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Frederic's E-Gazette

An e-newsletter from the National Council of the  U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul ®

October 5, 2017

Table of Contents:
To go directly to a certain article, simply click on the title
What's New in this Issue



(NOTE:  The links in some of the articles are intended to take you to websites for a specific story, page, function or program approved for your use by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  The Society does not accept responsibility for, or grant approval of, peripheral advertising or stories that may reside on those websites.)   

daveFrom your Servant Leaders:

October 5, 2017

"Come, Holy Spirit, live within our lives, and strengthen us by your love.

Send forth your Spirit, and new life will be created."

We begin many of our meetings with this familiar prayer. Emmanuel Bailly led our founders in a similar prayer at their first meeting in 1833. It is also how I began my speech as a candidate for president a year ago, and I return to it again in this first letter to you as your new National Council president.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has relied upon the Holy Spirit to guide our journey for the past 184 years. As we begin this journey together, I am committed to listening to how the Spirit is speaking today, through you and Vincentians at every level of the Society.

It is not quite accurate to say "as we begin this journey together." It would be more appropriate to say that I am joining you on a journey that you may have started many years ago, and now I am privileged to be one of your servant leaders on that journey.

Yours in Christ,
National Council President

PS: Dave Barringer and I will be sharing this column with other servant leaders from our National Council to provide a diversity of voices and perspectives to our membership.

Hurricane Maria - A Destructive Follow-up after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

People need help in all of Florida, parts of Georgia, Alabama, the Carolinas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Sheila Gilbert, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul National Council President has issued a national domestic disaster appeal. Hurricane Irma hit the state of Florida as a Category 5 hurricane, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded (National Hurricane Center, September 5, 2017), right on the heels of flooding and devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Irma has left miles of destruction throughout the entire state of Florida and into adjoining states. Search and rescue has begun, millions of people have been evacuated, and millions of Floridians are without power. It will be weeks before basic services will be back on-line.

SVdP Disaster Services are needed now more than ever! Millions of people have been evacuated and SVdP members and volunteers are rushing to assist with immediate and long term recovery needs. Your contribution is critical to meeting the needs of those of who have lost everything!


SVdP Disaster Services is working on the ground in Texas and now responding to Hurricane Irma in Florida. Disaster Services personnel are training 41 Vincentians who are deploying as part of six Rapid Response Teams for Hurricane Harvey relief and recovery. Parish Recovery Assistance Centers (P-RACs) are now set up to assist survivors in five of the seven impacted dioceses. 

The Puerto Rico Council has been provided with logistics support and connections with FEMA on the ground. When power is restored, resources will be for their impacted Conferences.

We have also established a Hurricane Harvey Hotline at (877) 368-6494 that our Councils can call or refer survivors to if they need information on shelters, temporary housing, or parish, FEMA, state and community resources.

Please help ensure that SVdPUSA Disaster Services has the means to support the recovery needs of these hurricanes by making a donation to the Domestic Disaster Fund!

With your help and the help of SVdP Conferences and Councils, we will be armed with the needed resources. One of the most important resources is to ensure the Domestic Disaster Fund is sufficient to help during these times of crisis. These funds help to support SVdP resources needed to respond to disasters across the United States.
Immediate and critical needs are support of the local Disaster Rapid Response Teams, Disaster Case Management services, gift cards for immediate needs of displaced families, temporary shelter and eventually  the House in a Box® Program (90-120 days out at a minimum).

SVdP's House in a Box program restores lives one house at a time. This program was implemented to supply disaster survivors with critical items to furnish an entire home from the kitchen to the bathroom to the bedroom, including furniture, dishes, towels, utensils and bed linens. A contribution of $2,500 covers a House in a Box program for four people.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are just two of many domestic disasters responded to by the National Disaster Services of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Your donation helps to support the SVdP Domestic Disaster resources needed to respond to disasters across the United States. Thank you if you have already made a donation and for your continued support.
Please consider supporting the Domestic Disaster Fund. For online donations, there is a drop-down menu on the donation form. You can choose to donate to Hurricane Maria relief, Hurricane Harvey relief, Hurricane Irma relief or to support House in a Box program or General Domestic Disaster relief.

If you prefer to support SVdPUSA's disaster relief by check, please send it to:
National Council of the United States
Society of St. Vincent de Paul
58 Progress Parkway
Maryland Heights, MO 63043
(Be sure to write "Harvey, Irma, Maria or Domestic Disaster Relief Fund" in the memo field)

We are deeply thankful for all you do to give glory to God by giving to those in need!

