Our mission is to live the Gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice and joy.
Founded in 1833, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) is an international lay organization, united in the mission to serve persons in need. In Canada alone, the SSVP helps more than 350,000 people each year.
We provide material support in the form of non-perishable food, clothes, household items and furniture to individuals and families across the country. Whether in their homes, on the street, in shelters, in hospitals or in prison, our work knows no boundaries. The Society also provides assistance to refugees, immigrants, and northern communities.
Our founding activity, still practiced today, is the Home Visit. Through these visits, our members, known as Vincentians, establish personal relationships with persons in need by offering material assistance, as well as friendship and understanding.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul for the parish of Saint Catherine of Siena has been in existence for many decades. As volunteers, our goal is to help those in our parish community who are in need. Whether it is for assistance with purchasing food, household items or guidance in specific areas we are just a phone call away. We are very blessed to have dedicated individuals and families who financially contribute monthly. We are so grateful for their generosity.
In addition to helping those within our parish boundary we are also contributors to neighbour 2 neighbour centre and the Out of the Cold Program, as well as other organizations in our city.
The following are some of the areas where we are trying to help those in need:
1. North of 60
Food prices in communities north of the 60th parallel can be exorbitant and further enshrine communities in poverty, which is a major concern in the north. Over the years, as part of its mission, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SSVP) has developed an innovative approach of:
reaching out and establishing contacts in remote communities north of the 60th parallel;
identifying their needs;
gathering non-perishables and other day-to-day household supplies and other articles required;
arranging sea containers to deliver these gathered products.
SSVP North of 60 initiatives have seen the creation of numerous food banks and used clothing distribution centres in Northern Communities, helping hundreds of parents feed and clothe their children. These initiatives not only help restore dignity to families, they also contribute towards:
build skills and knowledge in the community;
cultivate community Leaders;
bring sustainable social change.
2. Parish Twinning
“TWINNING” is the term given to the very act of SSVP Conferences and Councils of more affluent countries reaching out and helping SSVP Conferences and Councils of less affluent countries. It is a means by which we share both monetarily and spiritually, thereby forming a bond between the members of the twinned Conferences and Councils. It is a bond by which members of the twinned Conferences/Councils celebrate the joy of serving and helping the poor.
“TWINNING” has always been an informal part of our Society on an international level. In 1979, the International Council General (ICG) at its Plenary Meeting issued a statement, “All monies collected in the name of the Society anywhere belong, in principle, to the poor of the world”. The ICG also recommended that all universal twinning be conducted in a north/south route around the world. Conferences/Councils in Canada are now twinned with Conferences/Councils in the Caribbean, Central America and South America.
The Saint Catherine of Siena conference send funds annually through our national office in Ottawa, to Conférence Saint Joseph, Presbytère de l’Église Saint-Joseph de Marché Canard, section communale Gascogne, Mirebalais, Département du Centre, Haiti
3. Building School Partnerships
A relatively new project we are undertaking is to link more closely with our schools within our parish community. At Christmas 2021, we were able to help 36 individuals at two of our schools.
4. St. Vincent de Paul Store (Vinnies Feel Good Shopping)
SHOPPERS – We invite you to visit our store at 200 Parkdale Avenue North to experience that “feel good shopping” atmosphere as you walk through and among our numerous “Next to New” items of clothing for men, women and children. We also have a wide range of furniture for any room in your home, including small appliances, books, magazines, kitchen wares and unique “one of a kind” items. Again, these are all “Next to New” and you will be amazed at the great quality to choose from. SEE YOU at the Store which is on the Parkdale bus route.
5. Seeds of Hope (for a brighter educational future)
The Canada Learning Bond (CLB) is money the Government of Canada adds to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for children from low-income families. This grant of up to $2,000/child helps parents pay for their children’s post-secondary education. The mere existence of educational savings greatly increases the odds that a child will continue past high school. No parental contributions are needed. Learn more about the CLB here.