Vincentians Gather in Baltimore for 2022 SVdP National Assembly

Vincentians Gather in Baltimore for 2022 SVdP National Assembly 1171 862 SVDP USA

Last week, the halls of the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront were abuzz with Vincentian camaraderie. More than 700 attendees gathered in Baltimore for the 2022 SVdP National Assembly. It was a wonderful four days full of shared knowledge, experience, and the Vincentian charism.

“Hosting the National Assembly for over 700+ Vincentians was wonderful and inspiring working with a team of generous Vincentians and volunteers, and welcoming so many joyful Vincentians from across the nation,” said Pauline Manalo, Baltimore Council President. “It was uplifting to receive expressions of gratitude from countless assembly participants. an indication that the National Assembly in Baltimore was a blessed and graced experience for Vincentians coming to the Water. Praise the Lord!”

The meeting officially began on Wednesday with exhibits opening, and a preparedness workshop hosted by Disaster Services Corporation. Several National committees, including Stores and Governance, held meetings, and the National Board of Directors met. Attendees had the unique opportunity to participate in one of three special tours to see Baltimore! These tours included religious sites, the Baltimore Council’s Family and Housing Services, and the Council’s Hunger Services. Vincentians loved seeing the work of their fellow Vincentians, up close and personal.

On Thursday, things really ramped up and National Committees met in-person to discuss business. Workshops also began on Thursday covering a plethora of topics including fundraising, Conference Revitalization, and Spirituality.

The first keynote address of the Assembly was given by Alexia Kelley of FADICA. Her address was about “Catholic Philanthropy: Inspiration, Impact, and Next Generation Engagement.”

Former SVdP National Episcopal Advisor, Bishop John Quinn was awarded the SVdP National Foundation’s Inaugural Founder’s Award. He was recognized for his exceptional service to the National Council, Society of St. Vincent de Paul. To learn more about this special recognition, click here.

The afternoon featured more workshops, including one specifically for the youth and young adult attendees. It was given by John Paul Brissette, a member of the National Youth Committee, and discussed how youth can run a successful project called “Do Güd Day,” in their local Conference or Council. “My favorite was the Do Güd Workshop because it was a direct way for us to serve our neighbors in Maryland,” said one youth attendee. “I enjoyed meeting other youth and young adults in the U.S. who also care about serving our brothers and sisters in need.”

That evening, attendees spend an evening under the sea at the Host City Event which was held at the National Aquarium. There, attendees were treated to delicious food, a variety of sea life, and a special meet and greet with the four nominees for SVdP National President.

First thing Friday morning, Vincentians gathered for the Spiritual Retreat. This year’s retreat was lead by Dan Schutte and was titled, “Here I am Lord — Feeding the Hearts of a Servant.” The Spiritual Retreat is one of the things that attendees look forward to most that the National Assembly, and this year’s did not disappoint! It was a beautiful time for Vincentians to come together and celebrate the Society’s essential elements of Friendship, Spirituality, and Service.

After more workshops, daily Mass, and the General Session hosted by Kerry Robinson of Leadership Roundtable titled “The Path to a Better Future: Co-Responsibility and a New Culture of Leadership in the Church,” Vincentians had the chance to catch a Baltimore Orioles baseball game at Camden Yards. They must’ve brought the city some good mojo, because the Orioles brought home a winner!

The final day of the National Assembly is always a little bittersweet, but that didn’t slow anyone down. We were blessed by the attendance of International President General Renato Lima de Oliveira, who addressed attendees on Saturday morning.

In a beautiful moment near the end of his presentation, President Renato led the entire room in song. We were all one voice in that moment. “The energy in the rooms in Baltimore really made it feel as if we were finally leaving our pandemic ‘shell shock’ behind, and that a real re-founding and revitalization is beginning to dawn across the whole Society,” said Tim Williams, National Vincentian Formation Director.

Youth and Young Adult attendees spent time Saturday doing an off-site service project. They worked at the Baltimore Council’s Beans and Bread Program, packing bags with essentials for neighbors in need. “I really enjoyed the Beans and Bread service project. It was useful to see how an organized service event is run and get ideas for incorporating it in the young adult groups I am a part of. I wish I could have attended everything!” said Andrea Behler, youth attendee.

Saturday marked the National Business Meeting and signified the next step in the National Presidential Election when the nominee field was narrowed down to two candidates, John Berry and Brian Burgess. To learn more about the election process, see Ralph Middlecamp’s column here.

