The Society of St Vincent de Paul
“The question which is agitating the world today is a social one. It is a struggle between those who have nothing and those who have too much. It is a violent clash of opulence and poverty which is shaking the ground under our feet. Our duty as Christians is to throw ourselves between these two camps in order to accomplish by love what justice alone cannot do”.
(Frederic Ozanam, founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society, 1834)
185 years later Pope Francis asked, “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” (Evangelii Gaudium/The Joy of the Gospel). Francis has also said, “Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society.”
Today, the mission of the SVP is “To seek and find those in need, to help them in a spirit of justice and to tackle the causes of poverty where we can.” Poverty? Poverty is not just about lack of money. Poverty has many faces, and Mother Teresa said that isolation can be one of the worst kinds. The Office for National Statistics adds that Britain is the loneliness capital of Europe with 11% of those of pensionable age only seeing friend, relative or neighbour less that once per month.
On the 7thof May at 7.00pm in St Brigid’s Church Hall,Brian Jones the Membership Development Officer for the diocesan SVP will be giving a talk on its work and inviting us to respond positively to Pope Francis’s call in our own communities. Our once thriving SVP members have dwindled and more are needed.
Christ has no hands but ours (yours and mine) to do his work. Little has changed in the last 185 years since Frederic Ozanam made his plea. Something needs to be done, and you are invited to “be the change” that you would like to see, and turn our Christian concern into action. Join us on May 7th or just take one of the leaflets with my phone number on. I would be glad to hear from you.
God Bless Brian Jones SVP