By Eric Martin
The St Vincent de Paul Society WA will this month celebrate the feast day of its patron with a Thanksgiving Mass in gratitude for God’s generosity in their work with those in need.
This Mass, to be held on 27 September, will be celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton and concelebrated by SVDP WA Chaplain Fr Nino Vinciguerra, together with Fr Brian Russell and other clergy connected with the Society through local Conferences.
“The celebration is to rejoice in our heritage, spirituality and mission in the world today,” said Chair of the St Vincent de Paul Spirituality Advisory Committee, John Orzanski.
“We will celebrate this in St Mary’s Cathedral which is the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Perth as a Vincentian Family proud of our History and hope for the future.”
The St Vincent de Paul Society collects and distributes food supplies for vulnerable Australians during the Christmas Appeal. Photo: Supplied.
The Mass will also support the attainment of three of St Vincent de Paul’s strategic goals for 2017-2021, by engaging with the historic support base that has nourished the organisation, the people of the Church:
- Understand the needs and motivations of people who may want to engage with the Society from our traditional and non-traditional sources.
- Increased public awareness of the Society’s activities.
- Establish a plan that engages our people in grass roots advocacy to create a more just and compassionate society.
“State President Gladys Demissie and CEO Susan Rooney will also attend, in addition to Conference Presidents and members of the Society. Invitations have been extended to all staff in administration, depot and Vinnies Shops which includes all Volunteers,” Mr Orzanski explained.
The SVDP Society is a lay Catholic organisation that aspires to live the Gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and joy, and by working together to shape a more just and compassionate society.
The SVDP Society’s rich history of charity for the poor means that it is one of the best recognised charities in Western Australia, with support being provided to over 40,000 people in need each year by 3500 local volunteers.
It was founded in France by a group of young men in 1833, the principal founder being a 20-year-old young man named Frederic Ozanam.
Ozanam and his friends named the Society after the Patron Saint of Charitable Societies, St Vincent de Paul.
Vincent urged his followers to bring God’s justice and love to people who were unable to live a full human life.
His contributions to the education of priests and services for the poor shaped the Catholic Church’s role in the modern world.
Vincent de Paul died in Paris in 1660, at age 79, 173 years before the foundation of the St Vincent de Paul Society.