The objectives of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul; are to seek Personal Holiness and deepen the Faith and Fidelity of members, through prayer. The focus of its work is to give priority to the Poorest of the Poor, to address their Spiritual as well as Material needs, and most importantly, to seek ways to help the poor be able to help themselves.Holy Family Cathedral Parish has three conferences of St. Vincent de Paul.
President: Mrs. Lilian Hynes
Phone: +1 268 722-2311
St. Francis of Assisi Conference
President: Ms. Karen Crawford
Phone: +1 268 764-7748
St. Joseph's Conference
President: Peggy Carrington
Phone: +1 268 786-4103
The brief history of the organization which was provided told of the introduction of this international lay catholic organization back in 1833 by a 20 year old youth by the name of Frederic Ozonan who felt challenged to put his faith into action.
The organization however bears the name of a priest whose life and ministry were forcefully impacted by the founder.
The Assembly was told that today the poor are still with us and that we don’t have to look beyond the streets of St. John’s and in our various neighbourhoods to witness this fact.
The objectives of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul were stated as: to seek personal holiness and deepen the faith and fidelity of members through prayer.
The focus of its work is to give priority to the poorest of the poor, to address their spiritual as well as material needs, and more importantly, to seek ways to help the poor to be able to help themselves.
The Society which was started in Antigua in 1975 has a membership of approximately 25 persons in its three conferences (Cathedral, St. Francis of Assisi, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help).
Activities for the Society were stated as:
- Home visitations of elderly, shut-ins and persons in the Fiennes Institution, and the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital.
- Distribution of clothing, food packages, and food vouchers
- Its two major ongoing programs include: the Good Shepherd home for young girls, and the St. Vincent De Paul Day Care Centre for the Elderly
- Days of recollection/retreat Membership, we were advised, is open to anyone and everyone who is united in the same spirit of empathy, caring and sharing as was both Ozonan, and St. Vincent de Paul. The Society’s plans for the future include:
- Using a variety of measures to increase its membership. This would include: information in weekly bulletin, opportunities to talk to the young people in the parish; better use of the media to educate and sensitize the public to the work of the Society and its relevance to today’s world.
- Liaising with other NGO’s to seriously address issue of homelessness, and issues such as the incarceration of young females;
- Taking a more pro-active approach in being a voice for the voiceless and advocating on behalf of dozens of new immigrants.