top of page

What is the Society of St. Vincent de Paul?

Members of the Society of St.Vincent de Paul (or "Vincentians" ) are men and women who strive to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to individuals in need. We are young and old. Our members come in every shade of skin color. Some of us are wealthy, some are financially poor, but all of us are blessed with an awareness that our blessings (time, talent or treasure) are to be shared with our brothers and sisters in need. We know that we are not alone.

We are part of an international society of friends united by a spirit of poverty, humility, and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings, and adherence to a basic Rule. Energized by the awareness that service to our brother or sister in need is in fact an encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ, members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are keenly aware that poverty, suffering and loneliness are present for millions in our communities. For that reason, we collaborate with all who seek to relieve need and address its causes.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers tangible assistance to those in need on a person-to-person basis. It is this personalized involvement that makes the work of the Society unique. This aid may take the form of intervention, consultation, or often through direct dollar or in-kind service. An essential precept of the Society's work is to provide help while conscientiously maintaining the confidentiality and dignity of those who are served. The Society recognizes that it must assume, also, a role of advocacy for those who are defenseless or voiceless.

Some 12 million persons are helped annually by Vincentians in the United States. The list of services of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the United States is endless. No work of charity is foreign to the Society. To quote our patron, St. Vincent de Paul: "Charity is infinitely inventive."

Core Values

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul adheres to a group of core values; these are principles central to its creed and ministry:

  • The dignity of the human person

  • Identification of Jesus with the poor

  • The preferential option of the poor

  • Jesus is the Evangelizer and Servant of the poor

  • Growth in intimacy with Jesus is a life-long process

  • Poverty of spirit is the primary beatitude

  • The Society is concerned with charity and justice

  • Prayer is essential: personal and communal

  • The virtue of humility: personal and corporate

  • The virtue of charity within and outside of the Society

  • Divine Providence

  • Friendship

  • Solidarity

  • Community

  • Simplicity

bottom of page