A few weeks ago I was privileged to be able to attend the official commissioning of our Christ the King St. Vincent de Paul Conference. It was really amazing to see how far we’ve come in such a short time. It wasn’t even a year-and-a-half ago that parishioners first approached me with the idea of starting a conference here at our parish. I instantly felt Divine Providence at work in that idea, since our Parish Strategic Plan had called for an exploration of ways to expand our service to people in need in our community and to multiply our opportunities to practice the corporal works of mercy as a parish community. Starting an SVDP Conference checked all the boxes, and we were blessed with a dedicated group of parishioners who were committed to making it happen. Thanks to their efforts, our conference officially began its service in October 2022, and in just 5 short months, look at what we’ve accomplished (through March 1st)!
- 84 home visits have been made, each visit supplying a week’s worth of food to someone in need. The vast majority of these visits have been made in our immediate neighborhood.
- 295 people have been served in these visits
- Our home visitors have supplied over 6000 meals and over 7000 pounds of food
- Each of these visits has also enabled our parishioners to establish personal connections with neighbors in need. They don’t just drop off food. They engage those they serve in order to extend the love of Christ to them and to establish a relationship with these clients, which often has a much longer-lasting impact than the food delivery itself.
- All of the food we’ve supplied has either been donated by our parishioners or purchased with funds from your St. Vincent de Paul envelopes. (When the Food Pantry was running dangerously low, our schoolkids came through with a huge food drive to load us back up!)
- 47 parishioners have been trained to make home visits. Other parishioners are involved as call coordinators and shoppers.
And we’re looking to do more – right now we’re making 5 deliveries a week, but our goal is to accept as many deliveries as SVDP needs. On top of all that, the leadership of our conference is rolling out an emergency assistance program for people in immediate danger of getting evicted, having their utilities shut off, etc. The goal, of course, is to help our clients become self-sufficient, and this emergency assistance will help them buy enough time to get their feet back on the ground. Again, your generosity in your St. Vincent de Paul envelopes has made this program possible, and I look forward to reporting out to you once it’s gotten going.
Many thanks to all of our parishioners who have stepped up to get involved in this ministry, and I’d also like to acknowledge our parishioners who’ve agreed to serve in leadership roles:
- Co-Presidents: Mike & Heather Coyne
- Vice President: Tami Raciti
- Treasurer: Carol Rolfs
- Secretary: Randy Raciti
- Chaplains: Mike & Elizabeth Tomasek
Thanks for all that you’ve done so far, and all that you will continue to do to serve our neighbors in need through this ministry. You are truly a blessing, since we know that whatever we do for the least of our brothers and sisters, we do for Christ Himself.
P.S. I hope you’ve been reading some of the inspiring stories from our home visits that we’ve run periodically in the bulletin. We’ll keep publishing them so that you know some of the incredible service that your fellow parishioners are doing right in our own backyard. Interested in learning more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. The time commitment for home visitors can be as little as one visit per month, and training is provided.