≡ Menu

The Society of St. Vincent De Paul

Who are we?

The SSVP is an International Christian organisation.  It provides person-to-person help and support to anyone in need in the local community, and promoting their human dignity, without discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, colour, gender or age.  All helpers are unpaid volunteers and anybody committed to the aims of the SSVP can become a helper.

  • We are a world wide organisation.
  • We are a lay organisation.  Clergy are involved only as spiritual advisers.
  • We are arranged in local groups called Conferences who meet together on a regular basis.
  • These groups occasionally meet together as Group or Regional Councils.
  • These Group or Regional Councils have representatives who meet at Archdiocesan Councils.
  • The presidents of Archdiocesan Councils meet together at National Council.
  • National Councils are co-ordinated by the International Council in Paris.

What do we do?

We seek to help those who experience poverty by person to person involvement, giving people material, social and spiritual help, by such means as:

  • Home and hospital visits.
  • Furniture provision.
  • Handicapped clubs.
  • Caravan & holiday projects.
  • Clothing and food for the homeless.

To fulfil the need to aid underdeveloped nations, SSVP in Scotland have created links with SSVP conferences in India, and South Africa called Twinning.  This enables a conference to assist another conference overseas whose needs are greater than the resources they have available.

The twinned conference is assisted by the share of:

  • Prayer.
  • Correspondence.
  • Financial resources.

 SSVP Origins

The SSVP was founded by Blessed Frederic Ozanam, a young law student, in Paris in 1833, who sought, along with some friends, to put the teachings of the Church into practice by relieving the suffering of the poor of Paris.

Blessed Frederic Ozanam

Blessed Frederic Ozanam

Frederic Ozanam was beatified in 1997.

The Spirituality of the Society is based upon his aims:

  • To bear witness to Christ by showing that faith inspired them to work for the good of others.
  • To assist each other by example and friendship to draw nearer to Christ by loving Him in their fellow men and women.
  • To visit and comfort needy people in their homes.

Frederic Ozanam adopted St. Vincent De Paul as its patron because he devoted so much of his life to helping the poor of rural France.

 Why join SSVP?

By doing voluntary work in the community, you will be doing something positive to improve the quality of life of other people.  The SSVP gives you an opportunity to put Christianity into action.

You have been given:

  • Shelter and food.
  • Intelligence and educational opportunity.
  • Friends and companions.
  • Talents and skills.

You could give back:

  • Clothing and food at an Ozanam Centre for the homeless.
  • Friendship visits to the lonely.
  • Help at Ozanam Clubs for those with learning and physical difficulties.

 Jesus taught:

“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to the least of these, my brethren, you did it to me.”

(Matthew 25:40)