For more information about the Disaster Services , contact:

Elizabeth Disco-Shearer
Disaster Services Corporation

Brooke Newton
Deputy Director
Disaster Services Corporation

Mexico National Council requests Earthquake Assistance - Update
*A major earthquake struck recently near downtown Mexico City.  We have received these communications along with the accompanying photos from the SSVP Mexico National Council (translated from Spanish):


Sept. 27 Update
We have been very busy collecting and helping communities most affected by the earthquake. Communications have failed also because the electricity is not one hundred percent restored here in the colony... and in the affected states. The bank is not working correctly yet and we have had problems with that... what we've been troubleshooting, and as soon as Gina lets us know... it's a chaos sometimes... in situations like this... But on the other hand we have a lot of experiences, beautiful in direct service with homeless families... because we come to your home and we have seen the impact of both material and spiritual caused by the earthquake... great learning and to help them and listen to them makes a big difference reciprocal. Many thanks for your prayers that strengthen us and make us feel close to them in these difficult times. And in addition by the good news of financial support to continue our Vincentian work. We have uploaded photos and videos of this on the Facebook of the SSVP Morelos. Greetings Vincentians and in prayer and action.

Sept. 26 Update:
Dear Vincentian Brothers:
Almost a week after the emergency situation in our country, and wishing them a good start to the week, I updated information on activities and reports on Oaxaca, Mexico and Morelos; accompanied by some photographs.
On behalf of the SSVP Mexico, we thank you for your prayers, support and solidarity in the face of this situation of chaos and disaster that our country is going through. There have been several signs of support and solidarity that we have received from the members of the different countries, and despite the tragedy, Mexicans, mainly members of the SSVP Mexico have shown their love to our Lord Jesus Christ offering all their help physical and material.
Just a few weeks ago, on the night of September 7th we had in our country an earthquake of 8.1 degrees that caused serious damage in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, in the state of Mexico were few affectations, it was only the scare and had to leave moments of their houses. On that occasion, all the Regions of the SSVP Mexico united our efforts to support our brothers of the community San Dionisio del Mar in Oaxaca with medicines, clothes and pantries with the direct help of a New Conference San Pablo de Mitla, Oaxaca.
On this occasion, one hour after the 32nd anniversary of the earthquake that destroyed much of Mexico City, there is a 7.1 degree but with a nearer epicenter, which directly affected our brothers from the Conferences of Mexico City, State of Mexico and Cuernavaca, Morelos. Once again the solidarity of the other Regions has been reflected by sending material and economic support through the National Council's account for better control.
Thank God, the people of Mexico City have been very generous providing food, toiletries, medicines, as well as material needed to continue the rescue; unfortunately the death toll continues to grow.
In Morelos, our conferences in Cuernavaca invest a greater number of hours of service in addition to being a collection center, they have been displaced these days to bring support to the surrounding communities, the poorest that were most affected. In this state is where we are focusing the support, since the big cities have the services of the Army, Navy, Civil Protection, Red Cross and other associations.
The conferences are assessing the damages to go channeling the necessary supports through projects. As already mentioned, the first services focused on meeting food needs and providing support for health care; now, everyone agrees that the phase to be followed, will be focused on the reconstruction: Morelos, Oaxaca and Mexico.
We thank you again for your attention and we look forward to your suggestions on the procedures to follow.
A hug, fraternally in St. Vincent and Blessed Federico Ozanam.

Luz María Ramírez González
Presidente - Consejo Nacional SSVP - México


How to help

Conferences and individuals here in the United States have asked already how they can help our Mexico Vincentian brothers and sisters. The international Society of St. Vincent de Paul will coordinate global assistance. 

Meanwhile, because we know that there are many in the U.S. who want to help immediately, we have added a designation line to the online giving portal on our National Council website: Please scroll down to "International Disaster." Councils and Conferences if they prefer can also send checks marked "Mexico" to the U.S. National Council.  

