District 3 Conference Updates
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Vincentian Service Throughout North Texas
St. Michael Conference in Garland
The St. Michael Conference in Garland, TX met a neighbor back in March of 2023. He is a member of our parish and goes to Mass weekly. He had recently lost his wife and was grief stricken still. We ended up helping him with rent, food and got him over to the MLP department. They were able to get him set up with a loan and he is on track to pay that off in April. I spoke with Bruce from the MLP program again and he was worried about him, back in July. He asked that I call and check on him. Two of us went and did a home visit with him. Again, he is very grief stricken over his wife’s death. We prayed with him, made sure he had food and his bills paid. We put him in contact with the church where we are encouraging him to get involved in our ministries. He is doing much better.
We are also having a clothing drive on 9/17/23. The Knights of Columbus will be helping. Father and the parish are very excited about it!
In August of this year, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Our Lady of the Lake in Rockwall participated in a Ministry Fair, organized by the Parish and scheduled throughout the day, after every Mass. SVdP, Our Lady of the Lake had over 30 people stop by their location and sign up, asking for more information. Subsequent to the ministry fair, the Conference invited all those who expressed interest to attend an SVdP meeting, specifically designed to talk about the Conference and address questions. Twenty percent of those who signed up initially decided to continue. Obviously, the ministry fair was another great way for SVdP to be visible and tell our story.
Our Lady of the Lake Conference in Rockwall
St. William’s Conference in Greenville
Congratulations to the St. William’s Conference in Greenville, TX as they celebrate their two year anniversary as a Conference. Founded in March of 2021, SVdP Greenville has grown in service to those in need in their community. They are famous for their annual bake sale fundraiser, providing homemade bake goods to the parish and significant dollars to their treasury. They post messages regularly in their bulletin, including an invitation to serve, how to request assistance and thanking parishioners for their generous support.
The Sacred Heart Conference of St. Vincent de Paul has been doing a long-term effort in cultivating recognition in our Parish. Over the last several years, our conference now has a weekly paragraph in English and Spanish about SVDP in the bulletin where we share stories of those we helped and needs we may have. We also have at least 2 major fundraisers per year. Two “help the food pantry” events are held in addition to the grocery cart at the church all the time. The events are called Peanut Butter Sunday held in the Fall and Cereal Sunday in the Spring. Response has been great with that.
We also attend Mass together at least twice a year, one being our annual re-dedication.
Our Black Bag collections are held every other month. All SVDP members wear our blue shirts and hold the bags after Mass. This bi-monthly collection and the other recognition has really helped our cash balance available to assist neighbors.
Sacred Heart Conference in Rowlett
St. Anthony Conference in Wylie
The St. Vincent de Paul conference at St. Anthony Parish in Wylie, TX delivers food to the Homebound. We have partnered with Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Wylie and deliver food to families who are unable to get to the pantry due to transportation or health reasons. We deliver to these families twice a month. By building relationships with these families, we have also been able to provide assistance in other ways. Amazing Grace Food Pantry often sends other families our way when they need more that just food assistance. We often send families their way for food. It has become a wonderful partnership!
The SVdP Good Shepherd Conference in Garland, TX has worked hard to get the SVdP name out to our parish. We have done this by bulletin announcements, commentator announcements at the Masses, participation in the leadership meetings, and our logo on bright blue t-shirts which we wear proudly! Maybe, as a result of this, and prayers, we have added five new members to our ranks!
We have already received fruits from this new membership. Two new members suggested we have a SnoCone Sale on one of the hottest days in late July. All proceeds to SVdP and it was a great success! Now we are planning something similar in the fall, when, hopefully it is cooler.
Good Shepherd Conference in Garland
St. Martin de Tours Conference in Forney
The St Martin of Tours Conference in Forney, TX was recently gifted a new space for their Food Pantry. The parish allowed us to move into an unused classroom over doubling our storage space and because our Knights of Columbus wanted our old space, they helped clean up and move our pantry. An anonymous donor gave us a brand new refrigerator so we can provide some perishable items to our friends in need.
Members purchased SVDP shirts in order to be more visible at the parish. They also compiled a flier that contained the stats of all the help given to our friends in need since January and information on how to donate to us. On September 9, the feast day of Blessed St Frederic Ozanam they all attended 4:30PM Mass in Vincentian shirts and at the end of Mass Father Patrick called us to the front of the Church and led us in a Vincentian Renewal of Promise. After the Mass, they all celebrated by having dinner together. These efforts have almost tripled our monthly online giving from 2022 to 2023.