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"No act of charity is foreign to the society"
Who was St. Vincent de Paul?
St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) was the founder of the Congregation of the Mission, Daughters of Charity, Confraternities of Charity, and Ladies of Charity. A man of deep faith, keen intellect, and enormous creativity, he has become known as the "The Apostle of Charity" and "Father of the Poor." His contributions to the training of priests and organizing parish missions and other services for the poor shaped our Church's role in the modern world.
Who was St. Louise de Marillac?
St. Louise de Marillac (1591-1660), a contemporary of St. Vincent, was inspired and directed by Vincent's spiritual leadership. She was Vincent's collaborator in founding the Daughters of Charity and organizing hospitals for the sick poor, asylums for the orphaned, workshops for the unemployed, championing literacy for the uneducated, and establishing standards for local charities. Louise was a wife, mother, teacher, nurse, social worker, and religious foundress.
Who was Blessed Frederic Ozanam?
Blessed Frederic Ozanam (1813-1853) was the founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Frederic was a husband and father, professor and servant of the poor. He founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul as a young student with others of the Sorbonne in Paris. Sister Rosalie Rendu, a Daughter of Charity, is considered a mentor of Frederic and of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul as she taught the first members the art of helping the poor and the sick. Frederic's writings on social justice anticipated the first social encyclical of our modern times, Rerum Novarum.
Who was Blessed Rosalie Rendu?
Blessed Rosalie Rendu, DC (1786 - 1856) was a Daughter of Charity who served for 54 years in the Mouffetard area, the most impoverished district of Paris. Emmanuel Bailly, the President of the Society, sent the founding members of the Society to Sister Rosalie for guidance and direction. Sending them on home visits, she formed them in the spirit of St. Vincent, teaching them how to serve the poor with respect and compassion.
How is the Society organized?
The Council of the United States of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides leadership and support for the growth and health of Society Councils, Conferences, and Special Works. The National Council Office, located in St. Louis, enables the Society to better serve their local communities by creating materials for the spiritual formation of the members; networking information on advocacy and justice issues; and facilitating the response to the needs of those who are poor throughout the world by Twinning and giving assistance to victims of disasters.
The Organizational Chart of the Society is as follows:
Council General (Paris)
150 Countries - 5 Continents - Over 51,00 Conferences
Over 700,000 Members
USA National Council (St. Louis)
64,532 Active Members and 26,861 Associate and
54,972 Contributing Members
146,365 Total Members in 8 Regions throughout the U.S.
(Arch) Diocesan Councils
47 (Arch) Diocesan Councils uniting and supporting District Councils
437 District Councils uniting and supporting the Conferences
4,637 Conferences, the basic unit of organization in Catholic Parishes, Universities, and Special Works.
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