Our Society was founded in France in 1833 by Blessed Frederick Ozanam. He chose a fellow Frenchman, Saint Vincent de Paul to be our patron. St. Vincent had founded the Vincentian order two centuries earlier to serve the sick and needy. Blessed Frederick and his friends began to live the Gospel command to “love your neighbor” by visiting those in poverty and bringing what food and comfort they could.
Saint Vincent de Paul
Our Lady of The Miraculous Medal Parish
Our Parish organized a branch of the Society in 1989. A Pantry was maintained in the basement of the church until 1992 when the new Pantry building was erected. The Society has three principal activities: Food Distribution, Saint Vincent’s Kitchen and the Clothes Closet.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Hampton is a local (501c 3) non-profit organization dedicated to families and individuals in need as well as providing others with the opportunity to serve. The Society has been assisting local families since 1984. Programs include a daily operating food pantry, gently used clothing distribution, financial assistance for individuals in need and a kitchen that serves prepared meals at our dining room 5 evenings a week.
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. 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.”
The Mission Statement is clear: Vincentian ministry is a means for acquiring holiness. The ministry of a Vincentian to those and with those who stand in need is the powerful means that affects holiness of life for the individual Vincentian. Vatican II states that the principal means of holiness for bishops and priests is their ministry. This applies to the laity also, because, in attending to the needy and suffering, a Vincentian is ministering to Jesus Christ himself.