Vincent De Paul Society

StVincent It is a world-wide Organization of Catholic Lay people, finding happiness in sacrificing a part of their time, money, knowledge and energy for their poor and needy brethren. Named after its Patron Saint Vincent De Paul, the Society was founded in 1833 by Blessed Frederic Ozanam, then a Law Student in Paris University along with some fellow students.

THE STRUCTURE OF THE SOCIETY

The Conference:

These are basic units functioning at Parish level with the Parish Priest as its Spiritual Adviser. There are separate Conferences for MEN, LADIES, MIXED, YOUTH, and JUNIORS, and altogether there are about 6746 CONFERENCES now in India.

Area Council:

The Area Councils encompass Conferences in nearby areas grouped together for co-ordination, interaction, and unity.

Central Council:

Area Councils are grouped together at Diocesan level to form Central Councils which guide and co-ordinate all activities of Area Councils and Conferences under them.

The National Council of India:

Head-quartered at Mumbai it animates and co-ordinates all activities of the Society in India. It also represents the Society at the International Federation and other Overseas Councils, THE HEIRARCHY and CBCI, Civil Authorities and general public etc.

The National Council is registered under

  1. The Societies Registration Act Bombay
  2. The Bombay Public Trust Act
  3. FCRA and
  4. The Income Tax Act (exemption under section 80-G)

International Confederation:

This is the supreme body of the Society headed by PRESIDENT GENERAL INTERNATIONAL, head quartered in Paris. The President General unites and directs the Society, the world over.

The Society has UNITED NATIONS ACCREDITATION as an international UN NGO with “Special Consultative Member” status of the Economic and Social council of the UN which affirms the Society’s standing as an International Charity Organization of high repute.

THE CHURCH LINK

The Society stands recognized by the HOLY Catholic Church as a Pious Association. It is also registered with the CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF INDIA {CBCI} as a Catholic Lay Organization. The Spiritual Advisor of the National Council is appointed by the CBCI. Local units are linked with the respective Dioceses and the Spiritual Advisers of Central and Area Councils are appointed/approved by the respective Bishops.

ST. KURIAKOSE CONFERENCE, ERNAKULAM

This CONFERENCE was initiated in our Parish by Rev. Fr. Renny Kattel on 18-2-2007 with 14 Parishioners attending the introductory session.

The CONFERENCE was officially inaugurated on 15-4-2007 by the then Kottayam Central Council President Br.Syriac Parappally as a Mixed Conference.

It continues to be fairly active but with constraints due to the large and scattered spread of the parish area making it difficult for conference members to congregate regularly for weekly meetings and house visits. Although nearing 6 years of activity, it is yet to attain standards required for aggregation from the International Confederation of the Society.

There are now about 9 active members in the Conference and also a few others not so active due to their preoccupation with Parish responsibilities as Catechism teachers, Trustees etc. Many others also help us with generous donations and co-operate with us in our activities.

The Conference meets every Sunday in the Parish church after the Holy Mass. Besides routine charitable activities like monetary help to the poor for food, shelter, medical, and educational needs, visiting the sick, occasional visits to charitable institutions with contributions of cash, clothes etc, the Conference also try to spread the message of Gospel by free distribution of magazines such as Apnadesh, Sunday Shalom, Shalom Times etc and also some spiritually enlightening books. It has also been a catalyst in raising a sizeable fund from Parishioners for educational, medical, and residential needs of a family in distress, in the Parish.

A brief account of the financial performance of the Conference during the past is given below:

Years Secret bag collection (Rs.) Gross income (Rs.) Expenditure (Rs.) Balance (Rs.)
2007-08 16456 39662 22823 16839
2008-09 22280 119768 107296 12472
2009-10 23560 80505 51033 29472
2010-11 19680 67260 53112 14148
2011-12 15915 66212 45781 20431

The Conference has been receiving considerable support from the Parish. However we look forward for more help, encouragement, and guidance from the parish, so that all of us together better our performance in years ahead, in the service of our Lord and fellowmen in distress.  

How The Society Got Started:

Frédéric Ozanam left his home in Lyon, France, in the autumn of 1831, for Paris. He registered in the School of Law at the Sorbonne, University of Paris. Frédéric collaborated with Mr. Emmanuel Bailly, editor of the Tribune Catholique, in reviving a student organization which had been suspended during the revolutionary activity of July 1830. They called their new association “The Conference of History.” The group met on Saturdays to discuss various topics, everything but politics. At one of their meetings, a student challenged Frédéric and the practicing Catholics. He admitted that the Catholic Church had done much good work in the past, but “what do you do now?” Frédéric called for a meeting of five of his friends; they agreed to meet at Mr. Bailly’s office. The date was April 23, 1833, Frédéric’s twentieth birthday. Inspired by their words, Frédéric decided to found the “Conference of Charity” to assist the poor. Emmanuel Bailly, the married layman, was chosen by the six students as their first President. In a short time, they changed their name to The Society of St. Vincent De Paul in honor of their patron. Almost one million people around the world are members of the Society. They call themselves “Vincentians”, in tribute to St. Vincent De Paul. What they all have in common is a desire to serve poor and suffering people – the homeless, the sick, the lonely and the elderly. Vincentians deliver food, visit shut-ins, purchase personal care items, clothing and furniture, provide transportation, and assist in many other ways.