The St. Vincent de Paul Six Saints Conference at Three Holy Women, Saints Peter and Paul, and Our Lady of Divine Providence Parishes is part of a network of 59 conferences throughout the greater Milwaukee area.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international Catholic organization of lay persons which seeks, in a spirit of justice and charity, and by person- to-person involvement of its members, to help those who are suffering, by loving and serving their neighbor. Vincentian helping can include any person-to-person assistance that promotes human dignity and integrity. The Society is concerned not only with relieving need but also with addressing the situations that cause it.
St. Vincent de Paul Society provides its members with opportunities to participate in multiple volunteer services directed to the poor, with a unique focus on one- to- one personal services through home visitation, aid, info/referral services, support, and problem-solving. SVDP is dedicated to the support of and involvement in community service.
The Six Saints Conference, which is made up of Three Holy Women, Saints Peter and Paul, and Our Lady of Divine Providence Parishes, meets on the 4th Thursdays of the month at Three Holy Women’s Parish Office from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Meetings include prayer and reflection, conference financial reports, reporting of member’s visits, updated information and disseminating of new visits. The Conference has established a small resource center for furniture and household items.
To get involved contact Chad Griesel, Pastoral Associate of Formation and Justice, at 414-271-6180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1833, the St. Vincent de Paul Society was founded in Paris. Frederic Ozanam, a 20 year old university student, is considered the principal founder of the Society because of his leadership within a small group of similarly-minded students. Their model of visiting the poor of the Paris slums was adopted widely, reaching Milwaukee in 1849. St. Vincent de Paul “conferences,” as the volunteer groupings are called, were established in several Milwaukee Catholic parishes. In 1914, enough conferences existed to form a “council.” This allowed for legal incorporation and the ability to take on broader activities. Over the years, activities have taken the form of thrift stores, meal programs, shelters, and helping centers. These programs have been generously supported not only by the Catholic community, but also by other faiths and the broader community. Most programs, although professionally staffed, maintain a largely volunteer component. Professional staff assists volunteers through training and are available for consultation.
The Society has conferences at 59 locations in Milwaukee County, most being at Catholic parishes. In recent years there’s been a blossoming of “associate members” of the organization – those who participate in its special works. These include several thousand college students and a similar number of people of many faiths who prepare and serve food at our meal programs. Volunteers also offer their talents as teachers and mentors to those who are trying to take greater control over their lives. Some also offer their time and talent as volunteers at SVDP thrift stores.