THE SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL AT HOLY FAMILY PARISH
Contact Person: Stella Vigil 505-351-4073
Joanne D. Sandoval
Felix O. Vigil
Inspired by Gospel Values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, and patron St. Vincent de Paul.
This Conference is a lay organization of the Roman Catholic Church and is established to provide emergency assistance to families who reside within the boundaries of the Holy Family Parish of Chimayo, NM. Also, to conduct such other charitable activities as agreed upon by the conference members.
The conference consists of the active, associate and contributing members of the Society within the parish who volunteer to join the conference. Members, who are known as Vincentians, are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level. Vincentians are united in an international society of charity by their poverty, humility, and sharing and adherence to a basic Rule of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (our manual/guidelines).
Vincentians are called to holiness by striving to conform to Jesus, doing God’s will, and devoting ourselves to the service of God’s suffering and poor. Serving those who are poor is what we are called to do, because, when we attend to them in the spirit of St. Vincent, we minister to Jesus Christ himself.
The Vincentian Vocation:
It’s not for everyone, nor for just anyone, but being a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul—being a Vincentian -is for some. It is a special calling by God. St. Vincent de Paul said over and over again, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” As members of the Society, we put our faith into action. We help the needy by personal and direct contact, doing so in a communal spirit of a conference of lay persons each inspired by the same vocation.
How do we help the poor in our missions:
When a request for assistance comes in, it is assigned to 2 conference members to conduct a home visit and a report is filled out listing all the information needed to make a decision as to what assistance will be provided. We help pay for such things as utilities, purchase wood, make lease payments and in some cases with food. We also give out baskets of food during Thanksgiving. We also visit our elderly and pray with them. We have on occasion cooked for some of the sick in our area. We also help with referrals to other agencies that can help them based on needs.
The officers consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The term of the President and his/her board is for a term of three years. The President may succeed him/herself in office twice (for a total of 6 years), after which he/she must step down. We also have a spiritual advisor, who assists us in our spiritual development, and we have several other active members. New members are always welcomed.
Our conference meetings are held at the Religious Education Building once every third Monday of the month, and whenever there is a need for a special meeting. (See church bulletin for actual dates)
The primary source of income to help the needy in our parish areas is from previous donations at the masses at Holy Family Parish and by individual donations the parishioners wish to make to this ministry.
Disbursements of funds:
To provide direct assistance to those in need within the conference area.
To respond to requests for help from other conferences or higher level councils of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
To pay for administrative expenses of the conference and annual fees.
This conference renders an annual report to the parish summarizing the funds received and the help provided to the poor. We also render a financial report on an annual basis to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
History of The Society of St. Vincent de Paul
In 1833, Frederic Ozanam was a young law student at Sorbonne in France. Challenged during a debate to demonstrate what Catholic students were personally doing to help the poor in their Parish, Ozanam - only 20 years of age - took immediate action. He and six fellow students established a group which they named The Conference of Charity and financed its charitable works out of their own pockets.
Guided by the highly regarded Sister Rosalie Rendue of the Daughters of Charity, Ozanam pioneered an enduring process of service for the poor. In 1833 Ozanam placed the Conference under the patronage of St. Vincent de Paul, who had earlier served the poor of 16th Century France.
In 1845, the Society crossed the Atlantic and established a United States foothold in St. Louis, Missouri. Some 80 years later it arrived in Santa Fe when the first conference was established at St. Francis Cathedral in 1925.
New conferences throughout the Archdiocese of Santa Fe soon followed. Today, St. Vincent de Paul of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe is forty-eight conferences strong and continues to grow. We are a network of 501(c)(3) approved non-profit conferences, stores, and pantries, and donations are tax deductible.
Last year, St. Vincent de Paul of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe was able to serve some 170,000 people in need. This was achieved through the combined efforts of our 48 conferences, 23 food pantries, and seven thrift stores.
These organizations mutually support the St. Vincent de Paul mission through differing methods and means, and their collective contribution is vital.