Thank you for your prayers and financial contributions to help the people and Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Mexico.
For more information, contact:
Steve Martinez
Chief Development Director
314-576-3993 ext.213
Gerri Sample
Senior Development Associate
314-576-3993 ext.211


Q: One of our Conferences noted that in the SVdP Manual on page 10 (second to last paragraph), there is mention of "obtaining plenary indulgences on the day of their admission to the Society..." We were wondering if there is a special SVdP ceremony that will suitably achieve the granting of the indulgence on the participants. I could not find anything in the "Vincentian Celebrations" manual. We are looking for an official description of such a ceremony that would result in the granting of the indulgences.
A: There are no ceremonies associated with indulgences. You fulfill the requirements of the indulgences and they are granted - not by us, but by God. The requirements are specified in that paragraph in the Manual. 
Q: At our National Council there are about 118 votes that could be cast. Do you know approximately how many votes can be cast at our General Council in Paris? 
A: According to The Rule, Part II, the presidents of all instituted Superior (National) Councils or Assimilated Councils are voting members of the international Confederation. Assimilated Councils are lower level Councils or Conferences that have been officially designated as representing the country they are located in. We are located in 152 countries and potentially have 152 voting members. As is the case in the United States with our National Council members, even though 118 are eligible to vote, they don't always attend the meetings because of various reasons.

Submit your questions to: 
Pam Hudson
National Director of Governance & Membership Services


Disaster Services Updates

For information about how to assist those in Puerto Rico recovering from Hurricane Maria, click here.

For information about how to assist those struggling in the U.S. Virgin Islands, click here .

mariavolunteersVolunteer Opportunity: Help the areas impacted by Hurricane Maria

hygienekitsUrgent Need for Hygiene Kits for 
Hurricane Survivors

Disaster Services has begun working on a project to help those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
In order to get individuals back on their feet after the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria they are asking that those who wish to help, prepare personal hygiene kits.
This is something that can be done as a Conference or parish project and can have a large impact on those in need in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

The need for the kits is extremely urgent!
Councils, Conferences and Disaster Services will distribute the kits in shelters, parish centers, Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs) and other areas where there are hurricane survivors.
Click the links below for more information about Hygiene Kits:
Hygiene Kits

Another option to help is to purchase a pre-made hygiene kit.
These hygiene kits cost less than $7 each and include a full bar of soap, a soap holder, and a 4 -ounce bottle of shampoo and other items. The contents of these kits are tailored to the needs of the age group and gender.
Also, you can purchase one, two, or a few - as many kits as you would like to purchase - you do not need to purchase full cases. All hygiene kits purchased will be shipped directly to the designated SVdP disaster relief location for distribution to people in need.

Kits for Harvey can be sent to:
SVdP Austin
901 West Breaker Ln.
Austin, TX 78758

For information about where to ship kits for Hurricane Irma and Maria, contact:

Brooke Newton
Either way makes a big difference to people displaced by hurricanes and flooding!

Thank you for your support and generosity!



DSConthegroundOther Disaster Services Projects

Hope Kitchen Visits Bloomington, Texas

T he Society of St. Vincent de Paul's "Hope Kitchen" recently visited Bloomington, Texas. 

Vincentians and volunteers from the Knights of Holy Family served a hot meal to Hurricane Harvey survivors. 

Those in need were then invited to visit the Parish Recovery Assistance Center for aid from various organizations.


SVdP Disaster Services hosts P-RAC in San Marco

The Society's Disaster Services hosted a Parish Recovery Assistance Center recently in San Marco, Fla. San Marco is part of the Naples Diocese and was very hard-hit by Hurricane Irma.

For more information about the Disaster Services , contact:

Elizabeth Disco-Shearer
Disaster Services Corporation

Brooke Newton
Deputy Director
Disaster Services Corporation

Recordings of Livestreamed Sessions from National Assembly

Please note that all sessions from this year's National Assembly in Tampa that were livestreamed were recorded. They will be made available online when we receive them from the production company that handled the livestream and recording. 

The company is located in Tampa, Fla. and Hurricane Irma affected them as well. 

We will make the recordings available as soon as possible. Stay tuned to the E-Gazette and SVdP USA social media for news regarding the recordings.

Thank you for your patience! 
annualreportsOnline Annual Report Submission

The launch of online 2017 Annual Reports will be delayed. In an effort to ensure the most complete and accurate reporting system we are delaying the rollout of the online reports. Online reporting is a major part of the National Database revitalization project that is still underway. While we are working diligently to ensure the new database is free from issues, we encourage all Councils and Conferences to gather annual reporting information in preparation for the online roll-out. 

