society throughout the world take on the same challenge by bringing help where possible to those in need – the poor, the lonely, the sick, the unemployed, broken homes and the elderly.
Herein St Leo’s we meet once a week with the support of Fr Gerry: we say our prayers and arrange help and visits for the following week (more than 500 visits in the past few years); we try to be present at parish funerals and we offer Mass for the deceased; we make regular visits to the housebound and the elderly of the parish, and to parishioners in hospital; we arrange outings each year with our ‘Bus Run’, Christmas Dinner, concerts, and we organise and support a Mass for the Sick. From your generous donations we help families in financial difficulties and we donate to our twin conference in India (sewing machines, goats, house building) and to other worthy causes.
Every organisation seems to be struggling a bit nowadays. However, we have 5 active members and the recent parish census gives us reason to expect more active support shortly. If you are interested in sharing our spirituality and supporting our work then you should be over 16 years of age, have a spiritual motive, be able to attend our weekly meetings – we currently meet on Thursday mornings but are giving thought to changing the day and time of the meetings – and be able to commit yourself to taking a share in the visits to people’s homes and hospitals.
If you would like to know more about the S.V.D.P please speak to one of the members or to Fr Gerry.
Finally, on behalf of our parish priest and the members of the St Vincent de Paul Society in St Leo the Great parish, I ask for every blessing on you for the generous support you have given us over the years.