About the Society of St. Vincent de Paul


Send contributions to St. Vincent de Paul Society St. Martha Conference

3800 Herbertsville Road

Point Pleasant, NJ 08742

tel 732-295-3630 extension 33

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The Society of St. Vincent de Paul had its beginnings in France in 1833. A young man, Antoine Frederic Ozanam (1813-1853), was greatly disenchanted by the social, political, and religious turmoil that prevailed in 19th century Europe and often spoke out against the social injustices to the poor. A college friend challenged him to "put his money where his mouth was" and do something to change the status quo. Ozanam accepted this challenge and embarked on a mission committed to social reform and Christian social justice. Soon after, he and five of his like-minded friends resolved to dedicate themselves to serving the poor of Paris and laid the groundwork on April 23, 1833 (Ozanam's 20th birthday!) for the first Conference (group) of what was then called the Conference of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. Since Ozanam had always been so dedicated to and influenced by Saint Vincent's love of the poor, it was only natural that he would then honor the saint by naming his newly established organization after him and declaring him the Patron of SVdP.

As the Society increased in numbers and spread geographically throughout Europe, Ozanam recognized the need to put in place some regulations to govern the members in order to preserve the original objectives and spirit of the organization. Again, Ozanam looked to Saint Vincent as a source of guidance in adopting his Rule and principles of conduct for his Vincentians. By 1835, with well over 100 members, the Society had its own approved Charter, Rule, and a new name: The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. Today, SVdP has more than 750,000 active members in 142 countries.

The essential elements of this Rule of Saint Vincent de Paul - and practiced by dedicated Vincentians all over the world - are SPIRITUALITY, FRIENDSHIP, and SERVICE in the imitation of Jesus Christ.

To learn more about this amazing society and its far-reaching works of hospitable outreach and social justice to the poor, visit our National web site at www.svdpusa.org.

About the Saint Vincent de Paul Conference of the Church of Saint Martha

An announcement appeared in the St. Martha Church bulletin in late 2006 inviting parishioners to a meeting to discuss the formation of a St. Vincent de Paul conference at St. Martha's. Approximately 50 people attended that first meeting; soon after, the Diocesan SVdP formation team began a series of training sessions for those who decided to become pioneer members. At the conclusion of the training and in prayerful discernment in the Holy Spirit, the Diocesan team selected a slate of Board officers. The Diocesan SVdP Council provided the new conference treasury $1000.00 to start, and the Ocean County SVdP Council added another $500.00. And with that there occurred the "lifting" of the SVdP Conference of the Church of St. Martha, Point Pleasant, NJ.

The first Board meeting was held March 8, 2007, and the first General meeting followed on March 21. In those early days, the new Board set about making policies, developing programs to train volunteers, finding ways to fund our ministry to the poor, and deciding on countless other procedural details. We set a goal to be ready to respond to requests for help between May 1 and June 1 and advised the parish secretaries to let anyone who called prior to that time what our timetable was. However, when a woman in need called in early April and was informed of the start-up date for requests, she replied, "I can't wait that long; we're going to lose our house." The Board decided then and there that it was time to activate our ministry to the poor of Point Pleasant!

From that very first home visit in April 2007 the SVdP Conference at St. Martha's has flourished in its outreach to the poor of Point Pleasant. We currently have 47 members: 35 active and 12 associates. Since 2007 we have served over 3300 people and have provided assistance totaling over $1,070,000

Mission Statement of the Vincentians

We are the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Conference of the Church of St. Martha, a Christian and spiritually-oriented organization. Our goal is to help people in crisis to improve their immediate situation by providing confidential assistance and resources leading to self-sufficiency. This service is offered in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

food to Ft Dix Base September 2021