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Jill Pioter

New Conference With Special Tie to St. Gianna Beretta Molla

New Conference With Special Tie to St. Gianna Beretta Molla 680 583 SVDP USA

St. Gianna Molla Parish was erected by Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila in 2018. Fr. Jason Wunsch, who was the Parochial Vicar at Ascension Parish, was appointed as pastor of the new parish.

Fr. Wunsch and Archbishop Aquila are pictured here with Gianna Emanuela Molla, St. Gianna Molla’s daughter, at her mother’s grave in Mesero, Italy. Gianna Emanuela has since come to visit the parish in Denver and gave her testimony.

Fr. Jason was instrumental in initiating a Society of St. Vincent de Paul Conference at the new parish in April 2021. The Conference was approved by the National Council of the U.S. on April 28, the feast day of St. Gianna. The St. Gianna Molla parish boundaries cover a large area, including Denver International Airport, multiple new housing developments, and a rapidly growing population.

About St. Gianna Molla

St. Gianna Beretta Molla (1922-1961) was an Italian pediatrician and the tenth of 13children in her family. At the age of 20, she entered medical school in Milan and was diligent as a student and as a Catholic. While a medical student, she became a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and was active in reaching out to the elderly and needy.

She specialized in pediatrics and received degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949. Gianna was devoted to babies and mothers and at the same time, the elderly and poor. She opened a medical office in Mesero near Magenta where she was born.

Gianna married Pietro Molla in 1955. Their fourth child, Gianna Emanuela Molla, was successfully delivered by Caesarean section in 1961, but Gianna died from complications. She insisted that the baby be saved at the risk of her own life.

Gianna was beatified by Pope John Paul on April 24, 1994, and officially canonized as a saint on May 16, 2004. Her husband and their children attended her canonization ceremony.

St. Gianna Beretta Molla’s feast day is celebrated on April 28.

Friends of the Poor Walk

Friends of the Poor Walk/Run: A Step Towards Eliminating Poverty

Friends of the Poor Walk/Run: A Step Towards Eliminating Poverty 800 533 SVDP USA

Now in its 14th year, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Friends of the Poor® Walk/Run is an annual event that provides local Vincentian Conferences and Councils with an opportunity to raise funds and awareness to support neighbors in need. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2021.

The nationwide event raises awareness of the challenges faced by neighbors in need. At over 200 Walk locations across the country, more than 20,000 Vincentians, parishioners, families, and friends join together to support the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Annually, over $3.4 million is raised each year.

Benefits of Hosting a Walk

While many Conferences and Councils are avid supporters of the Walk, others may be new to the program. Here are some of the benefits of hosting a Friends of the Poor Walk/Run:

  • Generating funds for direct service to people living in poverty in your community.
  • Increasing awareness regarding the challenges faced by neighbors in need.
  • Enhancing visibility and reputation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
  • Involving your parish, neighbors, and friends, family, and community in helping men, women and children in need in your area.
  • Cultivating new and existing members and donors.

Says Nathan Martin, who manages the program nationally, “The National Friends of the Poor Walk is an excellent way to raise awareness of the issues surrounding poverty, while at the same time raising money to help neighbors in need.”

To learn more about the Friends of the Poor® Walk Program, please contact National Director of Fundraising Programs Nathan Martin by emailing him at the link above, or by calling (314) 576-3993 ext. 218. Or visit the Walk website: www.fopwalk.org/

CARS donation

Donate Your Vehicle to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Donate Your Vehicle to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul 2560 1707 SVDP USA

Do you have a vehicle you no longer need that’s taking up space in your garage or driveway? Consider donating it to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul!

Your vehicle donation helps fund local programs that will help the Society of St. Vincent de Paul serve local neighbors in need. These programs can include housing and rent assistance, utilities, food, disaster relief, job training, and more. No work of charity is foreign to the Society — Vincentian volunteers provide help and hope, faith and friendship in myriad ways all across the country, including in your neighborhood.