For questions or more information, contact:
Wendy VanDeventer-Jones
Information Technology Director
314-576-3993 ext. 216

Vincentian Formation
Resources on the Web

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides important information, programs, documents and materials for members on the National Council website:

For further information contact: 
Sister Kieran Kneaves, DC
National Formation Director

So, You've been elected President...

Thank you for sharing your time and talents with fellow Conference and Council members as well as those in need. As with all involvement in the Society, we hope your work as a Vincentian servant leader will lead you to greater faith, an increased desire to serve and stronger friendships. 
Do you feel some anxiety about taking on a Vincentian leadership role? Let's take a look at a few common myths behind that anxiety.
Myth #1:  You need to know everything now.
No Vincentian has taken a leadership role already knowing everything; to be honest, no current Vincentian leader knows everything now. What most Vincentian leaders do learn is where to look to find information, where the resources are and who in the Society has experiences and wisdom to share.
Truth #1:  You will learn and grow during your time as a Vincentian leader.

Click here to read complete article.
To learn more about Governance, contact:
Pam Hudson
National Director of Governance and Membership Services
314-576-3993 ext. 214
RFPsSharing the Money!
Deadline for Applications extended!

The National Council of the United States Society of St. Vincent de Paul announces RFP's for TWO grant programs totaling $231,000! These funds are a result of an Anonymous Foundation Grant to the National Council.  SVdPUSA Conferences and Councils  are eligible to submit. 

Proposals are due October 20 by 4 p.m. Central Time!

The applications can also be found on the national website. and scroll down to the "What's Going On" tab.

For more information regarding the RFP's, contact:

Steve Martinez
Chief Development Officer
314-576-3993 ext. 213

Gerri Sample
Senior Development Associate
314-576-3993 ext. 211

Saturday, September 30 was the national walk day for the 2017 Society of St. Vincent de Paul Friends of the Poor® Walk/Run. Vincentians, their friends, families and community members came out to help those in need by walking for those the Society assists.
The FOP Walk/Run began in 2008. In its first year, participants raised $837,688. In 2016, there were more than 28,000 participants in the walk and more than $3.1 million dollars was raised. While the national walk day has passed, Conferences and Councils will continue hosting walks through the month of October and the numbers of participants and money raised will continue to rise. There are 245 FOP Walks registered for the 2017 season.
This yearly event is also a great way for Vincentians to come together and walk in the name of the good work they do year-round.
"This year's walk was a joy-filled morning of fellowship with more than 220 participants from the St. Clement's, St. Elizabeth Mother of John the Baptist and Incarnate Word Conferences," said Mary Kreinkamp, the St. Clement of Rome FOP Walk Coordinator. "For the past four years, the walks that we've co-hosted have enabled us to grow in Vincentian friendship and spirituality."
After their walk, Krienkamp said that participants assembled hygiene kits to be delivered to the St. Patrick Center in downtown St. Louis. The St. Patrick Center provides services for the homeless.
Every dollar raised through the FOP Walk goes right back into the local community to assist those in need locally.
We will update numbers when we receive more walk reports for Councils and Conferences across the country. Stay tuned to the E-Gazette for updates!
*Mark your calendars! The 2018 Friends of the Poor Walk/Run national walk day will be Saturday, September 29, 2018.
For questions, please contact: 
Nathan Martin
National Director of Fundraising Programs 
314-576-3993 ext.218

To Top 

Vincentian Health Care Witness shows 
Advocacy Works

Can I Get a Witness?  At least in the case of health care advocacy for the poor and marginalized, the answer was a resounding "Yes" as faith-based leaders and groups, including the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and its leadership, combined their voices together to help preserve health care coverage for poor and vulnerable fellow citizens.   

Unable to muster the votes necessary in the final days before the September 30th close of the Federal fiscal year, the Senate opted not to bring the latest iteration of "repeal and replace" legislation for the Affordable Care Act to the floor.  For the time being then, federally guaranteed health care coverage for the poor and needy, the very persons we see in our home visits and special works, remains in place.


