Celebrating the Spirituality of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul

by Bonnie Martinez

Those who serve as members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) have chosen a vocation to grow in spirituality through the ministry of serving the poor. We are truly blessed to live the gospel by seeing the face of Christ in each person we encounter, especially in our home visits. In fact, the most important parts of any St. Vincent de Paul meeting, training, service or work are prayer, reflection and meditation.

Sunday, December 10, brought together Vincentians from the SVdP Council of Shreveport to celebrate the 11:00 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans. Bishop Michael Duca celebrated Mass and shared some inspiring words about our ministry.

Following Mass, Vincentians attended the St. Vincent de Paul Annual Appreciation Dinner in Loyola’s St. Vincent’s Hall. The gathering began with prayer led by Fr. Peter Mangum. Everyone enjoyed the delicious meal and fellowship. Bishop Duca praised the positive impact of the SVdP members locally who go about their service to the poor quietly, humbly and effectively.

The celebration continued with Bishop Duca conducting the commissioning ceremony for the newly elected Diocesan Council President, Jim Beadles.

Jim expressed sincere gratitude to all Vincentians, the clergy of the Diocese of Shreveport, the many associate members such as St. Vincent de Paul Help Line volunteers, and the numerous contributing members whose generous donations provide the resources to help the needy. Jim also provided an overview of the Society’s 2017 accomplishments and challenged all Vincentians to work diligently to increase membership and grow new leadership. Fr. Mark Watson, Western District St. Vincent de Paul Spiritual Advisor, led the closing prayer.

Many of those who attended continue to reflect upon Bishop Duca’s observation that the membership of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is not always large in number, but for those who choose this ministry, the opportunity to grow in spirituality is unsurpassed.

I encourage anyone reading this to contact your parish’s Society of St. Vincent de Paul conference leadership if you are interested in learning more about this ministry and the opportunity to grow in your spirituality.

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