After the final round of workshops, Vincentians gathered for the final celebration of the Liturgy together at the Vigil Mass, which was celebrated by Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore.

Mass was followed by the closing banquet. There, Brandon Davis and Mia Humphrey were named co-winners of the first-ever Alice Garvey Excellence in Youth Award for their exceptional work with their local SVdP Councils to help their neighbors in need. Before officially ending the evening, leadership recognized key players that helped make this year’s National Assembly happen and the host Council passed the baton to the St. Louis Council who will host next year’s National Assembly.

“The St. Louis Archdiocesan Council looks forward to hosting the 2023 National Assembly, September 6-9, in St. Louis, MO,” said the St. Louis Council. “Because the first Conference of the Society of the U.S.A. began in St. Louis in 1845, we are blessed to say this is ‘Where it All Began.’  Our Board of Directors, Assembly Committee members, Council staff, and 3,400 Vincentians look forward to welcoming you and meeting you in St Louis next year!”

Overall, it was a lovely few days spent with brother and sister Vincentians focusing on all things SVdP. Thank you all who helped make it possible! We cannot wait to see everyone in STL next year!

“Participating in the National Assembly is such a blessing for me. I love being with other Vincentians and sharing joy, friendship and our spirituality. With over 700 attendees I get to meet new Vincentians from diverse communities and that makes me happy,” said Katherine Ramirez, Vincentian from New York. “This year I was especially glad so many youth and young adults were there. And so many Latinos too!”


Raices y Alas: Roots and Wings

Raices y Alas: Roots and Wings 900 900 SVDP USA

Last week, a delegation of Vincentians met with other Catholics from across the country for the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry’s (NCCHM) in Washington DC for the 6th National Catholic Congress Raíces y Alas. This year’s theme, Prophetic Voices: Being Bridges for a New Era, focused on pastoral responses and initiatives to the ministerial priorities of family, Hispanic youth, social justice, and pastoral formation.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was a proud sponsor of the event, the first time the NCCHM had gathered in person in two years. With about 400 Catholics in attendance, the event was so highly anticipated that registration had to close early, and not all those interested in attending could be accommodated. The National Council blessed to send a delegation of 11 Vincentians, plus CEO Dave Barringer, to represent the Society and also grow and learn at the event.

Their time in Washington DC was busy, including joining with other Catholics from their home states for a day of advocacy visiting lawmakers at the Capitol.

Vincentians were present for a special Mass at the National Basilica, where they were able to visit the Frédéric Ozanam mosaic. Vincentian Rosie Silva exclaimed, “Mass at the Basilica was magnificent! The procession of all religious leaders joining us was humbling to witness.”

There was also time for sharing with other attendees about the Society’s essential elements of spirituality, friendship, and service. National Secretary Guadalupe Sosa shared remarks about the Society in a special address. “As I talked to participants at Raices y Alas, many of them knew about our Society and commented on the great work we do in our communities. When speaking to Raices’s participants and when I speak to others around the country, there is no doubt our Society is highly regarded and respected,” she noted.

Our delegates were also able to explore our nation’s capital, and brought Frédéric Ozanam with them for the journey!

Says Pam Matambanadzo, Chair of the National Multicultural & Diversity Committee, “The whole congress was extremely energizing — I generally do not get the opportunity to meet and interact with young Vincentians as much as I did at Raices y Alas. It was extremely rewarding. My greatest takeaway from the congress was that we need to do better at listening to another, especially the younger generation. We should not be afraid that they will replace us, but rather create a space where we can learn from each other: Raices y Alas — we are the roots and they are our wings.”

Thank you to our delegates for their wonderful work as representatives of the Society, and for sharing your experiences and blessings with the rest of our Vincentian family!

2022 Midyear Meeting Wrapup

2022 Midyear Meeting Wrapup 776 652 SVDP USA

Last week, nearly 200 Vincentians gathered together in St. Louis for the first in-person Midyear Meeting since 2019.

It was a wonderful opportunity for the National Board of Directors, National Council Members, Executive Directors, and other Vincentian leaders to come together and share ideas after a three year hiatus.

While it was very exciting to have so many Vincentians in one place, we realize there were still those who were unable to join in-person. In order to give those not in attendance the chance to see the various presentations from the Midyear Meeting, we have created a playlist of the video recordings from the meeting. You can access them by clicking here. You will find recordings of the following:

We thank all who attended Midyear or took part via zoom. We look forward to seeing you all in Baltimore for the 2022 National Assembly!

