The Society of St. Vincent de Paul welcomes "all who wish to live their faith by loving and serving their neighbor."
We invite you to browse through our site and to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of just what the Society is.
Find out who the Vincentians are and what we do in our community!
We encourage everyone to do a web search of St. Vincent de Paul to see the multitude of websites of SVDP Councils and Conferences around the USA and the world.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in Paris, France over 175 years ago in 1833 by a young French nobleman, Bl. Frederic Ozanam, to confront his city's devastating poverty. Inspired by his love of St. Vincent de Paul, a 17th century French priest who had an untiring commitment to serving the poor, Ozanam's mission was clear - help the needy on a one-on-one basis and "accomplish through charity what justice alone cannot do."
On April 23, 1833, challenged by fellow students at the University of Paris to practice what they preached, Ozanam and five other like-minded students met with Emmanuel Bailly in his newspaper office and formed the Conference of Charity. Starting with just seven members, the conference membership soared to more than one hundred by the following year. It was Ozanam who believed that the original conference must divide into more units in order to better serve the needy. By 1835, the Society had its own official rule and a new official name: The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
The Society took Saint Vincent de Paul as its patron under the influence of Bl. Sister Rosalie Rendu, DC. She was a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, a group of religious women who take vows to serve the poor and needy, founded by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac in 1633. Sister Rosalie, who was well known for her work with the most poverty stricken people in the slums of Paris, guided Blessed Frédéric and his companions in their approach towards those in need.
The Society grew rapidly from the start. There were already over 2000 members when Frederic Ozanam died in 1853. Bl. Frederic was beatified in 1996.
The Society has been a part of Huntsville for 25 years. The St. Joseph Conference became the first area Conference when it was founded in May of 1985. It was closely followed by the Holy Spirit Conference which was established in July of the same year. Since then Vincentians have been serving the needy throughout the Huntsville area through the work of several SVDP conferences.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, District Council of Huntsville, AL, is part of a worldwide organization of lay Catholic men and women who are committed to live and grow in their Christian faith through prayer and personal involvement in charitable works. The Society’s mission is accomplished through local groups called Conferences, and programs called Special Works. The Society’s work includes any action that alleviates suffering and distress, while maintaining the dignity of the person being helped.
“No Act of Charity is Foreign to the Society.”
Our SVDP annual report is our way of reporting back to our benefactors the good works performed by Vincentians in our community that their donations support and make possible.