What we do
Who we are
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a worldwide organization operating in 155 countries providing assistance to the poor in the Christian Gospel tradition. The organization has operated in the Edmonton area since 2000. Please see our Western Region and National websites for details on our Canada-wide activities.
Your donations of material goods (furniture, household goods and clothing) and monetary assistance enable us to carry out our mission.
The Society is powered by volunteers. Donations of your time and talents are critical to this work.
Social Justice Committee
Easter Greetings Everyone.
I trust that you are all spending a holy and blessed Easter with your families. In my home, the get together happened last evening. Then, this morning at the 8:30 am Mass and it will continue through supper this evening. I like it when celebrations last a few days.
Our first "act" as an SSVP Social Justice Committee took place this Good Friday morning. A few of us went downtown and walked the Way of the Cross as we usually do on this day. However, this time, we wore our SSVP sashes and were granted permission to display our Poverty Sign before the walk started. Some of the members of the newly formed Social Justice Committee, St. Theresa's Conference are shown below.
Once again, Happy Easter to all.
Jubilee of Mercy Retreat March 19, 2016
Our response to Pope Francis call to Jubilee of Mercy retreat was well attended by Vincentians from various conferences – in total approximately 55 of our members attended the retreat led by Sister Gabriela hosted at Good Shepherd Parish.
We were first led by spiritual reflection that accented the call of mercy to us in our daily lives. We then formed groups of 4-5 to discuss the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. Then we divided into pairs and reflected on the question of the mercy received to each of us by God. Finally, we as individuals brought our need or the needs of others to the front by lighting a candle formed the shape of a heart – the heart symbolizing the mercy we can extend to others and to ourselves.
Hopefully, this retreat provided a renewal of service with emphasis of mercy to those we serve.
Much gratitude to Western Particular Conference for their leadership in this undertaking.
Our Lady of the Prairies Catholic School
From Bill Wallis . . .
During Advent the students staff and administration of Our Lady of the Prairies Catholic School conducted a giving Christmas tree. Each class brought in gifts for children in need, such as scarves, socks, mittens, boots, toys, warm hats etc. In addition the school cleaned up and emptied out their lost and found winter clothing, snow shoes and so on and added these to the gifts that decorated a large Christmas tree in the entrance of the school and just before Christmas we were called. Three of us from the S.S.V.P. of Good Shepherd Conference collected these gifts which filled up a 1/2 ton truck.
These gifts made Christmas a special season for many needy children.
God bless Our Lady of the Prairies School, staff and students. They put their faith into action.
Year of Mercy Kick Off
From Mary Anne Warren . . .
The St. Albert Conference of SSVP celebrated the commencement of the Year of Mercy kick-off with a Thanksgiving mass and an Advent supper December 8th 2015 with a large attendance.
Lou and Lynne Duigou, honored guests of the evening, were presented with the SSVP Certificate of Appreciation. Lou had served as conference president, and together with Lynne were responsible for the recent successful 'North of 60 Project' inauguration.
Lou and Lynne, as partners spent countless hours during their time with the conference visiting and aiding the poor in the inner city.
They built strong fellowship amongst the conference membership with the hosting of several annual year-end get-together suppers.
They now wish to move on to other initiatives in the parish, and have become active with the Syrian Refugee program. Their contribution to the conference was immeasurable.
North of 60 Report for 2015
From Peter Ouellette . . .
Thanks to the generous support from Corporations and members of the Catholic Community in Edmonton, the SSVP North of 60 Project supplied food, household products and other items of necessity to those who have less living in Canadian Arctic Communities. This year, eight sea cans were shipped, supporting nine communities.
The program has grown in momentum and improved with more control in sorting and distribution of donated items. We are getting better.
The program has also expanded north east as members of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in the Eastern Canadian Regions initiate similar programs to support Arctic Communities across the Canadian North.
As we begin the planning for next year, we have increased the support from both Catholic and non-Catholic Parishes, as well as Corporations providing the needed transportation logistics that are necessary to continue. The target for 2016 for this SSVP Western Region program will grow to nine sea cans supporting 10 Communities.
Thanks to all who made this happen. Click here to read the full report.
Syrian Refugees Information
Catholic Social Services is coordinating help for refugees in Edmonton. Please visit their webpage www.catholicsocialservices.ab.ca for specific volunteer roles they are looking to fill, and specifically how landlords can help. Forms are there for your convenience.
SSVP will continue its work of serving and ministering to the poor, including refugees who may fall through the cracks of existing programs. If you wish to donate to SSVP please visit Material Donations or Financial Donations.
We await the coordination and oversight of CSS and look forward to helping them in any way we can.
Reaching Out Warm Hands and Hugs
During the weekend of October 24, the parishioners of Holy Spirit Church in Spruce Grove took Deacon Patrick Hessel’s message to heart and responded with a huge outpouring of items which they shared with SSVP.