03-03-2022 A Letter From Our Servant Leaders

03-03-2022 A Letter From Our Servant Leaders 1367 1520 SVDP USA

Dear Vincentian Friends,

Right now, you should be reading a Lenten message from Bishop Hying, our National Episcopal Advisor. The events in Ukraine, however, have gripped all of us, and many have asked if our Society has been preparing to provide aid to refugees and other victims of the war. Please look for the bishop’s message next week, and allow me to tell you what I know about the Society’s response to the situation in and around Ukraine.

It may seem inadequate, but let’s not forget to pray for peace and the people of Ukraine. The Vincentian Family had a worldwide prayer call yesterday. You can still view that call here:

As Vice President for Solidarity and Special Projects for the Council General International, I am engaged in our international twinning relationships and our disaster relief efforts through the Society’s Commission for International Aid and Development (CIAD). We are currently making inquiries of the Councils in the countries receiving thousands of refugees. There is clearly an immediate need in the countries that border Ukraine. What I can tell you is that the Society does not have a strong presence in this area of Europe. At the end of this letter, I have shared some detailed information about the Society in some of the countries near Ukraine.

Please do not plan to make donations until we have a clear purpose for your contributions. You may recall that when we made our annual disaster appeal last summer, a portion of those contributions were designated for international use. Our Councils and Conferences were very generous then, and we will therefore be able to provide help as soon as we receive more information. If we need more assistance, we will certainly let you know. I remind you that our Councils and Conferences cannot donate to any organization outside the Vincentian Family.

We are investigating our options for providing help, and those may include directing assistance through other member organizations of the Vincentian Family. We have funds from the U.S. already in place at our CIAD office in Paris; we just need to have appropriate proposals from the countries closest to the situation. Designated funds provided without plans for their appropriate use have left literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in accounts that can remain unused for many years. We must be sure we have the capacity to deliver the aid in the areas with the need. We also must be able to ensure accountability for the proper use of any funds sent.

Allow me to share some observations about our ability to help people suffering in these situations. First, I see that our members are very generous. If we lack an active presence and the mobilization capacity to put a generous response to work, however, our Society is not able to serve those in need. In the future we must also devote resources to building the Society’s presence throughout our country and throughout the world. Building the network of charity Frederic Ozanam envisioned is still a work in progress. There is no national Council in the world that is more generous in providing disaster relief than our U.S. National Council. We can do better, however, in our Twinning efforts to provide effective support for new and struggling Conferences in countries with limited resources. Let’s renew those efforts.

Even here in the United States, where the Society is strong, we have realized a need to strengthen our capacity to respond to disasters. That is why we have formed and supported our Disaster Services Corporation, which brings excellent know-how to our Councils when they are called upon to respond to unpredictable events that strike their communities. We are fortunate here to be able to draw upon DSC expertise.

I also observe how we tend to be moved to help people whose stories are part of major events covered for multiple days in the news. In my role, I see how our Society helps many suffering in the aftermath of disasters that may barely make world news. In the last several months, we provided assistance to our members in Brazil, where there was a major landslide that killed several hundred people. In the last few months, we have aided victims of disasters you probably don’t remember or maybe never heard about. With funds we provided through the Society’s office in Paris, we have helped address disaster-induced suffering in the Philippines, Madagascar, Tonga, Burundi, Malawi, and Mozambique.

As with all disasters, the need coming out of Ukraine will go on for many years. In Ukraine, we have a small Vincentian presence of just three Conferences. Last I had heard, we have not had any communication from them. Let us continue to pray for them and for all those suffering in and near Ukraine, as well as for those in our country and throughout the world coping with disaster and conflict. Let us pray for peace.

Serviens in spe,
Ralph Middlecamp
National Council President

P.S. Here is some of specific information that has been shared with me:
Poland – The Society has only a handful of Conferences here. As far as I know, there is no structured National Council and little tradition of lay Catholic organizations in Poland. This is probably the place most in need of our assistance, but information on the location and activity of Polish Conferences is lacking.

Romania – The Society does have a properly constituted National Council here. That Council’s twinning officer is in constant communication with Society twinning partners in England and Wales. The report is that Conferences from Turt and Oradea are working with refugees in Sighet, near the border with Ukraine in northwest Romania. At Traian in northeast Romania, members are providing food and clothing at a retreat center that has turned itself into accommodations for refugees. Within the Society, Romania also has twinning links with Italian South Tyrol & Austria and has received donations from Germany.