Capwiz is now VoterVoice

Our Rule calls us to speak out clearly against "unjust economic, political or social structures or ... inadequate or unjust legislation ... always with charity, with the aim of contributing to and demanding improvements," (7.6). To answer this challenge and serve our friends in need more effectively, we have moved our email advocacy from Capwiz to VoterVoice.
In VoterVoice, we are gaining exciting new tools that will allow us to enhance our education and advocacy around important public policy issues that affect the lives of poor and vulnerable people. Visit our new landing page and check it out!
If you participate in the Voice of the Poor Committee's advocacy activities, you will begin seeing slight differences in action alerts and other materials. If advocacy is new to you, now's a great time to get signed up! Visit the VoP website for more information, and sign up for VoterVoice here!


Poverty in America and Our Communities
October Voice of the Poor Webinar

Vincentians have a deep understanding of the human toll that poverty takes. Every year, the Census Bureau releases statistics that help us complete our picture of poverty in our country and communities. Join Tom Mulloy, national director of poverty programs, as he dissects the updated poverty statistics and demonstrates how to access statistics for your community. Having this information can be a powerful tool for advocacy as well as advancing systemic change.

Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Call-in: 800-326-0013
Passcode: 3653228

For more information about Voice of the Poor, contact:
Tom Dwyer
National Voice of the Poor Chairperson

To Top 

Getting Ahead Facilitator Training
Our Rule calls us "to help the poor to help themselves whenever possible, and to be aware that they can forge and change their own destinies and that of their local community."
Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin'-By World does just that, empowering individuals to build their own personal plans for economic security and create Systemic Change. It is currently being used by Conferences and Councils of all sizes across the country.
Join national board members Jeanne Harper and Tom Pelger for our next   Getting Ahead Facilitator Training.
Session I: Wednesday, November 1 5:30-8:30 p.m. CT
Session II: Wednesday, November 8 5:30-8:30 p.m. CT

* Please Note: Registration will close approximate one week prior to the webinar, in order that participants have sufficient time to prepare. Late requests cannot be accepted.*
For more information, contact:
Tom Mulloy
National Director of Poverty Programs


What does your Council use for training Secretaries and Treasurers?

The National Extension Committee is compiling information for the purpose of developing training sessions for Conference secretaries and treasurers. 

If your Council has developed a training program for either Conference secretaries or Conference treasurers, please send a copy of what you have to Mike Syslo at

It is important to see what various Councils are doing in this training. We would like to take advantage of best practices throughout the Society.


New Conferences August & September

For any questions regarding extension, contact:
Julie Witzel
National Membership and Extension Manager
314-576-3993 ext. 221


For more information about SVdP Youth, contact:
Julie Witzel 
314-576-3993 ext. 221

International News
3rd Edition of the Ozanam Network Newsletter (No. 3 - 2017)

To read news about the international Society, click here.


National News 
Annunciation's 'Vibrant Vinnies' become official Conference
Members of Annunciation's Vibrant Vinnies hand out hygiene bags at St. Vincent de Paul.

Frederic Ozanam, founder of the Society St. Vincent de Paul, was a 20-year-old law student when he and his peers formed the first "Conference of Charity."
Some 800,000 Catholics of all ages now carry out charitable work in the name of St. Vincent de Paul in 150 countries. That includes 30-some fifth-through eighth-graders at Annunciation Catholic School in Cave Creek who recently became an official St. Vincent de Paul Conference.
They join some 4,440 Conferences at the parish, university and special work levels committed to helping the poor with food, bills and other services worldwide. Annunciation's "Vibrant Vinnies," as the students call themselves, are one of the few SVdP elementary Conferences in the U.S. Most youth Conferences are high school or college Conference.



Calendar Calendar of Events

Deadline for Frederic's E-Gazette articles submission: Every Wednesday by 12 noon for article to be included in current week's edition

Invitation for Renewal
St. Louis, MO (Pallottine Renewal Center)
December 6-10

Dates for 2018:

Board Meeting
St. Louis, MO
January 26 - 27

Catholic Social Ministry Gathering
February 3 - 6
Washington, DC

Midyear Meeting
April 11-14
St. Louis, MO

Board Meeting
St. Louis, MO

Invitation for Renewal
July 11 - 15
St. Louis, MO

National Assembly
August 29 - September 1
San Diego, CA

Invitation for Renewal
November 14 - 18
St. Louis, MO

Vincentian Prayer List

Are you or another Vincentian you know in need of prayers from fellow SVdP members? Send the prayer intention to Pam Hudson at and we will add the name to the prayer list on the SVdP website. Thank you and God Bless.

SVdP Social Media

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Michelle Boyer

Communications and Administrative Associate


(314) 576-3993 ext. 201