The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVDP) was founded in 1833 by a young Catholic student, Frederic Ozanam (1813-1853), in Paris, France. Frederick was a student at the Sorbonne who was deeply saddened by the living conditions of the poor. At a student meeting, another student challenged him by stating that while the Catholic Church had done a great deal of good in the past, he could not see what good it was doing at the present time.
After considering this for a time, Frederick took action and on April 23, 1833, his 20th birthday, he met with five other students where they founded the first Conference of Charity to assist the poor. The organization was founded to allow its members to increase in holiness by loving service to those in need.
Members later changed their name to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in honor of the society's patron saint. Vincent DePaul (1581-1660) was canonized by Pope Clement XII in 1737. In 1885, Pope Leo XIII named him the patron saint of all works of charity. His feast day is celebrated on September 27.
Twelve years later the society expanded to the United States when the SVDP was established in Saint Louis, Missouri. Today, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul has 800,000 members in 152 countries. In the United States has grown to over 100,000 volunteers serving their communities in about 4,400 conferences, most of these in Catholic parishes.
In Virgina , there are at least six SVDP parish conferences. In addition to Holy Spirit Catholic Church. The parish conferences are
Saint Benedict in Virginia Beach
Saint Matthew in Virginia Beach
Saint Andrew in Charlottesville
Saint Teresa in Richmond
Sacred Heart in Richmond
Holy Spirit - Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
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