The St Vincent de Paul Society is more than just a welfare organisation. Its history of service to the disadvantaged and marginalised is based on a foundation of spirituality. Because of this spiritual motivation, members and volunteers are challenged in their commitment to maintain a relationship of personal service to those with whom they work.
In Australia the St Vincent de Paul Society has 40,000 volunteers and 2900 paid staff. About 300,000 homes are visited each year and another 800,000 people assisted. Volunteers run a vast range of Special Works, or specialised services, for people in need.
The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia has 40,000 members and volunteers who work hard to assist people in need and combat social injustice. The Society also operates in 141 countries and has over 950,000 members.
Members of the Society live out their faith in action by visiting people in their homes to provide support, friendship and material assistance. This practice is known as Home Visitation, and is carried out by volunteers in local St Vincent de Paul Society conferences.
The St Vincent de Paul Society understands that we all need help at different times for different reasons in our life.
The Society offers help to people in a variety of ways, including:
1. Financial assistance through home visitation;
2. Material assistance through our Vinnies Centres; and
3. Other assistance through various special works.
No work of charity is foreign to the Society.
When we speak about social justice we go to the heart of what the St Vincent de Paul Society stands for.
We follow the teachings of the Scriptures:
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, protect the rights of those who are helpless. Speak out and pronounce a sentence of justice, defend the cause of the wretched and the poor."(Proverbs 31:8-9)
We are called, as Vincentians, to feed, clothe, house and assist our brothers and sisters who are forced onto the margins of society.
We are also called to ask why they are left out and pushed out?
Our Cofounder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam said "Charity is the oil being poured on the wounded traveller. But it is the role of justice to prevent the attack."
"Now the strongest bond of true friendship is charity, and the exercise of good charity
is the practice of good works."
- Blessed Frederic Ozanam, Principal Co-Founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society
The Spiritual Mission of the St Vincent de Paul Society is to continue the work of Jesus.
The Society sees in the life of Jesus compassion, simplicity, integrity, gentleness, kindness, selflessness, zeal and concern for the common people and especially the outcast, rejected, or deprived in our community.
The Society recognises and acknowledges the rich diversity of its members in terms of their faith, spirituality, culture, gender and work roles.