Conference News and Notes
for Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Sent to all Vincentians & Staff
Vincentian Reflection for The Baptism of the Lord
Sunday, January 9, 2022

Gospel: (Luke 3:15-16; 21-22) The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Reflection: As Jesus was baptized by John, so must we be baptized - not just in the waters of repentance but by the Holy Spirit and fire which calls us, too, to give ourselves to God. Thus receiving the Spirit in our own baptism manifests our identity as ones who are saved, renewed, justified and heirs of eternal life, that is, those who also share in God’s life. Being baptized by fire means that we share in Jesus’ mission. We come to an appreciation of all this when we, like Jesus, contemplate this mystery of baptism in prayer. As we appreciate more and more who we are and what we are to do, we gradually come to realize that we ourselves are God’s presence for another. (Living Liturgy, p.36)

Vincentian Meditation: The fire of the Holy Spirit gives us the grace to be God’s presence for another: “The best thing to give…to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a mother, reverence; to your father, conduct that will make him proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all people, charity.” All that was precisely what Jesus Christ did. That, too, was what His Mother did. It was what St. Vincent de Paul and all God’s saints did. May we be strengthened to do likewise. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.728)

What are the “best things” that the fire of the Holy Spirit calls you to give?
Formation & Training Opportunities

First Friday Fellowship: Praying with Others - this Fri, 1/7/2022, noon-1pm, via Zoom
Join us virtually to develop new ways of prayer through a short "Praying with Our Neighbors" presentation and self-guided prayer stations. In this session, we will also introduce our prayer partner program.

To join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 824 7077 4447
Passcode: 573184

If you are interested in connecting with prayer partner(s) but cannot participate in this Zoom gathering, please email [email protected] .


You should have received our 2022 Conferences Training and Formation Calendar, sent via Constant Contact on the morning of New Year's Eve - an abundance of opportunities for your participation!


We are hiring for the new, full-time position of Formation and Service Learning Director. This position will be responsible for advancing St. Vincent de Paul’s mission through the development and facilitation of formation and training content and events for Vincentians, staff, retreatants, and volunteers as well as offering strategic oversight of the Service Learning program, made up of the Ozanam Center for Service Learning and the Vincentian Volunteers of Cincinnati programs. The Formation and Service Learning Director values and models Vincentian spirituality, friendship and service and acts as a spiritual animator for the District Council.  Learn more at .
Please Welcome Olivia Scheper,
our new Conferences Support Coordinator

Olivia has joined Margaret Rahn, our wonderful volunteers, & Tom Roberts in our NOC-based Conferences Support team; her 1st day was this past Mon, 1/3/2022. She brings intelligence, commitment to our mission, and a positive, energetic presence. Olivia is immersed in onboarding and orientation. You can expect interaction - and more background info - in the days ahead.
Winter Coats Still Available

Neighbors from throughout Hamilton County who have not received a coat from us this season may now come to our Neyer Outreach Center (NOC, 1146 Bank St) and request a coat voucher. Neighbors must bring their photo ID and an ID for all household members who will be receiving a coat (even if they’re not present). Limit of one coat per person.
Alternatively, if a neighbor approaches your Conference with a need for coats, you can email Erin Nowak at [email protected] with the name and DOB for all family members who would like a coat, as well as the address where the voucher should be mailed. This may be the Vincentian’s address, in which case the Vincentian would then give the neighbor the voucher, or the neighbor’s address. Vouchers will expire 30 days after the issue date or on March 1 (whichever comes first). Vouchers can be redeemed for a coat at any of our SVDP thrift stores. 

Is your closet full, thanks to a bountiful Christmas? Winter Coat Donations are still being accepted through Sun, 1/30. More information about this year’s drive (including some responses to general FAQs) can be found here: . Alternatively, please reach out to Renee Berlon at [email protected] if your Conference has donated coats to share.
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Beacons of Light Initiative

We recently shared the following content with our Conference Presidents via email:
  1. Beacons of Light Families of Parishes – a visual presentation of the revised – termed “final” – release from our Archdiocese on Sunday, 12/5/2021, with manual mark-up of info most relevant to our Conferences & Council; Our Archdiocese incorporated significant refinements in response to feedback on the draft version released in 10/2021;
  2. Beacons of Light Background & Overview – outline presentation, summarizing info we’ve previously shared and where we are now; &
  3. Beacons of Light Considerations & Guidance Document – again, in outline/bullet format, including suggestions of how to proceed.
We hope this stimulates fruitful interaction within your Conference and your Family of Parishes.
We encourage you to stay current on Beacons of Light developments at .
We've scheduled a meeting of our Conference Presidents, dedicated to Beacons of Light, for Sat morning, 2/12/2022, @ St. William Church in Price Hill.
Much opportunity ahead!
COVID Vaccine & Booster Available Now in Our Charitable Pharmacy

Our Charitable Pharmacy is able to provide J&J COVID vaccine - as initial treatment or as a booster - for Ohio residents. In accordance with the FDA and CDC guidelines, a second dose of J&J COVID vaccine is recommended for those who received the first J&J dose over two months ago. The J&J vaccine can also be used as a booster for those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over six months ago. Vincentians and neighbors alike can utilize either location of our Charitable Pharmacy for vaccination without an appointment. Please be sure to bring your vaccination card with you so the pharmacist can add documentation of the booster.
Our CMS Movement: Now is the Time

The number of our Conferences utilizing CMS is increasing. If you are not utilizing CMS currently, we strongly recommend that you onboard as soon as possible. The web-based version of CMS is a significant improvement from the previous desktop version. It is quicker, more reliable, and supports multiple devices. Additionally, you’ll see 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 data going forward historically. There is also the capability to load some past neighbor data that you may wish to retain and have available to you. The feedback from Conferences who have onboarded since the arrival of the new version has been overwhelmingly positive. There is no better time than the present to onboard to CMS.

