The first conference of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Canada was founded on November 12, 1846, coming to life at the cathedral, in the city of Québec. Ever since, the Society has continued to expand across the country and today, we are present from coast to coast. In spite of parish closures and amalgamations, the number of our conferences is increasing and we continue recruit new volunteers.
In 2015, we had more than 800 conferences and over 14,000 members in Canada, not counting the auxiliary members, who join us occasionally for specific activities. We are present in all Provinces and in Nunavut and North West Territories.
Since our beginning and to this day, it is the generosity of our parishioners that has allowed us to help millions of people across the country. In 2015, Vincentians have served close to 389,000 individuals. We serve the people in need including refugees through our home visits, stores, clothing counters, soup kitchen, food banks, shelters, affordable housing, and summer camps.
We have been here for 170 years and we are happy with the work accomplished. We would like to be able to say that work is finish but, unfortunately, this is not the case. Poverty is not what it used to be but, fortunately, we have changed as well. We continue practice charity with justice, showing respect for the individual we serve, without prejudice and with love.
Jean Noel Cormier, National President
This article appears in the November’s edition of “Living in Christ”