SVP seeking new volunteers in Roscrea

Be inspired to follow Blessed Frederick Ozanam’s example

Roscrea SVP seeks new members who have a Christian empathy and compassion and have a sense of absolute confidentiality for visitation to those experiencing poverty.

Members are also required, who may have an expertise in accounting or in IT. All who seek membership must firstly be Garda-vetted and undergo membership training. Volunteers are also required for the SVP Charity Shop, 'Vincent’s'. If interested please contact any SVP member or ring the Conference phone number - 087 4441835.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul was founded in Paris in 1833 by a group of young university students, the principal of whom was Blessed Frederick Ozanam, who was only 20 years of age at the time. He went on to obtain two doctorates, one in Law and the other in Foreign Literature, and became an Assistant Professor at the Sorbonne University in Paris, all by the age of 27 years.

At the age of 31, he succeeded to the full Professorship of Foreign Literature at the Sorbonne. He was throughout his life in poor health and died of consumption in Marseille on September 8, 1853 at the young age of 40.

His greatest achievement, however, was the practical witness he bore to his Christian faith by befriending those experiencing poverty, and visiting them in their own homes, empathising with those he visited and bringing them practical assistance. However, he was not satisfied merely to tie the poor over their present difficulties but rather wanted to explore with them the cause of their property, and he worked with them in finding long-term sustainable solutions, which offered a path out of poverty.

This mission and philosophy is still today the motivating factor for the one million SVP members in over 150 countries throughout the world, including almost 10,000 members on the island of Ireland.

Frederick Ozanam’s legacy is not his academic brilliance or indeed his mere founding the Society of the St Vincent de Paul, but his sheer humility and his empathy with the poor with whom he befriended. That is his true legacy and challenge to the present day members of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, which he helped to found in 1833 and which was founded in Ireland, ten years later in 1844.

He tells his fellow SVP members, then and today, that "the poor are our masters". Thus he gives to his fellow Christians, then and today, a practical path to live their Christianity in bringing practical help to those experiencing poverty and practical assistance in lifting people out of poverty, which includes most often assistance with education and training.

Those who may be inspired to follow Blessed Frederick Ozanam’s example through becoming members of the Society of St Vincent de Paul should contact any existing member or phone 087 4441835 (Roscrea) or for those in other areas their local number, or ring 01 884 8246.