Conference News and Notes
for Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022
Sent to all Vincentians & Staff
Vincentian Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent
Sunday, March 6, 2022

Gospel: (Luke 4:1-13) Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. …The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered: “It is written: One does not live on bread alone.”…The devil then said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and glory…All this will be yours, if you worship me.” Jesus replied: “It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and Him alone shall you serve.” …Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says: You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.

Reflection: Try as he might by offering every attractive thing - wealth, power, esteem - the devil couldn’t prove stronger. The gentle persuasion of prayer and fasting kept Jesus stronger and able to resist temptation. Not even the Son of God was exempt from being tested!
Temptation, then, isn’t necessarily a sign of great sinfulness. It is an occasion for showing that our lives are turned to God, for remaining steadfast in the faith that we profess. Lent isn’t simply our desert time to overcome temptation. It is also a springtime of renewed relationship to God. It is a time when we are strengthened, with the gentle warmth of God’s Spirit leading us, to overcome even temptations to wealth, power, and esteem. (Living Liturgy, p.70)

Vincentian Meditation: I urge you to reflect, during Lent, on the temptations that we inevitably meet as the Spirit guides us through the desert. None of us is spared these. The Spirit is a pillar of fire to lighten our path on the journey, but daily events allure us to follow other pillars of fire as we wander through the desert. But we find our hunger satisfied, our thirst quenched, only in the person of a loving, provident God who walks with us always. This Lent all of us must ask ourselves: What is the greatest temptation I face as a follower of St. Vincent?
(Maloney, Go! On the Missionary Spirituality of St. Vincent de Paul, p. 95)

What is the greatest temptation you face as a follower of Vincent and Frederic?
And what is your greatest resource to rise above this temptation?
Additional Daily Lenten Reflection Content Coming Soon

Locally composed daily Lenten reflections will soon be available to you, accessed at the Members page of our SVDP - Cincinnati website. More info to come.
March is Rich in Formation Opportunities & Events
for Your Lenten Journey - Let's Walk Together

First Friday Fellowship
Join your fellow Vincentians, as well as SVDP staff and volunteers, on the first Friday of each month as we share fellowship and conversation about the many rich dimensions of the Society’s essential elements: Faith, Friendship, and Service. Next up:
This Friday, March 4, Noon-1pm, via Zoom: Intro to Spanish and Hispanic/Latinx Cultural Awareness
Learn some key phrases and welcoming practices to best serve our Spanish-speaking neighbors from a panel of SVDP staff and native speakers.
Join our Zoom gathering at:
Meeting ID: 879 7756 1282
Passcode: 970639


Ozanam Orientation
Your first opportunity to participate in Ozanam Orientation in 2022!
This Saturday, March 5, 9:00am-3:00pm, in-person @ St Vivian (Finneytown)
This workshop covers the essential elements of what it means to be part of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. As Vincentians, we are all required to attend this Orientation at least once. The Orientation is valuable whether you are a new member looking for an introduction to SVDP or a seasoned Vincentian desiring to deepen your experience of the Society...and you meet fellow local Vincentians from beyond your Conference.
This session has already attracted 30 participants; we have room for just a few more. Register closes this evening (Wed, 3/2) is now closed.


Exploring Poverty
Saturday, March 12, 9:00am-noon, in-person in our Ozanam Center (3rd floor, Liz Carter Center, 1125 Bank St)
This workshop deepens our sense of solidarity with those we serve by exploring the perspectives of our neighbors in poverty and the similarities as well as the differences between socioeconomic classes. Register now by emailing [email protected] or calling 513.345.4966.


Ozanam Orientation, Exploring Poverty, and our Home Visit Workshop (next offered this April) comprise our Vincentian Vocation Series. This series of three workshops is intended for all new Vincentians and for Vincentians looking to renew their commitment to the Vincentian vocation. Participants may attend any combination of one or more of these sessions.


Annual Vincentian Mass & Retreat
Saturday, March 26, 8:00am Mass, 9:00am-noon retreat, in-person @ St Ignatius of Loyola (Monfort Heights)
Join SVDP's National Formation Director, Tim Williams, who is coming to our city specifically to facilitate this retreat. Held annually during the Lenten season, this retreat responds to the Society’s call to faith, friendship, and service; a special morning of reflection and prayer. This year’s theme is “Our Essential Friendship”.
Our capacity is limited and advance registrations have been brisk. Register now to secure your presence in this gathering at
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Beacons of Light Initiative

