St. Vincent de Paul Society
The members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are empowered to live our faith through charitable works, serving those in need with material assistance, spiritual enrichment and unconditional love.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in 1833 by Blessed Frederic Ozanam, a 20 year old law student at the Sorbonne, in Paris. In a campus debate with a group of agnostics, Frederic was questioned as to what concrete actions he had personally taken to alleviate poverty - for which he had no good answer. His ultimate response was to found a "conference of Charity" with six of his friends under the guidance of Sr. Rosalie Rendu, whose purpose would be to visit the poor of Paris in their homes to offer assistance. The group shortly changed its name to "The society of St. Vincent De Paul" after the great patron of the poor. While buildig a career and family, he continued to spread the society, with hundreds of conferences in existence by his death.
The Society made its American debut at the Old Cathedral in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 20, 1845. The first president of this first American conference was Dr. Moses Linton, and the first secretary Bryan Mullanphy (who would later become Mayor of St. Louis).
The Society has continued to grow, with 900,000 members worldwide, 70,000 members in the United States, and 2,600 members in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The St. Louis area continues to be home to the American headquarters of the Society. However, since 1833 the mission has remained unchanged-visiting those in need in their homes, to offer material, emotional, and spiritual assistance.
To contact St. Charles Borromeo's St. Vincent de Paul Society
please call 636-925-1616