Program Updates
Bed Program Update

New Council Bed Vouchers have been distributed to District Presidents, who are sharing them with Conferences within their District. The Council Office will only fund beds purchased with these new vouchers. Each voucher provides a Neighbor with one complete twin bed set or full bed set (mattress, box spring, frame, sheets, pillow). Detailed instructions for the revised Bed Program are available in the Program Handbook. 
Help for Conferences Working with Pregnant Women
Vincentians working with women in the Pregnancy Care Partnership are invited to join us on Zoom to share resources, ask questions, and get support in order to best serve these women and their unborn children.  
Informational Zoom Meetings:
December 15, 1 - 1:30 PM
Meeting ID: 813 5478 3659
Passcode: 971032
Audio only: 312 626 6799
January 19 - 1 - 1:30 PM

Meeting ID: 818 3027 7997
Passcode: 051085
Audio only: 312 626 6799
City of St. Louis Direct Financial Assistance Opportunity

Neighbors in St. Louis City who have been impacted by COVID and meet the eligibility requirements may receive $500 in direct financial assistance.
For information, visit the link below.
Missouri Medicaid Expansion Eligibility

Vincentians: remember that Neighbors may be eligible for insurance through the Missouri Medicaid Expansion.
Submit Council Program Requests
Conferences are welcome to submit Council Program Requests via ServWare to streamline the process. For guidance, please click the button below.
Rapid Rehousing Update
During 2021, the SVdP Council Office piloted a Rapid Rehousing Program to house the transitionally homeless and those at imminent risk of homelessness. Twenty five families are benefitting from this pilot. Plans for expansion are underway. Stay tuned for additional email communication regarding the expansion!
SAFHR Training for Vincentians
As a Vincentian, do you see Neighbors struggling with applications for government rental assistance? Are you struggling to help Neighbors complete the application? Then please join for a virtual training session on the Missouri State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR). The training is intended to help you help the Neighbor complete the application. You may choose from one of three training sessions offered via Zoom on the following dates and times:

Thrift Store Pricing Update

There will be a slight price increase at all SVdP Thrift Stores beginning December 13. This will help in filling out vouchers for your Neighbors in Need, The pricing guide is attached here or you can on the Vincentian portion of the website at:

The Vincent portion of our website is password protected. 
The password is: Vincent
A Disaster Needs You!

You can help serve our Neighbors in Need when a disaster strikes in our service area! 
Here’s how . . .

When a disaster strikes, SVdP participates at a Multi-Agency Resource Center (known as a MARC) and assists in collaboration with the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other agencies.

Just like a home a visit, Vincentians visit with victims of a disaster at the MARC. After the MARC, information is then distributed to a local Conference to follow up with these Neighbors in Need.

We need Vincentians to serve for 2-hour shifts at any future MARCs. If you would like to volunteer with us on these occasions, or for more information, please email Disaster Committee Chairpersons Russ Struttmann ( or Clay Whitener (
Vincentian Events
Job Opportunity: Vincentian Database Administrator

We are seeking a new Vincentian Database Administrator! If you know someone who would be a great fit for the job, please pass this along! You can find more info at the button below or at the link here:

  • This position manages the Council wide Neighbor Relationship Management (NRM) software to be used for records, reporting, and analytics. Included is training of Conference and Council staff in the utilization of the database. Trainings are implemented in person, over Zoom, and via a learning management system. This position is expected to oversee and stay in close contact with the Vendor to satisfy Vincentian need. The position also plays a key role in the implementation committee (participation, listening and responding to needs and adjusting strategy accordingly). The position carries out creative solutions for full implementation of database software in the +140 Conferences of the St. Louis Archdiocesan Council, Districts, and Council Office.
Spring Assembly 2022:
Mark your calendars for the next Spring Assembly!
You are cordially invited to attend our 2022 Spring Assembly! It will be held Saturday, March 26, from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm at Saint Louis University High School.

We are excited to announce that Fr. James Mason, President-Rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary (below, left), will be our keynote speaker, and Bishop Mark Rivituso (below, right) will be our celebrant and homilist.

