|A Brief History of the Society||St. Vincent de Paul: Important Dates in His Life|
|Ozanam Conference||Frédéric Ozanam|
|Vincent de Paul for Today||Archdiocescan Council of San Francisco|
|Society of St. Vincent de Paul||St.Vincent de Paul at Home and Abroad|
|Brief History of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul|
|The Society of Vincent de Paul was
founded in 1833 by Frédéric Ozanam, a 20-year-old student of the Sorbonne University in
In answer to taunts directed toward Catholics to practice what they preached, Frédéric Ozanam and a group of fellow students started seeking out the poor in Paris, visiting them in their homes, taking them food and clothing and offering them their friendship and concern. This small group took as their patron the great French priest who alerted the world to social problems: St. Vincent de Paul.
Similar groups began in Paris and then in the rest of France, eventually spreading throughout the Christian world. Their purpose was, for the love of God, visiting those in need. Currently, the SVDP Society has approximately 900,000 members in 113 countries.
The society at St. Thomas More Church took as its conference name the Ozanam Conference and directs its efforts to help the Ozanam Center.
The Ozanam Center, a facility for substance abusers, has a broad specturm of comprehensive services which are revised as necessary to reflect the changing needs of the community.
The Ozanam Conference provides sandwiches for the needy, collects items such as toiletries, men's socks, pants, and hats. At Christmas, the Conference provides a giving tree and delivers turkeys and special treats to the Center. At Easter, hams and baskets of candies are provided. St. Thomas More School participates in these efforts by bringing sandwiches, making cards at holiday times, and collecting needed items.
|Vincent de Paul for Today|
|During the French Revolution, rioting mobs broke into the Pantheon in Paris and smashed all the religious statues but one. Despite their zeal to replace, in their eyes, a repressive Christianity with the freshness of their secular heroes and heroines, they could not bring themselves to deface the image of Monsieur Vincent. He had done too much good, helped too many of their forebears, spoken too movingly about the preciousness of the ordinary person for them to throw him out with the rest.|
|His appeal continues to be that universal. It is to the wellsprings of human dignity, the basic goodness of people. Praying with him allows us to go beneath the accomplishments the mob so admired to the reason Vincent could give his care so lovingly in the first place. When he served the poor, he "touched God." And when he came before God, he found himself reaching out to the poor.|
|Vincent mirrors today's active apostle, needing nourishment from action and prayer as they intertwine in the heat of the day. He models that apostle's stance before God, prayerfully active and actively prayerful in bringing the Good News.|