Friday, 27 September is the Feast of Saint Vincent de Paul. His life was based on total dedication to God, which allowed him to live in poverty most of his life and to dedicate himself completely to his work of helping the poor. He had a great sense of humour and was very charming; sounds like quite the Frenchman. His way was really his emphasis on waiting for God to act, rather than rushing ahead, and on keeping things simple. His trust in God was extraordinary and his love for the poor astounding.
Nearly two centuries after his death another Frenchman, Frederic Ozanam, started a group dedicated to seeking out and helping those in need. To reflect the spiritual and human nature of this group, he and his associates adopted St Vincent de Paul as their patron saint, thereby establishing the St Vincent de Paul Society or SVP.
Today the SVP is a worldwide organisation. The first conference was formed in this country in 1844 and today there are over 1,000 conferences with over 10,000 members in England and Wales. In the Hallam Diocese we have 18 conferences with work going on to establish more.
In recognition of their patron, the SVP in the Hallam Diocese will be celebrating St Vincent’s feast day with a special Mass at St Vincent’s Church, Pickmere Road, Crookes, Sheffield on Friday, 27 September at 7.30pm. The Mass will be concelebrated by Fr Patrick Walsh, Parish Priest and Bishop Ralph. Refreshments will be served after Mass.
The Mass will be well attended by SVP members from around the diocese, but a cordial invitation is offered to any who wish to attend this celebration.