Hungary — There is a small National Council in Hungary, twinned with Scotland. Hungary has only a relatively short border with Ukraine.

Slovakia — There is a National Council here, but I have no detail about Slovakian members’ capacity to assist.

Moldova – Although there is no national structure here, a group from Romania did go to Chisinau (Moldova’s capital) and set up at least one Conference a few years ago.

Meet Us in St. Louis for the 2022 Midyear Meeting!

Meet Us in St. Louis for the 2022 Midyear Meeting! 750 450 SVDP USA

Meet us in St. Louis the for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s 2022 Midyear Business Meeting, March 16 – 19, 2022 at the Hilton at the Ballpark in St. Louis, Missouri! The agenda is packed with education, spirituality, and informative information about the Society and helping those in need.

Highlights include: Spiritual Retreat, Committee Meetings, Regional Meetings, and our Midyear Business Meeting. We look forward to seeing you in St. Louis!

Registration Information

  • Registration Fee: $300 per person thru March 1
  • Late Registration Fee: $325 after March 1
  • One Day Attendance (Regional, Formation, Stores, etc.): $150 per person, per day
  • Spouse/Guest Attendee: $150 per person (includes meals & social functions)
  • Register Now

Hotel Information

Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark

The Hilton Ballpark room rate for Midyear is $147.00. Room rate cut-off date is February 21, 2022.

Reserve Now. If you need assistance, please contact Michele Schurk

Meeting Agenda

Wednesday, March 16
  • 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM          Morning Mass Available Daily at Old Cathedral (On Your Own)
  • 3:15 PM – 5:15 PM             Governance Committee Meeting
  • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM           Afternoon Hospitality – Exhibitor Showcase
  • 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM          Registration & Exhibitor Tables Open – Grand/Archview Foyer
Thursday, March 17
  • 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM          Registration & Exhibitor Tables Open
  • 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    • National Board of Directors Meeting
    • Stores Committee Meeting with Executive Directors
    • Formation Committee Meeting
    • Hispanic Latino Task Force
    • Housing Task Force
    • Reentry Task Force
  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM          Vincentian Group Lunch
  • 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM              Opening Session with President Ralph Middlecamp
  • 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM            Regional Meetings
  • 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
    • Growth & Revitalization Committee
    • Voice of the Poor Committee
    • Executive Directors Meeting
  • 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM            Welcome Reception (Cash Bar) – Grand Foyer
Friday, March 18
  • 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM           Registration & Exhibitor Tables Open – Grand/Archview Foyer
  • 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM         Spiritual Retreat – Tim Williams
  • 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM          Keynote Address – Grand Ballroom
  • 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
    • Vincentian Group Lunch
    • Youth Committee (Working Lunch)
  • 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM             National Business Meeting (Part I) – Grand Ballroom
  • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM             Vincentian Mass & Recommitment Ceremony – Old Cathedral
  • 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM            Enjoy dinner on your own (Opportunity for Regional Dinners)
Saturday, March 19
  • 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM           National Business Meeting (Part II) – Grand Ballroom
  • 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM            Vincentian Group Lunch – Archview Ballroom
  • 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM             Vigil Mass Available at Old Cathedral (On Your Own)

Daily Mass

Daily Mass will be offered at the Old Cathedral at 7:00 AM
Additional Information

January is Poverty Awareness Month

January is Poverty Awareness Month 940 788 SVDP USA

According to Poverty USA, more than 38 million people in the United States currently live in poverty.

The month of January is dedicated to bringing awareness to this crucial issue that is at the forefront of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s mission. January is Poverty Awareness Month.

Who Lives in Poverty?

Individuals and families that earn less than the Federal Government’s poverty threshold are considered to be living in poverty. There are two main classifications of poverty:

  • Absolute Poverty: When a household income is below the poverty threshold making it impossible for the individual or family to meet their basic needs including food, housing, safe drinking water, education, healthcare, etc. For those living in absolute poverty, their situation remains unchanged no matter the economic state of where they live.
  • Relative Poverty: The condition in which people are deprived of the minimum amount of income needed in order to maintain the average of standard living in their community. Those that fall in this category have money, but not enough to “keep up with the Joneses.” This type of poverty can change with economic growth in the country. This category, while it may not seem as extreme as absolute poverty, can still be permanent.

Poverty can also be broken into two groups called “Generational Poverty” and “Situational Poverty.”

