|Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Archdiocesan Council of Oklahoma City
ABOUT THE SOCIETY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL
Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP), a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to
join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder,
Frederic Ozanam, and patron Saint Vincent de Paul.
As a reflection of the whole family of God, members, known as Vincentians, are drawn from every ethnic and cultural
background, age group, and economic level. They are united in an international society of charity by their spirit of poverty,
humility and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings held at least twice a month
and adherence to a basic Rule.
Organized locally, members witness God’s love by embracing all works of charity and justice. The society collaborates with
other people of good will in the relieving need and addressing the causes, because in them Vincentians see the face of
The primary role of the Vincentian is not to pay the bills, furnish groceries, or clothe someone. The role of the Vincentian is
to provide loving and compassionate interest in individuals. If that interest calls for food, clothing or other assistance, so be
it. However, it is in loving where the contact with Christ emerges. That contact with Christ is what separates the Society of
St. Vincent de Paul from just another social agency.
If you feel you would like to become a Vincentian please call 405-248-8114 and you will be directed to the nearest catholic
parish with a Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
As Vincentians, we do the work of serving the poor in their neighborhoods and communities. Based on the tradition of
Frederic Ozanam and patron St. Vincent de Paul, members of the Society are drawn from every ethnic and cultural
background, age, and economic level.
From the Society’s beginning, the central and most basic activity of Conferences has been the visitation of the needy in their
homes. This is the clearest symbol of Vincentian charisma, which dictates the highest respect for the dignity of the poor.
Home visits symbolize our Vincentian commitment to reach out to the needy, rather than require them to report to an outside
service site. In the home, needy persons feel most free to confide their stories of struggle. In that family setting, Vincentians
are asked to listen, offer humble advice, and render assistance.
Vincentians always visit in pairs. This practice emphasizes the Conference’s status as a community, not a collection of
individuals who “do their own thing.” The visiting team is ideally composed of Vincentians of both genders, various age
groups, and different life experiences, so that a better perspective of the needy person’s situation can be gained, and
various courses of action explored. From the beginning, Vincentian visitation to the needy was done in pairs for the
protection both of the person and the members. The precedent was set by Christ himself, when he sent out he Apostles
two by two (MK 6:7.) The Society wisely continues this tradition in the interest of safety, liability and priority.