The history of St. Vincent de Paul is a story of helping the poor over the past 185 years by a spiritual bond between its 880,000 members and Blessed Frederic Ozanam, its founder and patron saint, and our mutual love and commitment to the poor and needy.
The Society was founded in Paris by a group of people who were inspired by Gospel values, nourished by prayer, and challenged by anti-Catholic students to “show us your works.”
Our goal is to nurture spirituality among ourselves, and to follow Christ through service to those in need and to bear witness to His compassionate and liberating love.
We are called Vincentians and are called to serve the poor, however, defined. We assist all people within our parish boundaries regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender or political opinions. Vincentians serve in hope to help families become self-sufficient, and alleviate those burdens we can.
The Spirituality of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul begins and lives in the home visit. Our Vincentian charism began when Vincent de Paul made a home visit in Chatillon in 1617. In 1833, Frederic and his companions began to do home visits guided and mentored by Sr. Rosalie Rendu, a Daughter of Charity. The Society at St James continues this tradition of helping the poor in their homes to this day. Our attitude toward those we serve is that of a friend, a brother or sister, a neighbor; always seeking to honor the dignity of each person, respecting them, and seeking to promote their well-being.
St Vincent wrote:
“After the love of God, your principal concern must be to serve the poor with great gentleness and cordiality, sympathizing with them in their ailments and listening to their little complaints…for they look on you as people sent by God to help them. You are therefore intended to represent the goodness of God in the eyes of the poor.”
The Society at St James the Apostle meets every Tuesday, at 10:00 AM. We invite anyone who is interested in our mission of helping the poor to join us.