“The National Vehicle Donation Program is a fundraising opportunity for Conferences and Councils,” says Nathan Martin, National Director of Fundraising Programs. “The funds from these donated vehicles allow local Conferences and Councils the ability to offer programs and emergency assistance for their neighbors in need. The National Council partners with a third-party vendor, Charitable Adult Rides and Services (CARS), who handles each donation from beginning to end. From this partnership, the National Vehicle Donation Program accepted 2,440 vehicles last year, netting almost $1.2 million for local Conferences and Councils.”

What Can I Donate?

All vehicles are considered, even if they’re no longer running! We accept most cars, trucks, trailers, boats, RVs, motorcycles, campers, off-road vehicles, heavy equipment, and other motorized vehicles. We’ll even help tow away your unused vehicles — talk about a win-win!

Learn More

To learn more about donating to our CARS program, contact Nathan Martin, National Director of Fundraising Programs, at (314) 576-3993 x 218, or visit svdpusa.careasy.org/HOME.html

Contemplation: From That Time on, How Could I Not Love Them?

Contemplation: From That Time on, How Could I Not Love Them? 940 788 SVDP USA

Vincentians are called to serve the hungry, the homeless, the poor — all those who are suffering or deprived. Doing this work can sometimes lead us to discouragement, because we see so many problems we cannot solve, and we know that today’s groceries won’t satisfy next month’s hunger.

And after all, who are we to try to ease the suffering of others when we are weighed down by burdens of our own?

Writing to his lifelong friend Ernest Falconnet, Bl. Frédéric once confided that many times he felt burdened by his own problems and worries, but then he went “into the dwelling of a poor person confided to my care. There, because so many unfortunates have more to complain about than I, I scolded myself for being discouraged.” [15 Days of Prayer, p.81]

The poor will always be with us, as surely as our own hunger will return each day. This is why our Rule reminds us, we “should never forget that giving love, talents, and time is more important than giving money.” [Rule, Pt. I, 3.14]

Our primary purpose is not the feeding, but the sharing, and in the end, whatever loaves and fishes we have to offer will be enough for God’s plan, if we share them for love alone. And as we comfort, we will in turn be comforted, just as the five loaves and two fish, shared by Christ’s disciples, returned to them as twelve baskets filled with food.

To invert the old saying, “there because of the grace of God go I.” There to the poor; there to the hungry; there to deprivation and to sadness; there to Him who beckons us; there to Him who comforts and redeems us, even as we, “weak Samaritans,” seek to offer comfort.

As Bl. Frédéric taught, the poor are “the messenger of God to us, sent to prove our justice and charity…” [O’Meara, p. 177]

How can we ever tire, or be discouraged, when what we offer is to Christ Himself? As Frédéric realized when those impoverished families lifted his spirit:

“From that time on, how could I not love them?”

Contemplate

In giving, do I keep my heart open to receiving?

Recommended Reading

Apostle in a Top Hat   More a novel than a biography, this is an inspirational story of Frédéric’s life.

St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy

Serving the Uninsured at St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy

Serving the Uninsured at St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy 1920 2560 SVDP USA

For the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, one pervasive challenge across the communities we serve is poor health management, often exacerbated by lack of access to prescription medications.

The first pharmacy of its kind in Texas, the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy serves the uninsured whose household income is at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, which for a family of four is an annual income of $25,701. Nearly 1 in 2 Texans have incomes at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

Since its founding in March 2018, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul North Texas’ freestanding charitable pharmacy, named the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy, has filled the gap for many North Texans unable to afford medication. Nearly half of all Texans have incomes at or below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

As the pandemic’s effects continue to severely impact our neighbors in need, the pharmacy has been busier than ever, serving nearly 1,000 patients and averaging more than 400 prescriptions per week since March 2020. The St. Vincent de Paul team also innovated their service model by removing the transportation barriers that had previously prevented some clients from obtaining their medication by allowing for prescriptions to be mailed or personally delivered to those who need it.

