The St Vincent de Paul Society (or as it is often known – the SVP) is an international Christian voluntary organisation dedicated to tackling poverty and disadvantage by providing practical assistance to those in need – irrespective of ideology, faith, ethnicity, age or gender.
The Society was started in 1833 by a group of French students, led by Fredrick Ozanam. Frederick was beatified by Pope John Paul II. The movement which he started is now an international Christian voluntary organisation of lay people, predominantly Catholic, with 1 million members in 128 countries. The SVP today also runs an active programme of youth development in parishes, schools and universities.
St Augustine’s SVP Group is recently formed and would love to hear from you.
The society offers us, the laity at the opportunity to do what the New Testament refers to as our Christian Duty. St James tells us that “Faith without good works is dead.” St Paul, talking of Faith Hope and Charity, tells us that “the greatest of these is charity/love” but the most powerful and all embracing statement of our Christian duty comes from Christ himself. When asked which is the greatest commandment, he replied, “Love God and thy neighbour as thyself.”Spending time with people in need is our greatest gift.
The Society’s aim is to help those who are suffering through injustice and poverty, by person to person contact, without regard to creed or colour. You may ask who is my neighbour in a modern welfare state – The lonely, the bereaved, the housebound, the sick and the terminally ill, the mentally troubled, those in hospital or Care homes with no visitors, the rejected, jobless or homeless…
We hold our meetings on the first and third Thursday of the month at 7.45 pm in the upper room or come and talk to us after the Sunday 11 am Mass during refreshments or events. There are a number of ways in which you may well already be doing the work of the society in visitation to other Parishioners, friends or family and you could become an Auxiliary member or Friend of St Augustine’s SVP.
In England & Wales , around 10,000 volunteer members in 1,100 mainly parish-based groups make more than half a million visits each year giving their time, friendship and talents to helping vulnerable people in the community.
What will you get for your efforts? You will get fellowship from other members and hopefully an increase in personal spirituality.