  • Generational Poverty: A family that has lived in poverty for at least two generations. Those experiencing generational poverty often deal with hopelessness, tend to focus on survival over planning, have different values and patterns than those who have not grown up in poverty.
  • Situational Poverty: A individual or family’s income and support is decreased due to a specific change – job loss, divorce, death, etc. Those coping with situational poverty tend to remain hopeful, considering it a temporary setback.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Poverty in the U.S.

In the years leading up to 2020, poverty had gradually been declining in the United States. In 2019, the poverty rate was at 10.5%, the lowest since 1959. Then, COVID hit.

According to Human Rights Watch, since the start of the pandemic, 74.7 million people have lost work, forcing them to dip into savings, depleting individual reserves.

Census Bureau data shows how households with different incomes are coping with the pandemic and that low-income households are disproportionally struggling for their social and economic needs to be met. Among households with incomes below $35,000, 47% of adults report being behind on housing payments, and 25% say they struggle to put food on the table.

While stimulus checks, and tax credits have offered a little help over the past two years, the problem persists.

SVdP Is Here to Help

Our mission is: “A network of friends, inspired by Gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need.”

Vincentians around the world have dedicated themselves to offering our suffering brothers and sisters a hand up in their time of need. Through a combination of spiritual and material aid, we seek to help those suffering from poverty. While we do assist with food and rental assistance – the things you picture those living in poverty to be most desperate for – SVdP’s goal is to help make a “systemic change.”

Systemic Change is a key facet of the Society’s work to end poverty. It goes beyond addressing immediate needs and instead, partners with the poor to identify the root causes of their poverty and remove the barriers that keep people impoverished.

“The money or assistance in-kind that we give to those who are poor will not last long. We must aspire to a more complete and longer lasting benefit: study their abilities … and help them get work to help them out of their difficulties.” – Blessed Rosalie Rendu

To learn more about how SVdP helps those living in poverty, click to visit our website.

Resources for Poverty Awareness Month

SVdP Named One of America’s Best Charities

SVdP Named One of America’s Best Charities 530 530 SVDP USA

Each year, the Chronicle of Philanthropy releases a list of America’s 100 Favorite Charities. Their ranking system is based primarily on cash-support received by cause-driven nonprofits. That means the total value of charitable contributions of money and stock.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is honored to be a part of the list this year. Coming in at number 57, SVdP is one of America’s Favorite Charities!

In 2020, the Society received $362,151,617 in cash support. That was an increase of nearly 10% from 2019.

To read more about this honor and see the complete list of America’s Favorite Charities, click here.

Thank you again to the Chronicle of Philanthropy for this honor and to you, our generous supporters for making this happen! God Bless! 

11-4-2021 News Roundup

11-4-2021 News Roundup 1200 1200 SVDP USA

With 100,000 Vincentians across the United States and nearly 800,000 around the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering. Read some of their stories here:


AUSTRALIA: Hampers spread Christmas cheer
AUSTRALIA: Homeless helped but issue ongoing
IRELAND: SVP in Cork fielding ‘staggering’ amount of calls from families in ‘dire need’


AUSTIN, TX: Demand in food pantries higher now than when COVID-19 pandemic started
BATON ROUGE, LA: Family already struggling from pandemic, now homeless after Ida; Mom just wants a job that will pay the bills
OMAHA, NE: Annual coat giveaway distributes 3,000 winter coats to Omaha families
RIVERVIEW, FL: St. Vincent De Paul, St. Stephen Conference Prepares For Holiday Season

Help us share the good news of the good work being done in your local Conference or Council! Email us at with the subject line Good News.

International President General Featured on Ozanam TV This Weekend

International President General Featured on Ozanam TV This Weekend 1119 630 SVDP USA

International President General, Renato Lima de Oliveira, loves hearing from members of the International Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Thanks to modern technology and social media, that is possible!

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 30, at 8 AM CENTRAL, Renato will be taking part in a “Talk Show with the President General.” The talk show will be broadcast live on Ozanam TV’s Facebook page. The live broadcast will be in Portuguese, but translations in English, Spanish, and French will be available.

To learn more about this special event, check out this article from our friends at Famvin.


More Photos from the 2021 National Assembly

More Photos from the 2021 National Assembly 2550 1700 SVDP USA

You asked for them, and here they are! Another round of photos from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s 2021 National Assembly in Houston, Texas.

If you missed the first round of photos, they can be found here.

To watch a recording of any of the available sessions, click here.

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