The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international lay Catholic charitable organization present in 144 countries of the world, and in most of the parishes in metro Saint Louis. It is composed of ordinary men and women, 700,000 strong, who do incredible things not for themselves but for others. There is an active chapter here at the Old Cathedral that meets on the second, third, and fourth Monday of each month. It is also the first and oldest chapter in the United States, founded in 1845.
Blessed Frédéric Ozanam and six friends founded the Society in April 1833 in France. Under his vision, the society provides person-to-person service to those who are in need. The society serves all persons regardless of race, creed, color or status.
Members call themselves Vincentians after the recognized patron of charity, St. Vincent de Paul, and membership is open to those wishing to serve the suffering and needy. There are three types of membership: active, associate and contributing.
The basic unity of the society is the ‘conference,’ usually parish-based, supported and served by a ‘council.’
Donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Society are always welcome.