District 6 Conference Updates
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Vincentian Service Throughout North Texas
Christ the King Conference
Christ the King SVdP Conference has coordinated and staffed the monthly SVdP Thrift Store Giving Truck at our parish for many years which has given wonderful donations to the Thrift Store. This past February, we prepared and served Sunday Supper to the students who participate in the SMU Catholic Campus Ministry and let them know about our organization. At Christmas time, we distributed large food baskets to the neighbors we had helped during the past year.
The St. Monica Conference received a desperate call recently from a delightful young woman who is confined to a wheelchair after an accident. She has a 3 month old little girl and a toddler. Her husband had left her, and subsequently was incarcerated. She was in need of many things, including food, which we provided. With the help of several conferences, through Twinning, we were able to pay her rent for two months.
With kindness, one of our volunteers along with her family purchased an electric wheelchair for this neighbor. This was essential, she had difficulty operating the regular wheelchair while carrying and tending to the baby. The lady is most appreciative of all the attention and help she received. The good news is that the husband has returned home, and is employed.
St. Monica Conference
Mater Dei Conference
Inflation is up, caseload is up, and, thanks be to God, donations are also up. Their case loading this past year is higher than it’s ever been, but support from Mater Dei parishioners is also higher than ever. Their conference takes great strength from the goings-on in our parish. The additional liturgies and Tenebrae office during Holy Week keep us moving cheerily through the long-suffering aspect of our work. The local processions for the Purification, Palm Sunday, Corpus Christi, together with an annual cross-town procession united with a neighboring parish for the feast of Our Lady of Fatima engender the notion of direct accompaniment by the saints in heaven. This year they held the May Crowning of Our Lady on the feast of her Queenship, so strikingly appropriate for honoring their Patroness. And we were graced to have 120 hours of continual adoration leading up to the feast of the Sacred Heart, an indescribably calming grace in the midst of social calamity flaring up all around. Coming right off the feast of the Precious Blood, we continue to have our special Mass and reception for St. Vincent de Paul Society families on the Monday closest to the feast of St. Vincent de Paul (July 19th on our calendar).
Between home visits, calls to the helpline and the free food pantry, June was a bit of a blur for Holy Family of Nazareth’s SVdP conference of Irving. Deliveries of groceries and household items increased from 57 and 54 during May and April respectively to 86 in June. They sent food to a group of 21 refugee families from Venezuela staying in a local hotel and began supporting a new program, LifeChange Housing, which is starting to house the homeless. Of course, their pick-up teams were busy bringing donated food from a Kroger store and a Panera Bread restaurant to the pantry. And the monthly food truck was as busy as ever!
Thanks to their generous parishioners, the congregation at the University of Dallas’ Church of the Incarnation and several SVdP conferences, they were able to help 83 households consisting of 185 adults and children with financial assistance during June. Eight other conferences helped them raise $1,600 to assist a family whose relatives had been victimized by gun violence and had fallen behind in their rent.
Holy Family of Nazareth Conference in Irving
Holy Trinity Conference
The Holy Trinity Conference consistently visits and works with homeless women and men in the area, sometimes with young children. Many suffer from various forms of mental illness, serious trauma, or addiction. They partner with Dallas area organizations that provide emergency shelter, supportive services etc, and increasingly they are applying our own resources to temporarily house people in motels. They have also joined Housing Forward as a community partner. They would appreciate any advice other conferences can offer about how best to help a specific woman who has been living on the street, panhandling summer and winter, for about 25 years. She is a regular at our HT Pantry. She considers HT her “home,” and resists the usual temporary shelter/assistance solutions. They need ideas and expertise to help her from where she is to a better, safer solution.