The Society of St Vincent De Paul is an international fraternal organization of Catholic lay people, men and women, who practice Christianity by helping those in need on a person to person basis and in a spirit of charity and justice. The society was founded in Paris in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam and a small group or fellow students. Ozanam was then a 20 year old student of law at the Sorbonne University, where he was challenged to prove the practical value of his Christian beliefs. With his friends he formed a small group who set about helping the oppressed and poor.
The society is named after St Vincent De Paul (1581-1660) whose life was devoted to helping the under privileged. The aim of the society is to provide means whereby members can practice Christianity by loving their neighbours. The help may be in cash or in kind or in the form of counseling, moral support etc. The Society encourages self help and other welfare projects. Though the society is traditionally poor it gives day by day what it receives from its members and benefactors. The society continues to expand throughout the Christian world. It is now established in more than145 countries with membership bordering 10 lakhs in over 50,000 conferences.
In 1926 conferences were established in Bendoor, Bejai, Cathedral and Milagres church. Later it spread to other parishes and during the last 83 years, it is established in 107 parishes.
On 19th September 1971, under the patronage of then parish priest, late Rev. Fr. Gregory D’Souza and the stewardship of former Post Master late Bro. Antony Bonaventure D’Souza, supported by Late Bro. Alexander D’Souza, 10 members got together and started Angelore (Naguri) conference. This conference was dedicated to our Parish Patron Guardian Angels.
Every Tuesday at 6.00 pm, we 22 members, 15 Brothers and 7 Sisters, meet in SSVP Room, which was gifted by them Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Norbert D’Souza. Meeting begins with opening prayer and has spiritual reading, approval of the minutes of previous meeting, statement of accounts, members report on their visits to the adopted families or other cases given for investigations, consideration of new cases of any, secret collection as a proof of the spirit of sacrifice and sharing. The needy people come and place their request for help with the society. The meeting concludes with the closing prayer.
The main work of a conference is to adopt poor families regardless of religion, caste and creed, then visiting them in their homes minimum once a week. These visits helps us to assess their actual needs, their strengths and weaknesses, it will helps us to strategies our material and spiritual assistance. There by preparing them to stand on their own feet is our goal. Other activities vary as circumstances demand and extend to every form of need or suffering, which can be relieved by person to person contact. At present we feet the basic needs of our Beneficiaries are food, shelter, health and education.
We provide them a ration card, thereby they can buy the essential groceries from the pre selected shops once a month. During festivals we provide them vegetables, pulses, coconuts and meat, off which was donated by our Benefactors enthusiastically.
During the past 47 years we have assisted to build, repair and electrify numerous houses for our beneficiaries. However two, ozanam I & II, RCC houses stand tall in our parish as on date.
Members of our society visit people at home and occasionally visit hospitals or ashrams, spend time with them counseling and encouraging them in their sickness. We help the sick, disabled and abandoned people to reach the hospitals or ashrams. We provide financial help to those cannot afford to buy medicines. We even arrange funeral services for those who die without any persons to meet such expenses.
We have prioritised educational help to the needy students, as it results in teaching them to catch the fish rather than feeding them fish. Every year needy students, from primary to Pre University are given financial Aid to pay their Fees, partially or fully depending on their medium of studies, with the patronage of our Late Bro. Richard Rodrick’s family Trust. We provide complete financial assistance to 15 needy Kannada Medium Students from Guardian Angels and Capitanio Primary as well as high school. Twice a year we conduct orientation program to our adopted Students along with their parents, and regularly check their Educational and Spiritual progress.
We settle domestic differences and disputes related to land, pathways, etc; find employment for the unemployed. We help poor couples desiring to get married and also admit deserted senior citizens to old age homes. During the year SVP members attend quarterly prayer meetings and retreats held in different conferences. The Feast of St Vincent De Paul is celebrated every year along with our adopted families and students. Every month we submit our monthly accounts and activity report to Ares Council. We remit 10% of income as our contributed to the Area and Central Council.
SVP members visit the families in the parish four times a year and collect funds from them. They give willingly for the noble cause. There are many benefactors whom we can’t visit and some are working abroad. But on their visit to the native place they support us with their generous donations. The members through secret collection and occasionally when funds are required for special works help to keep up the resources available.
We are thankful to God for making us instruments of his love and charity. We appreciate the support and spiritual advice rendered by the Spiritual Advisor and other priests. Our heartfelt thanks to all our benefactors for their good will and support. We pray that the society of St Vincent De Paul may endeavour and serve human kind in the right direction in coming years.
Persons interested to donate for noble cause of our society may kindly send it to:
The President Guardian Angels Conference SVP, Angelore Church, Kankandy Post, Mangalore-575002 Or SB A/c No.16599 MCC Bank Ltd. Kankandy Branch, Mangalore-575002