Catholic Church Kilsyth

The Society of Saint Vincent De Paul in St Patrick's Kilsyth

History of the Society in Kilsyth - How to Join - History of the Society in the Archdiocese - How to Help Us - Biography of St Vincent De Paul - Litany of Loretto

What is the Society of St Vincent de Paul?

The Society of St Vincent de Paul is an international voluntary organisation of Catholic lay people, both men and women, who practice their Christianity by helping those in need. The aim of the Society is to provide a means whereby members can actively give practical help and assistance by loving their neighbours, particularly those who are in need. Importantly this is done in a face to face way, on a person to person basis. We seek to identify and combat all forms of poverty by promoting Social Justice and actively working with those who are in need, both close at hand in our own communities and also internationally.

In St Patrick’s Kilsyth, the Society is a small group of committed members called a ‘Conference’ and we hope that by giving of ourselves we become more aware of God’s love for all. We spread the love of Christ by turning concern into action and compassion into practical assistance.

Frederic Ozanam

The Society was founded at the Sorbourn University in Paris in 1833 by a young man called Frederic Ozanam and is named after St Vincent de Paul who lived from 1581 to 1660 and whose life was devoted to helping the underprivileged. Our members give of their time, their talents, their friendship and their compassion to help other people in need, regardless of their creed, colour or political beliefs. The vocation of the Society’s members, who are called Vincentians, is to follow Christ through service to those in need and so bear witness to His compassionate and liberating love.

Although the Society is a Catholic voluntary organisation we do not preach or convert nor do we attach any condition to our aid which is given freely. We take great care to ensure that the dignity of the person being helped is preserved – there is no place for a patronising attitude. We do not work anonymously – but we do work confidentially. All assistance is given personally by our members in strict confidence and we believe that it is the personal contact which is just as important as what ever help is given.

Generally people surmise that the SVDP exists to help the ‘poor’ and that this is closely associated with financial poverty. It is true that the Society does help the poor but poverty is about much more than a lack of money. Loneliness, lack of friendship, lack of employment, lack of spirituality, lack of an education are all forms of poverty. Sometimes the apparently materially well off suffer from poverty – poverty has many faces and there are many other examples.

No work of charity is foreign to the Society. Our work includes any form of help that alleviates suffering and deprivation and promotes human dignity. The Society co-operates with other organisations to achieve our aims. We are concerned with not only relieving need within our own communities but also with the situations which caused the need to arise in the first place.

We are also aware of the acute poverty in a great number of other countries and each Conference of the Society is twinned with a Conference in a different country. Twinning promotes solidarity and mutual help where resources and funds can be shared. It also promotes understanding of issues in other countries and allows a Conference to give other Vincentians the means to give personal assistance and personal contact in communities far away from our own.

We are ecumenical. The Society also works with affiliated organisations, mainly members or groups from other Christian churches and ecclesiastical communities who are attracted by the charitable and spiritual ethos of the Society.

Have you ever thought about joining us? Have you the means or talents to help us? Do you wish to turn compassion and concern into practical help and assistance? The money collected each week from the SVDP boxes has no value if there is no-one willing to distribute it.
See 'How to Join' us and 'How to Help' us or if you want to have further information about the Society of St Vincent de Paul, on

‘For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink;
I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me;
sick and you visited me; in prison and you came to see me';
Then the virtuous will say to Him in reply,
“Lord, when did we see you a stranger and made you welcome;
naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?”
And the King will answer,
“insofar as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”

Mosaic of the Deciples of St Vincent de Paul

God BlessYou!