The Oldest Church at the Beach
In 1833, in response to criticism that Catholics only spoke about the needs of the poor but did little to help, Frederic Ozanam, and a group of fellow students sought out the poor of Paris and visited them in their homes. They would provide food, clothing, friendship, and spiritual support. This became what is known today as the “Society of St. Vincent dePaul”, named are the patron of charitable societies.
The society is an international Catholic lay ministry with nearly one million members in over 140 countries. The Beaches Conference is over 15 years old with more than 30 volunteers, who also act as counselors, friends, and advisors to many less fortunate around the area.
Essential Elements of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul:
To bear witness to Christ and through faith called to care for others
To bring people together and draw them closer to God
To those in need through personal contact
Pope John Paul II wrote, "The St. Vincent dePaul Society represents an outstanding form of Charity
that is carried out on all continents: the service of the poor which, as St. Vincent loved to recall, is a way of serving Christ. Through its daily commitment, the Society of St. Vincent dePaul is a constant reminder to the Church of its vocation to show Christ's preferential love for the poor."