Conference News and Notes
for Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Sent to all Vincentians & Staff
Vincentian Reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent
Sunday, March 13, 2022

Gospel: (Luke 9: 28-36) Jesus took Peter, John and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white….Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying. While he was speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them…Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son, listen to him.” After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.

Reflection: The only way for us to “remain” in Jesus’ glory is to accept the baptismal challenge to recognize Jesus as the beloved Son and to “Listen to him.” This means that we take to heart gospel living. This Sunday we are given a glimpse of glory to help us on our journey of a lifetime of self-emptying. This tells us something about how we might keep Sundays. If each Sunday is a day of rest, a time to be good to ourselves, to do something special that is uplifting, to enter into a moment of glory by praying, we would be better fortified to continue our journey. (Living Liturgy, p.74)

Vincentian Meditation: Though God is utterly transcendent, do we not experience the self-communication of God at times? Looking back at times, do we not perceive that we have been transformed by events that were beyond our control, often by our contact with the poor, by their faith, their gratitude, their persistent trust in God’s presence and providence? Are there not “angels” who enter our lives and touch us deeply because of their authentic witness to the gospels, because of their persevering hope in the face of sickness, suffering and death? Are there not occasions when we are deeply touched by the loyalty of friends, by their faithful love? Are these not ways in which we glimpse God’s freely-bestowed presence in our own human experience? I suggest this Lent that we focus on growing in awareness of God’s self-gift, in its many expressions, and raise our hearts and voices to the Lord in gratitude. (Maloney, Go! On the Missionary Spirituality of St. Vincent de Paul, p. 99)

How have you experienced God touching your life?
How might others experience God through you?
Additional Daily Lenten Reflection Content

Locally composed daily Lenten reflections are now available to you. Click on this link for reflections through this Fri, 3/11:
Please use this link for the next set of reflections beginning Sat, 3/12:
March is Rich in Formation Opportunities & Events
for Your Lenten Journey - Let's Walk Together

Ozanam Orientation
Our first Ozanam Orientation of 2022 was this past Saturday, hosted by our St Vivian Conference (Finneytown). 24 Vincentians came together to fortify their foundational understanding of our Society and further their experience of faith, friendship, & service. Thanks to these participants and the team of facilitators, led by Sunnie Johnson-Lain, Senior Director of Services.
More opportunities to participate in Ozanam Orientation are slated for later this year.


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. Last call! Registration closes tomorrow (Thurs, 3/10). Secure your spot 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.

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. Advance materials will be sent to participants at the end of this week.
  • Our Archdiocese released pastors & parochial vicars assignments to Families of Parishes on 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 this 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!
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
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.

Legislative Progress is Percolating
Here in our great state of Ohio, we are prominently participating in a movement to permit pharmaceutical drug donations from the public to charitable pharmacies such as our own. Known as HB 558, this concept is attracting high-profile advocacy and giving us cause for optimism. We are laying the groundwork now for potentially exciting positive change in 2023.
Summer Heat Relief
(This space was Winter Coats Wrap-Up just last week)

We will again be providing fans and air conditioners to eligible neighbors throughout our District Council. The program will officially begin on Mon, May 2. More information will be coming in April about who is eligible and how neighbors can request this assistance.
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. Reviews for last week's menu: 2 Yums Up!
Our next event is Wed, 4/6. 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 on 3/1/2022! Who's next?
  • 7 more Conferences are in our active pipeline
  • 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
  • This web-based version of CMS is user-friendly: quicker, more reliable, and supports multiple devices
  • CMS is accessible via the web at ; if you are still using the old manner of accessing CMS you should discontinue that and uninstall the old applications on your PC or MAC
  • 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.
Updated summary of our February activity (a short month):
  • You submitted 125 applications
  • We approved 122 applications - totaling approx $55,000 in assistance
March activity through Tues, 3/8:
  • You've already submitted 49 applications
  • We've already approved 55 applications
  • We currently have 23 applications in progress toward approval
This fast start to March, if sustained, would exceed the capacity of 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
Want more info? Our Charitable Pharmacy staff is available to answer any questions. You can contact Dr. Rusty Curington at [email protected] and a Pharmacy team member will respond.

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
We are currently processing your March bed requests; vouchers will go out in the mail this week. 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). Please direct any questions about our Beds Program to Gabby at [email protected].

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 3 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.
Call to Prayer
Christ appeared in the splendor of a vision to his disciples, 
may we find the face of Jesus in ordinary events of our life.
For all Vincentians who dedicate themselves to the service,
may their love and justice transfigure the lives of the poor.
We bring all of our petitions before God,
may God’s face shine upon us.