  • Our meeting of Conference Presidents, dedicated to Beacons of Light, is Sat, 3/19, 9am - noon, in our Ozanam Center (3rd floor, Liz Carter Center, 1125 Bank St). We are excited to gather in-person to nurture relationship, especially within Families of Parishes. Meeting invitations have been sent and we're eager to have each & every Conference represented. Responses thus far are encouraging. Participants, please watch for advance materials.
  • Our Archdiocese released pastors & parochial vicars assignments to Families of Parishes on Mon, 2/14; the assignments are effective with the implementation of this Beacons of Light initiative on 7/1. You will find a summary of the assignments, and additional content & context, at .
  • Our Archdiocese hosts monthly Beacons Roundtable Zoom gatherings on Tuesdays, 1:30-3pm. These gatherings are attracting priests, deacons, parish leaders, and passionate parishioners from throughout our Archdiocese. February's gathering focused on Eucharist: Center of Parish Life. The next is Tues, 3/15, entitled Leadership: Co-Responsibility In Families of Parishes. Future dates: 4/26, 5/17, & 6/21. This is all part of Phase 0 - Warm-Up - of this Beacons of Light initiative. In this Phase 0, we are encouraged to pray, learn, and prepare. Phase 1 - Leadership - begins with the implementation on 7/1.
  • Please join together to embrace and seize Beacons opportunities to advance our Vincentian vocation and amplify our impact!
We Still Need Your Help

Our External Relations team is asking all Vincentians to help find our next Gift Processing Coordinator! This critical position is responsible for all tasks related to SVDP’s donor database including gift processing, donation acknowledgments, mailing lists, online donation and registration forms, reporting, and more. Candidates do not need to have a fundraising background but should be detail-oriented with previous experience working in databases, CRMs, or similar programs. Find the full job description on the SVDP website (you may need to scroll down). Resumes and cover letters can be submitted to Daniel Flynn at 513.345.4994 or [email protected]. Thank you for promoting—or even applying for—this exciting opportunity.
Referring Neighbors for potential TANF and EPI Assistance
In response to your feedback, we have taken steps to streamline the process for Vincentians to refer neighbors whom they feel would be good candidates for the Eviction Prevention Initiative (EPI) or Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF). Vincentians who have connected with neighbors whom they feel would be a good candidate for either program should email our Call Center Coordinator, Muslimah Winbush, at [email protected] , with a referral. This email should consist of the following:
  • Name of your Conference
  • Full name of the neighbor you are referring
  • Neighbor’s phone number
  • Neighbor’s email address
Your email will ensure that we have proper documentation of the initial referral. Muslimah will then contact the neighbor to complete the request. If the neighbor cannot be reached by phone, the neighbor will be sent an email expressing that we have attempted to reach out to them and that if they are still in need of the assistance, they would need to call Muslimah directly. Once the request form has been completed, Muslimah will send an email to the Vincentian who made the referral confirming that the request form has been submitted for review. Please do not ask the neighbors to call Muslimah directly unless they are returning her call.
Please understand that we do not have the resources to extend assistance to every eligible neighbor and manage expectations accordingly. Selections are made from all eligible request forms (including neighbors who do & do not reside in Conference footprints) submitted in a given week; request forms are not carried over from week to week, but a neighbor who was not selected can be resubmitted.
Since this is a new accommodation, your feedback is greatly appreciated. We are encouraged by how quickly some Conferences & Vincentians have already leveraged this enhancement. Our goal is to serve our Vincentians well, as you serve our neighbors well.

As a reminder, the eligibility for these programs is as follows:

City of Cincinnati's Eviction Prevention Initiative (EPI)
Neighbors must live in the City of Cincinnati and have formal notice of eviction proceedings to be eligible for EPI.
Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF)
This program, through at least June 2022, will pay for up to four months' rent for neighbors who meet the following criteria:
  • At risk of homelessness
  • Hamilton County residents
  • US citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • Have custody of at least one minor child and/or at least six months pregnant
  • Have a household income that is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (currently $53,000/year for a family of four)
Our Charitable Pharmacy's Emergency Assistance

Did you know? Nearly 25% of Americans report difficulty affording their prescription medications. Often, medication costs and medical debt are the root cause for food insecurity and housing instability. In response to this, our Charitable Pharmacy is excited to announce the expansion of its Emergency Voucher program. This program provides immediate access to free prescription medications for neighbors who do not have Ohio Medicaid benefits. Emergency medications will be provided along with an appointment for full certification for ongoing services within 30 days after their first medication pick-up. Additionally, neighbors can now access our Charitable Pharmacy’s on-site nurse practitioner for physical exams and laboratory tests. The next time you serve a neighbor in need, ask them this: “Are you able to afford your medical expenses?” If not, contact Dr. Rusty Curington at [email protected] for emergency access to our Charitable Pharmacy.
Winter Coats Wrap-Up

