St Vincent de Paul

The story of the St Vincent de Paul Society

The beginning

The Society was founded in Milan on 23 April 1813 by Blessed Frederick Ozanam. St Vincent de Paul is the international patron Saint of the Society. The first conference in Australia was formed in 1854 by Fr Gerald Ward at St Francis Church Melbourne. (Incidentally, Fr Ward married Ned Kelly’s parents John and Ellen at St Francis Church on the 18th November 1850)

The logo for the Society in Australia was created by Tom Bass a Sydney sculptor. It incorporates the symbol of three hands which represent:


  • The hand of Christ which blesses the cup (top hand),
  • The hand of love that offers the cup (middle hand), and
  • The hand of suffering that receives the cup (bottom hand).


You may notice that the imprint of the crucifixion nails is depicted on the top hand.


To the parishioners of SFX, the families at SFX, HT and CLC schools we would like to share with you our Annual Report from St Vincent de Paul (SVdP) Montmorency Conference for the period 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2017       

This is the 52nd year of the St Vincent de Paul (SVdP) conference serving our local community. As a Catholic lay organization of men and women, the mission of SVdP is to live the gospel message by serving the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society especially in our local communities throughout Lower Plenty, Montmorency, Briar Hill, St Helena and Eltham North.

Thanks to the magnificent support from the SFX parishioners, our two parish primary schools - Holy Trinity (HT) & St Francis Xavier (SFX) and Catholic Ladies College (CLC) to our appeals, poor box and purchase of Christmas cards, our conference has been able to continue to provide friendly support and material aid to those in need, alone or disadvantaged. As indicated below, the need for our services has not diminished. Unfortunately, we do not receive any Federal or State grants and we are not eligible for any grants from our local Council. We are entirely dependent on the generosity of the SFX Parish and the school communities.

Over the past year, our conference assisted 227 adults and 208 children providing support, friendship, material assistance and advice about accessing government, health and financial services.  In addition to these visits, we also visited 44 families to give them most appreciated Christmas greetings and hampers.

Thanks to your generosity, we provided assistance to the value of $ 34,328 over the twelve months to April 2017.
(Please note: All postage, telephone, travelling expenses and any other administrative expenses associated with the services we provide to local community are borne by the members themselves, as a consequence we can assure all parishioners that ALL donations go entirely to help those we assist).


Below is a summary of how we have provided material assistance to people in need in the
Montmorency/Briar Hill/Lower Plenty/St Helena/Eltham North areas:-


Purchased Food & Donated food from SFX & HT Schools


Furniture, small household items & clothing


Electric/gas/telephone bills/other utilities of families  




White goods





Whilst we provide material aid, a significant part of our work is assisting families by giving them a hands up rather than simply giving a hand-out by:

  • ·        Providing transport to attend medical and hospital appointments and other professional services.
  • ·        Assisting them in their search for affordable accommodation through DHS and/or Community Housing.
  • ·        Giving emotional support and compassionate assistance to people facing personal and social difficulties.
  • ·        Ensuring all utility concessions and other social entitlements are obtained.
  • ·        Referring people to other agencies who may assist them with financial and legal advice.

We also support the Young Vinnies (18 to 28 year old) conference in the area. Their work includes:

  •  ·       Operating a soup kitchen through one of our 6 soup vans operated by SVdP in the metro area.
  • ·        Providing weekend recreational activities/trips on a regular basis for children of families we assist.
  • ·        Organizing and running holiday camps during the summer school holidays for children in need from the district (2 children from Montmorency were given a 5 day holiday at the beach last summer. The holiday was very much enjoyed by the kids and provided a short break to their single parent mothers).


We would most welcome any persons (both Catholic and Non Catholic) who wish to help as a volunteer in any of the following capacities:


·        Our conference
To assist in our work of visitation to families in need in the local community (your privacy is guaranteed on all visits and training is provided at your convenience).

·        The Vinnies shops
Especially the local one here at Briar Hill.

·        Soup Vans
Operating in metropolitan area and in one country centre.

·        The Box Hill Centre
Receiving phone calls from peoples in need and directing the callers to conferences throughout the metropolitan area. The Box Hill Office is a secure centre and the positions do not require any face to face contact with people we assist.

·        Young Vinnies
16 to 25 year olds.

·        Reading Program
Assisting at West Heidelberg.


If you would like more information, please see any member after Mass today or drop into one of our conference meetings held in the Presbytery on the 1st and 3rd Sunday after the 8:30 Mass or leave your name at the Parish Office. (There is no obligation to join).


The conference at SFX thanks all parishioners and school families for your very generous support of our work and looks forward to your continuing support, especially in these difficult economic times.


Envelopes are available in the pews for Parishioners who wish to use credit card facility or wish to receive receipt for tax purposes. You are welcome to take these home & return them in the following weeks through the second collection or at the Parish House.


Parishioners are reminded that assistance is always promptly available to the community by contacting 1800 305 330 between 10am and 3pm weekdays.


Collection of quality household goods/furniture can be arranged by calling 1800 621 349.


Office @SFX,
May 31, 2017, 7:40 PM