The Society of St Vincent de Paul, or SSVP, is a worldwide confederation of national charities with about 750,000 members. Membership is open to men and women, young and old.
The SSVP asks that members accept fully the Christian ethos of the SSVP, and are committed to express their love of God through personal service to their neighbour. The SSVP respects religious liberty and values of all people and offers help to anyone in need.
The SSVP operates in branches, called Conferences, based on local parishes, schools and universities. They meet regularly to review their work as well as allocating future work in a spirit of prayer and mutual support. The work of a Conference is usually concentrated on local visiting. However, other activities may include “special works”, which serve people in a wider area or give more specialised help in a certain aspect of the work.
In Scotland our 2100 voluntary members make about 140,000 visits each year. The distinctive feature of the SSVP is person to person contact. This is a fundamental part of the SSVP ethos, and so we do not make donations to any work in which members are not personally involved. Where appropriate we offer material or financial assistance to help those in need overcome crises and develop longer-term solutions to their problems.
Any parishioners considering becoming a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society should speak to Fr. Gregory or Roy Sweeney.