Our thrift stores honored winter coat vouchers until yesterday, 3/1, as committed. Thanks to all who contributed to a season of abundant winter coats assistance - those who donated coats, those who hosted drives, those who brought all these coats together, those who volunteered to prep for and then host distribution events, those who helped neighbors seeking winter coat vouchers, and those at our thrift stores who assisted neighbors redeeming winter coat vouchers.
How fruitful were your efforts this season?
  • 1,881 neighbors received the warmth of a winter coat at our in-person distributions
  • 939 neighbors received coat vouchers, redeemable at any of our thrift stores
If you have feedback on our winter coats process, you are welcome to email Erin Nowak at [email protected] . Special thanks to Renee Berlon, Events & Partnerships Manager, for coordinating drives and collection logistics.
University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash Hosts Community Dental Day

  • When: This Friday, March 4, 2022, 8am-2pm (first come, first served)
  • Where: Dental Hygiene Clinic, 9555 Plainfield Rd, Blue Ash, OH 45236 (Metro Bus Route 4)
  • What: Choice of cleaning, filling, or extraction will be performed for those 18 years & older who are uninsured
  • For more info: Call 513.558.9589
Cooking Improv with La Soupe

Our Catino Choice Food Pantry is partnering with La Soupe to present monthly Cooking Improv demonstrations in the Teaching Kitchen at our Neyer Outreach Center. Instructors from La Soupe will teach participants basic cooking principles and how to use what you have to create delicious, nutritious meals. The demonstrations will be on the first Wednesday of every month, 11am-1pm. The demos last 15-20 minutes and will be presented continuously during this time frame. Each demonstration will be limited to seven participants. Our next event is today - Wed, 3/2 (Ash Wednesday). No pre-registration is required. Feel free to share this information with your neighbors, or if you’re interested in getting involved in our Teaching Kitchen programming, please reach out to Demi Schoenherr at [email protected] for more information.
Your CMS Momentum is Our CMS Momentum

  • If you are not yet utilizing CMS, now is your time to onboard with CMS
  • 36 Conferences have implemented CMS and are benefitting from its functionality
  • 9 Conferences have onboarded since June, 2021
  • Our St Cecilia Conference implemented yesterday, 3/1/2022! Who's next?
  • 7 more Conferences are in our active pipeline
  • This web-based version of CMS is user-friendly: quicker, more reliable, and supports multiple devices
  • You’ll enjoy improved turnaround on financial closing; quicker access to all neighbor data throughout our district; better reporting availability for your Conference meetings; and a secure location for all of your go-forward data for future reference
  • John Wessel, your Resource Analyst, has assembled great training and support resources to complement his personal commitment to your positive CMS experience; he's happy to join you for a CMS demo
  • Still not sure? Ask Tom Roberts or John Wessel for contact info of neighboring Conferences who have embraced CMS
Bottom-line: this tool helps you better engage and lift your neighbors. Make 2022 the year you join fellow Vincentians & Conferences and make this leap forward! 

CMS help sessions are available by appointment. Please contact John Wessel at [email protected] or 513.562.1823 to schedule a session, which can be for groups or individuals.
CMS training videos are located on our website, accessed via the Members tab, or just use this link:
If prompted for a password, use the word “member”, all lower case and without the quotation marks.
More Resources for our Conferences and Neighbors

Conference Assistance Fund (CAF)
We extended FY2022 Q1 (Oct 2021 - Dec 2021) total CAF assistance of $171,432, then $66,290 (on 153 approved applications) in Jan 2022.
Summary of our February activity (a short month):
  • You submitted 121 applications
  • We approved 124 applications - totaling approx $55,000 in assistance
As of Tues, 3/1, we have 9 applications in progress toward approval.
Your pace of application submissions is tracking tightly to our current budgetary provisions of $60,000 per month. We encourage you to fully consider our neighbor's situation and other resources which could be deployed as you discern a request for CAF assistance.

Our Charitable Pharmacy is Still Providing COVID Vaccinations
This includes the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID vaccine - as initial treatment or as a booster - for Ohio residents.
How do you or a neighbor get a vaccine from the Charitable Pharmacy?
  • We have both Pfizer and J&J vaccine available at our NOC & Western Hills locations on a walk-in basis at no charge.
  • All Ohio residents are eligible. There is no income requirement or expectation to certify for ongoing services.
  • Allow 30-45 minutes to complete paperwork, receive the vaccine, and be monitored by a pharmacist for any rare allergic reactions.
  • We will ask to see a photo ID and vaccine card documenting any previous vaccines. If anyone does not have this documentation, we will work with them to find other documentation options. 
Our Charitable Pharmacy staff is available to answer any questions.

Our Re-Entry Program
Our Re-Entry Program is eager to work with neighbors you are serving who have been affected by the criminal justice system. This includes individuals who are currently incarcerated or have been incarcerated in the past; it also includes people who have had interactions with the criminal justice system but have not been incarcerated. It can also include neighbors who have a family member who falls into one of these categories. If you are serving a neighbor who may benefit from these services, which include: 
  • Direct assistance, including rent, utility, and other basic needs assistance
  • Referrals to employment and housing resources
  • Case management
  • Advice related to expungement and child support issues
Please refer them to our Re-Entry Program Manager, Dion Crockett. Dion can be reached at 513.562.8851 or at [email protected] . You may contact Dion directly or you may share his contact information with the neighbor so that they may contact him. 
Dion is also eager to connect with our Conferences. if you would like to host Dion at a Conference meeting or get together with him in another way, please reach out to him.

