Society of St. Vincent de Paul
The Society is a lay Catholic organization made up of local Conferences such as ours all over the world. Inspired by Gospel values we join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in the tradition of our patron, St. Vincent de Paul. We collaborate with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction among those we serve. St. Peter Conference has strived to provide support for the poor and needy in ways that are underserved by other organizations. Our goal is to be as generous as possible within our means without duplicating assistance already being provided by other organizations. So far that includes:
- We provide rides to Mass, doctor appointments, and similar important destinations to those who either cannot afford transportation or who need to be accompanied.
- We help prevent utilities from being disconnected. Having electric, gas, or water service disconnected has a domino effect; without electricity or water the home becomes uninhabitable. Families may become separated as children may be removed from the home. Not having utilities usually breaks the rental lease and the family may become homeless. By stepping in to prevent disconnection we help prevent further crises for the family being served.
- We provide basic twin size mattresses with priority given to children. Many of the people we help have had to move recently and, with no truck available, leave many possessions behind. Mattresses are particularly difficult to move without a truck and so many end up sleeping directly on the floor.
- Other types of assistance may be given, but these are the most common.
The tornado and flooding in 2019 were particularly challenging but also very rewarding. Our members manned tables at the Multi Agency Resource Centers (or MARCs) which were set up to give those in need ready access to services. Talking and praying with these people was so uplifting. It was truly an honor to be able to help. We were able to provide immediate help in the form of Walmart gift cards to replace things like toiletries, clothing, and groceries. Many people needed a couple of nights in a hotel while they made intermediate housing arrangements. Some people needed help getting utilities established at their new address. Even those people who were insured still had deductibles and uncovered losses to deal with. Many St. Vincent de Paul Conferences in the St. Louis area sent both cash and people to support us. Their friendship, guidance, generosity, and hard work made all the difference.
Our Conference has remained an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff. We maintain a telephone Help Line where people who need help (and also those who want to offer help) can call and leave a message. This number is published every week in the bulletin and is also in the Parish Directory. There are business cards and fliers available in the Parish Office.