It will be a wonderful day of Vincentian friendship, spiritual growth, and inspiration. You won’t want to miss it!
Vincentian Formation and Support
Vincentian Meditation
Simplicity. Humility. Gentleness. Selflessness. Zeal…

These are the essential Vincentian virtues. Christ is the exemplar of all of them, but his humility especially can inspire us this Advent season. The Second Person of the Trinity entered into humanity through the Incarnation and was born as a baby in a manger.

In his apostolic letter, Admirabile Signum, Pope Francis writes on the meaning and importance of the nativity scene: “As we contemplate the Christmas story, we are invited to set out on a spiritual journey, drawn by the humility of the God who became man in order to encounter every man and woman. We come to realize that so great is his love for us that he became one of us, so that we in turn might become one with him.”

As we become one with Christ, we grow in the humility necessary to encounter our fellow Vincentians and our Neighbors with great love.
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a feast day of the Society. As we prepare for the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, let’s reconsider the meaning:
  • Some confuse the Immaculate Conception with Christ’s conception in Mary’s womb through the Holy Spirit. It is not.
  • The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary, whose conception was normal, but, by the Holy Spirit was conceived without original sin.
From a young age, Blessed Frederic Ozanam was fascinated with Mary. When he started the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Frederic was insistent that they take Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception as its patroness.
In November 1852 Frederic wrote, “O Our Lady, You are beautiful and gracious. You have obtained miracles, obtain something for us also and for those belonging to us.”
Like Frederic, may we ask for our Blessed Mother’s intercession with her Son on our behalf and on behalf of the Neighbors we are blessed to serve.
Hail Mary, full of grace…
From John Foppe. Thoughts on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
I recently read some informational words about the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and would like to share it with you.. .

"In becoming the mother of Christ, Mary, by extension, would become mother of all those members of Christ’s Mystical Body across space and time. Just as the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother were required to bring about the Incarnation in history, so those same two agents are required to bring about the birth of Christ in our souls.
We might imagine that Mary received this deep affirmation, so much so that she allowed the angel messenger of God to place this yoke on her shoulders; she breathed her consent, and with her burden lightened, she could then offer herself in service to her cousin, Elizabeth — resting in and entrusting herself completely to the Spirit of God. Mary’s consent is an example of someone who transmits God’s love in daily life. Fr. Thomas Keating states. "You just have to be the expression of God’s love and tenderness in all the details of life however humdrum, however routine. It’s not what we do, but the motive from which it’s coming, and it’s the person who has that motive that transforms and brings God into other people’s lives. And that’s the ultimate transmission: to bring or awaken other people to the presence of God’s love and action in them.”
During this second week of Advent, let us open our hearts and rest in the example of Mary's confidence in God, and allow ourselves to receive the lightness of the yoke of Christ, of our divine/human identity and adventure."

John Foppe
Executive Director
Advent Retreat Recap
Thank you to all those who joined us for our 12/4 Advent retreat! It was a wonderful morning spent growing in holiness and learning about inspiring lay Catholic saints. Look for the retreat video in the next week or so.
iGiveCatholic: Thank you!
Just after Thanksgiving was the fundraising event iGiveCatholic/Giving Tuesday! A big thank you to all who donated and boosted our call for donations.

Thanks to you all, we had over $5000 in donations, and we listed in the top 10 in the Archdiocese when it came to the number of donors.

Praise be to God!
St. Charles Vincentian Meeting
On December 5, Vincentians stopped by the St. Charles SVdP store for food and fellowship. Jerry Herndon, the store manager, discussed vouchers and the bed program, gave a status report on the store, and answered Vincentians' questions. There were around 50 people in attendance!
Computers Available for Conferences
Is your conference trying to implement ServWare but you need a computer? Well, your prayers are answered! The Council has about a dozen computers available for conferences. The computers come with a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Computers are available on a first come, first served basis. If needed, the council can deliver the computers and assist with setup. Please contact Steve Poppe at or 314-881-6024
Need Meeting Space?
Conferences and Vincentians are welcome to use the Conference rooms at the Cool Valley Thrift Outlet.