Rahe Beds Fund & Program
Please submit your March bed voucher requests to Gabby at [email protected] by this Sat, 3/5. We anticipate distributing our full monthly allotment; each Conference may request up to 5 beds. We will advise mid-month if there are additional beds available. As a reminder, all bed vouchers are now redeemed at the Clothing and Home Resource Center (CHRC) in our Liz Carter Center (LCC, 1125 Bank St).
If your Conference is considering purchasing beds to extend as assistance, you can get info, including current pricing, or purchase by contacting Dave Chidlow, Stores Retail Resource Manager, at [email protected] or 513.853.1002. Your purchased beds will be picked up at our CHRC within our Liz Carter Center.
We still have a limited number of cribs & pack ‘n’ plays available for neighbors with children too young for beds (under age two). These do not count against the limit of two Rahe beds per household per lifetime. If you have a neighbor who is in need of a crib or pack ‘n’ play, please contact Gabby. Please note that these are available while supplies last, so please wait until you have confirmation from Gabby before telling the neighbor we’ll be able to assist them. We will provide the neighbor with a voucher that can be redeemed at our CHRC.

Education Center Within Our Neyer Outreach Center
Our NOC Education Center is available for neighbors to use during our operating hours: Monday - Friday, 8am - 4pm, and Saturday, 8am - noon.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW)
GCWW kicked off a new Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program in December. This program provides funds for GCWW utility assistance for eligible tenants residing in the City of Cincinnati. The funds will pay water, sewer, and stormwater charges. Any accrued charges during March 2020 (the start of the pandemic) or after are eligible to be paid with these funds.
Tenants must qualify by completing an online application at  and certifying that their household income is at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI).
If eligible neighbors have balances prior to March 2020, those charges will not be paid with these funds. However, neighbors can enroll in a flexible payment plan through the PromisePay Portal. GCWW customers can visit for details about the program and how to enroll. Customers who have paid their accounts and/or have an active payment plan on their GCWW account(s) and keep up with their current charges will be removed from the delinquency/shutoff process.
At this time, the delinquency/shutoff process will resume on April 1, 2022. 
  • Apply Today! Tenants residing in the City of Cincinnati can access the ERA Application at . Renters can also call 513.591.7700 to receive assistance from the call center to complete an application.
  • Renters not residing in Cincinnati city limits but living in Hamilton County can visit for utility assistance.
If you need additional materials or information, please contact GCWW at [email protected] .

Duke Energy
For questions on accounts or pledges for neighbors requesting utility assistance, please contact Duke Energy's Centralized Agency Team at 800.241.3194. Advocates are currently available Monday through Friday, 7:30am - 5:30pm.
Seasonal developments:
  • The Winter Reconnect Order went into effect on 10/18 and runs through 4/15/2022 
  • The HEAP Winter Crisis Program began on 11/1/2021
  • Find more info at
  • Soaring Winter Utilities Costs - Duke Energy has provided a series of toolkits to help their customers navigate. We have posted these resources to our website; you'll find the webpage at this link: We will continue to update this page as we receive additional content.

City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County COVID Assistance
There is still a huge sum of COVID federal economic recovery & relief emergency funding available in our area. If you encounter a neighbor who has experienced financial hardship due to COVID, please refer them to .
Note: The Hamilton County 513 Relief Bus (the Hamilton County Equity and Resources Mobile Tech Bus) will be available to neighbors at 1916 Central Parkway, outside the Ohio Means Jobs office, for these winter months. They are doing vaccinations there on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so these days could be busier. More info available here .

Cincinnati Eye Institute Foundation (CEIF) Vision Clinic in our Neyer Outreach Center
The Vision Clinic operates by appointment on certain Thursdays as designated by CEIF. Our Vision Clinic is open, 8:30am - 3pm, tomorrow and all 4 remaining Thursdays in March. A limited number of walk-in exams can also be accommodated. To schedule an appointment, or to inquire for additional info, please call 513.207.6140.
As We Enter Lent

  • We are thankfully achieving a sustained positive trend in COVID reductions
  • Prayers for world peace...that we all heed God's call to love...are encouraged
  • May we all invest more time listening in this Lenten season
  • And may our choices and actions match our most holy aspirations
Call to Prayer
For the grace to be detached from wealth,
Jesus, we turn to you.
For the grace to be detached from power,
Jesus, we turn to you.
For the grace to be detached from esteem,  
Jesus, we turn to you.