Society of St. Vincent de Paul North Texas CEO Mike Pazzaglini recently spoke on the program’s expansion on Good Morning Texas. He noted that rather than a reduction in services, the St. Vincent de Paul pharmacy actually served exponentially more neighbors in need over the last year. “We went from 9,000 the year prior, to this year, where we filled over 17, 500 prescriptions.”

Says one pharmacy patient, Elsa R., “I am really grateful because I depend on my medication and I would not know how to find the means to pay.”

Neighbors in need aren’t the only ones who see the benefits of the pharmacy. Vincentian volunteer Martha Korioth notes that, “Vincentians are called to BE the face of Jesus TO others — and, to SEE the face of Jesus IN others. As a volunteer at the SVdP Pharmacy, I see the face of Jesus in the face of each Pharmacy staff member, and I see Jesus’ smiling face on each friend, who comes to pick up their medications. Remarkable growth [of the program]… is leading to Systemic Change for the poorest of the poor in this community.”

To learn more about how you can help support the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy in Texas, or to learn whether you qualify for services, visit the Society of St. Vincent de Paul North Texas website.

help the needy

Will You Help the Friends of the Poor?

Will You Help the Friends of the Poor? 2560 1707 SVDP USA

At the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, many of our nearly 4,500 Conferences and Councils across the United States have felt the financial effects of COVID-19. Some are seeing up to a 300% increase in need for food alone! And with 10 million Americans currently behind in rent payments, we expect a similar increase in demand for rent assistance in coming months, regardless of eviction moratoriums and government help.

By making a gift to the Friends of the Poor Grant Fund, you will provide emergency funding for local St. Vincent de Paul Conferences and Councils, to help Vincentian volunteers meet the growing demand for food and other basic emergency needs.

Will you donate today to the Friends of the Poor program? Your financial support is crucial and will allow Vincentian volunteers to bring the hope of the Gospel, answering Christ’s call to his disciples in Mathew 25: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink.”

Your Donation Makes a Difference 

Please donate today at www.svdpusa.org/friendsofthepoor. You will be helping those most impacted by COVID-19.
Thank you, and may Christ’s presence fill your hearts this most sacred time of year.

A Medallion in the Mosiac

A Medallion in the Mosiac 200 258 SVDP USA

On a ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland to the United States in the fall of 1845, a Vincentian priest, John Timon, carried with him a copy of the Rule of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. Having met members of this young Catholic lay organization during his travels, he was so impressed with their works and zeal that he wished to share this book with friends back home in St. Louis.

Within weeks of his return, a group of some of the most prominent men in the frontier city of St Louis gathered at the church now known as the Old Cathedral, and held the first meeting of the Society of St Vincent de Paul in the United States on November 20, 1845.

In celebration of the 175th Anniversary of this event, the National Council has published a book, and commissioned a commemorative coin.

Meticulously researched by Raymond Sickinger, Professor Emeritus of History at Providence College, this book includes stories of key people, places, and events in the growth and development of the Society in the United States.

Sickinger, also a biographer of Frédéric Ozanam, tells us about Thomas Mulry, who was instrumental in drawing together the seven Superior Councils into a single National Council, and was elected its first president. His life was a model of Christian charity, and of lay Catholic devotion to inspire us.

From Thomas Mulry through Ralph Middlecamp, the book shares insights about all of our National Council Presidents, their priorities, and the accomplishments of the National Council under their leadership.

The book’s title is taken from another anniversary of the Society, its 100th, when our leadership assessed our history to that point, finding the Society to be ”a medallion in the mosaic of Vincentian works.”

Take some time to be inspired by reading these stories, and add the book and coin to your shelf in celebration of these remarkable 175 years, and in dedication to building the next 175!