To schedule a conference room, contact Steve Poppe at or 314-881-6024.
A Letter from Fr. Mark
Dear Vincentians,

Letter-writing is my favorite hobby. Yes, I know, it is a dying art. Yes, I know, email is easier. Yes, I know, Facebook is more efficient. I don’t care. There is nothing like finding a hand-written letter in my mailbox. My letter-writing friends tell me the same thing.

So, it is an annual joy to write Christmas cards. I spent Thanksgiving and the day after addressing envelopes, signing my (half-page) annual letter, writing notes inside cards, folding, stuffing, sealing, and stamping my cards. They went into the mail on Saturday morning. To be perfectly honest, for as much as I love this annual ritual, I also love driving away from the Post Office with the task complete.

This year I seemed to notice the people whose names aren’t on my list any longer. Most of these folks were relatives or friends of my parents whose names moved from their list to mine following their deaths in the 1980s. Everyone on my parents’ list has gone to heaven now. In noticing their absence this year, I recalled times when they would come to our house “to see our tree,” or fun times they shared with my parents—playing pinocle at the kitchen table late into the night, helping when help was needed, and celebrating the milestones in each other’s lives. I’m thankful to have had these people in my life. They are among the saints who await my arrival.

Fr. Mark Pranaitis, C.M.  
Highlight: Get to Know Ernestine Jackson
Mid-Central District President
How long have you been a Vincentian with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul? 
Ernestine Jackson: I have been a Vincentian with St Vincent de Paul for 12 yrs. I started working under Mrs. Lillian Johnson who was our conference president. Not knowing she was preparing me for her job in the very near future. I came to a meeting one day, and before I knew it, I was voted the next conference president.

What inspired you to join?
EJ: I was inspired to join St Vincent de Paul, because I had a close friend, struggling with her gas bill. At that time I didn't know what SVDP did. After I found out, I told my friend to go to the Catholic church that was close to where she lives. They helped with her bills and more. I couldn't believe that I attended a Catholic
church and not know all what they did to help the community, From that day on, I knew I had to be a part of St Vincent de Paul. Working along with other Vincentians has been a pleasure , It's not everyday you get to work with others that make you feel like family.

How has your spirituality grown with your service to the poor?
EJ: My spirituality has grown each year serving the poor, Being a Vincentian , I have learned to be patient with our Neighbors in Need, and family. I find myself always wanting to help. When I am able to help someone, I get the best feeling knowing I put a smile on someone's face and my body lights up like a Christmas tree.

What is your home parish? 
EJ: My home parish is St Matthews, the Apostle Catholic Church. It is located at 2715 N Sarah St. which is in the Historic "Ville" neighborhood in north St Louis City.
Founded in 1893.

Tell us a little about you, your family. 
EJ: I have 5 kids (4 girls and 1 boy) . Their ages range from 41 to 50 years of age. Three son in laws and one daughter in law. I have 11 grandchildren and 11 great grands. We are a close family and I am so proud of them and their achievements.

What are your hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time? 
EJ: I am a glass engraver, something I don't do much anymore. I like to sew and work with crafts. But I am more popular with my movie collections. Since I am retired, all I do is watch movies. If I am not at the show, I am sitting in front of the TV.

Are you originally from St. Louis or grew up elsewhere?
EJ: I was born and raised in St. Louis. I moved to Lonedell, MO in Franklin County to take care of my grandparents. I returned to the city in the early 90's.

Any words of wisdom for other Vincentians?
EJ: There are times when you are feeling down and the world is against you. Everybody has problems. Pick up a phone and answer a call from a Neighbor in Need, When you talk to them, I guarantee you will forget your problems.
Reminder... Rosary Every Wednesday Night!
Join us --
SVdP St. Louis
Rosary Wednesday
8 p.m.
via Zoom.
Meeting ID: 989 8066 7271 Passcode: vincent
 or dial in: (312) 626-6799

Keep in Your Prayers
Please Pray for The Sick:

John Painter
St. Bridget of Kildare

Please Pray for The Deceased:

Amy Hossfeld 
St. Joseph, Cottleville

David London
Immaculate Heart of Marry, New Melle

Tom Knese
Queen of All Saints

Chris McCurdy
St. Anselm

Bert Tonkovic
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Antonio Valentine

To add a name to the list contact Steve Rupp at 
or (314) 881-6018
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul
St. Louis | []