CMS help sessions are available by appointment. Please contact John Wessel, your Resource Analyst, 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 $53,118 in CAF assistance in October and $64,678 in November.
Our December activity:
  • You submitted 126 fresh applications
  • We approved 123 applications, totaling approx $55,000
  • We have 41 applications in process toward approval
Our budgetary provisions are $60,000 per month through March. We are able to roll forward underextended provisions to cover a monthly overage. With the holidays now behind us, we anticipate significant demand this 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.
Margaret Rahn & our wonderful volunteers (now an even dozen) are intently processing and approving applications...Olivia will soon add processing capacity.
Our volunteers are a vital blessing. Please consider volunteering on-site at our Neyer Outreach Center to help us process CAF applications and to join in other forms of support of Conferences work. You can learn more by contacting Tom at [email protected] , Margaret at [email protected] , or Alec Jewell, Volunteer Manager, at [email protected]

Rahe Beds Fund & Program
Neighbors now take their bed vouchers to the Clothing and Home Resource Center in our Liz Carter Center to be redeemed. Please make sure your neighbors are aware of this change. We expect to extend our full monthly provision of Rahe Beds assistance in January. If your Conference has not already done so, please submit your requests for up to 5 beds today - Wed, 1/5. We will notify you if we have additional beds to extend in January. You can contact Gabby with any questions at [email protected] .

Our SVDP Thrift Stores' leadership has advised that our supply chain has sufficiently stabilized to once again offer your Conference the opportunity to purchase (the same Rahe) beds for neighbors outside the Rahe Beds Program. Pricing has been updated due to market forces. For more info or to purchase, contact Dave Chidlow, Stores Retail Resource Manager, at [email protected] or 513.853.1002. Your purchased beds will be picked up at our Clothing and Home Resource Center 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. If we have cribs or pack ‘n’ plays available, Gabby will make arrangements with either you or the neighbor to pick up the item from our NOC.

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. If neighbors need a little help with the technology, we have a volunteer available on Wednesdays, 11am - 2pm. If you’re a Vincentian with computer knowledge you’d like to share, please reach out to Alec Jewell, Volunteer Manager, at [email protected] .

City of Cincinnati's Eviction Prevention Initiative (EPI)
We have extended our collaboration on this initiative and we are actively accepting and processing applications for this assistance from eligible City of Cincinnati residents in Conference footprints.

Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF)
Our Social Services team is once again extending assistance with rent and utilities through the TANF (Temporary Aid for Needy Families) program. This program, through at least June 2022, will pay for up to four months' rent for neighbors who meet the following criteria:
  • Hamilton County residents
  • US citizen or qualified non-citizen
  • Has custody of at least one minor child and/or at least six months pregnant
  • At risk of homelessness
  • Have a household income that is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (currently $53,000/year for a family of four)
If you are serving a neighbor who meets these criteria, please encourage them to call our Help Line at 513.421.0602 and leave a message that includes their interest in exploring their eligibility for TANF or other centrally-administered assistance. A member of our Social Services team will return their call as soon as possible.
Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW)
GCWW has partnered with Promise Network, Inc (PromisePay) to provide an easy way to set up payment plans for past due charges.
For answers to Frequently Asked Questions, click here .
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 .
New development: 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 Vision Clinic in our Neyer Outreach Center
The Vision Clinic operates by appointment on certain Thursdays as designated by CEIF. Great news! Our Vision Clinic will be open, 8:30am - 3pm, all 4 Thursdays this month, including tomorrow. 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.
Monitoring & Responding to the Current Surge in COVID Cases

Our community and nation are experiencing a strong uptick in COVID cases as the highly-contagious Omicron variant spreads, likely aided by greater personal interaction during the holidays. We are staying current on CDC guidance and taking responsive measures here at our NOC & LCC, while continuing to serve our neighbors. We encourage your Conference and you to determine your own potential adjustments to operational activities as we navigate this together. Evidence supports the value of current COVID vaccination status to mitigate risk.
We wish you a happy, healthy, & fulfilling 2022 as we - together - carry forth this Vincentian vocation.
Call to Prayer
The heavens are opened and the Spirit of God comes to rest upon Jesus,
Spirit of God, rest upon us.
For all who have been baptized by water and the fire of the Holy Spirit,
may we be the presence of God to one another.
Christ, the Anointed, you began your public ministry after your baptism,
may we offer person-to-person service to the suffering.
Christ, the Beloved, you emptied yourself in love for the human family,
open our hearts to the poorest and most abandoned in the spirit of St. Vincent and Blessed Frederic.