2021 Midyear Meeting

Midyear Meeting Wrapup

Midyear Meeting Wrapup 1916 1030 SVDP USA

Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s 2021 Virtual Midyear Business Meeting. We hope you found it both educational and spiritually uplifting. We’ll be sending out a survey soon for your input, suggestions, and feedback for the Meeting.

Those attendees who chose VIP Registration will receive a copy of the Society’s 175th Anniversary Book and a Commemorative Coin, shipping from our store in the next week. If you didn’t choose VIP registration, you may still order either the book, the coin, or a set of both. The book expands upon Ray Sickinger’s excellent presentation on the history of the Society in the United States, and is a must-read.

Presentation Links

If you were unable to attend a session, or would like to watch it again, here are links to the program recordings:

General Sessions
Spirituality
Governance
Programming
Business 
Thrift Stores 

Exhibitor Showcase

If you were not able to attend the Exhibitor Showcase, links and contact information for each vendor presentation can be found below. We hope you enjoy visiting with our vendors and that you’ll follow-up with them and help grow the Society’s partnership with our National Partners and Exhibitors.

Click the links below to view each presentation, or to email the vendor directly, click on their name:

2021 National Assembly

Mark your calendars for our 2021 National Assembly at the Marriott Marquis in Houston, Texas, August 25 – 29, 2021. We hope to see you there! For those who are not yet comfortable travelling, there will be  a hybrid component to the National Assembly so that those at home can still be part of the gathering.

 

SVdPUSA Texting

SVdPUSA Announces New Texting Program

SVdPUSA Announces New Texting Program 2560 1707 SVDP USA

These days, our phones are bombarded with calls we’d rather not answer, and our inboxes are flooded with emails from online stores and political campaigns. It can be hard to reach through the noise and connect with the people and ideas that really matter.

The National Council is pleased to announce that it’s now easier than ever to stay in touch with us! You’re invited to opt-in to text communications from the National Council. All you have to do is text JOIN to (844) 464-2992.

When you sign up, you’ll receive a Vincentian contemplation and reflection from National Director of Formation Tim Williams sent straight to your phone every Monday morning. We may also send you periodic news updates or occasional opportunities to support the work being done by the National Council.

Says National Director of Fundraising Programs Nathan Martin, who helped spearhead the program, “Vincentians are called to journey towards holiness. My hope is that every time we email out a Monday Contemplation, we are helping Vincentians on that journey.”

The National Council is partnering with SmartConnect to share the benefits of this program with local Conferences and Councils. If you’re interested in learning more, contact Nathan Martin, National Director of Fundraising Programs, or John Hosack from SmartConnect at (727) 463-9987. Or visit their website to learn more.

St. Anthony Messenger cover story

Society of St. Vincent de Paul featured in St. Anthony Messenger Magazine

Society of St. Vincent de Paul featured in St. Anthony Messenger Magazine 360 480 SVDP USA

St. Anthony Messenger magazine, an American Catholic family magazine published by the Franciscans of St. John the Baptist Province in Cincinnati, has selected the Society of St. Vincent de Paul as its March cover story.

The wide-ranging, multipage article touches upon several key aspects of the Society’s work in serving neighbors in need, including our food pantries, thrift stores, emergency financial assistance, and the Getting Ahead program. The print copy also includes many photos of Vincentian volunteers serving their communities, including several images of the Society’s international efforts.

While the article tells the Society’s story through the lens of the Bloomington, Indiana and Dayton, Ohio Conferences, programs from other Conferences across the country are also highlighted, including Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, North Texas, Chicago, and Cincinnati.

With a monthly circulation of more than 50,000, St. Anthony Messenger’s story provides the Society with a unique opportunity to reach new volunteers and donors. We hope you’ll read it and share it with your parish and community.

To read the article online, visit the St. Anthony Messenger website. To inquire about a hard copy of the issue, you can visit their subscription page.

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