This month you’ll notice a difference in your monthly envelope packet. The blue “Parish Poor” envelopes have been replaced by a new “St. Vincent de Paul” envelope. This marks a big step forward in our fledgling St. Vincent de Paul Conference!
In the past, our Parish Poor envelopes have gone to fund many things, including direct assistance to people who come to our front door; direct assistance to parishioners who request help; quarterly donations to service agencies to whom we refer people; year-end donations to community agencies that serve the poor; and tuition assistance to our school families. These activities were largely coordinated through our pastoral team depending on the demand.
Since our St. Vincent de Paul Conference started last fall, our ability to serve our community has skyrocketed! You’ve seen us make frequent pleas to help us restock our food pantry, which we’ve been using far more than we ever have in the past. We also have many more parishioners involved in delivering food and restocking the pantry, as well. Additionally, we’ve received many more donations from parishioners wishing to directly support this ministry.
These new envelopes will help us streamline this considerably. From now on, all of our efforts to offer direct assistance to the poor will be coordinated through our SVDP Conference and funded through these envelopes. They will fund our shoppers who restock the food pantry, as well as requests for other types of assistance (rent, utilities, etc.) that come to us through our Conference. We’ve already seen how much need there is in our immediate neighborhood, and these envelopes will help us do a better job in responding to the poor in our midst with the love of Christ.
We will no longer use the funds from these envelopes to fund tuition assistance. Because of the expansion of the voucher program (as well as the diocese’s new policy for setting tuition), tuition assistance will be funded as a line item in the school budget. Therefore, all of your donations in the new SVDP envelopes will go directly towards service to the poor.
For those of you using EFT to make your donations, please note that a corresponding change has been made in your choices for funding our initiatives to the poor through St. Vincent de Paul.
You have always been so generous in your support of the Parish Poor envelopes, and I am astounded at how enthusiastically you’ve supported our St. Vincent de Paul Conference so far. Thanks for all you will continue to do to ensure that this ministry will allow us to effectively minister to those in need in our local community.