The coats, boots, sweaters and scarves, in over 100 bags, will make a big difference in the lives of those who need—and those who contributed show again that when we care, and we share, we can make a huge difference. When the snow flies and the temperature drops, those who come to our doors being cold and lacking proper clothes will be warmed by the work of kind and caring individuals.
Thank you. Thanks also to those who helped us load the treasure, including Deacon Patrick, Chris, James (Youth Leader ) and driver Dan.
More pictures in the Photo Gallery
Fall Development Day
Heartfelt thanks go out to all who played a role in our most successful Fall Development Day on Saturday October 17. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who stepped up and made it an enjoyable learning and sharing experience. We don’t gather as a whole very often, but this is proof that we make it count when we do. St. Frere Andre Conference, our newest, showed they have the facility and the members to be leaders for us all.
Councillor Ben Henderson certainly struck a chord with many of us. The End Poverty Edmonton was informative and we have a role to play in making Edmonton a better place to live.
Special Thanks to our presenters, Maria Lupul (Visits), Carol Attrux (Leadership), Pat Moric (finances and figures), Jeff Vande Brink (Asessing Donations), along with Gail Dumas and Dan Dunnigan (Central Data Base). Eleanor Saito was efficient and helpful with Police Information Checks.
Without the detailed planning and follow – up of Lauren Savereux…we are so grateful for your talents.
Check out our website for a blog notice and lots of photos in the Photo Gallery.
On Sunday September 27, the feast of our patron, St. Vincent de Paul, we gathered at Annunciation Church to celebrate. In the brief ceremony 19 new Vincentians who have proven their commitment to SSVP were presented with a Rule (our Rule and Statutes Canada book) from their Conference following an introduction and blessing by Deacon Hyland, Spiritual Advisor for Edmonton Central Council. Vice President Gail presented wooden fish necklaces to each. Seasoned Vincentians voiced and renewed their recommitment while the candle was held by John for our new members. Our family grows, and the work continues. Special thanks are offered to Mother Teresa Conference of Annunciation parish and President Marlie for hosting. The camaraderie shared over coffee was a delightful way to welcome the new and celebrate the experienced for all the fine work done!!
Field Law, operating in Alberta and the Northwest Territories, recently celebrated 100 years of serving and being involved in the community. In celebrating that anniversary they decided to distribute to non-profits and charities. The book created about their history and progress from a small operation to a major force was reinforced with several receptions at which the cheques were presented to fortunate recipients.
We at Society of Saint Vincent de Paul were one of those lucky people. Their donation cheque will help us continue to work with the poor. Our community is enriched by being able to assist others. The funds will help us keep our trucks on the road, picking up donations and delivering to those whom we have visited. Thank you Field Law, your 65 lawyers, and especially James Casey, a partner and moving force behind these developments. Thanks to the Field Law Community Fund Program, you are helping make Edmonton a better place to live and raise families.
Thanks to Catholic Women’s League and the signage courtesy of Hi-Signs, a member of the Fath Group, we are now driving our latest vehicle in service of the poor. In the photo is Larry after handing off the keys to a sparkling truck with beautiful graphics. Many thanks to all parties!!
Teachers of Edmonton Catholic Schools have chosen us as a recipient of their Christmas Social Justice Project. Their most generous variety of gift cards will help us help those in need. Thank you teachers and be aware that your gift to us is a gift which will help many families and perhaps some of the students sitting in your classrooms. Superb work Cathy Mrowka and ECT Local 54.
Thanks to the Stollery Foundation Grant you may have seen our newest vehicle. The fuel efficient and modern truck allows us to serve those in need more effectively. Thanks also to the Fath Family and Group of Companies for the graphics. We serve even better with the help of the community.
Congratulations St. Katherine’s Conference! On Thursday June 5 Red Deer hosted a combination Commissioning ceremony and wind up pot luck dinner. Father Joe did a grand job of the ceremony officially welcoming Leslie to their conference. Dan Roadhouse, President, invited and entertained Peter Ouellette, Western Regional President, Maria Lupul, Edmonton South Particular President, and Mary Dunnigan, Edmonton Central President. An impressive event hosted by a Conference which is doing fine SSVP work. Thank you all.
Catholic Women's League
Thank you to the Catholic Women's League of Canada, Archdiocese most generous recent donation. Coming out of their centennial anniversary celebrations of 2012, they embarked on a legacy project theme. At the April 14 Edmonton CWL Convention a cheque was presented, which will be used towards purchase of a light truck for pickups and deliveries. When Edmontonians see the acknowledgement on the vehicle door, all can note that the hard work of President Gwen Elliott and jCWL women is helping power the handwork of SSVP for those in need. Thank you CWL.
Edmonton Catholic School Board Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
On December 17, 2013 at a full Board of Trustees meeting a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and Edmonton Catholic Schools, expected to last for ten years.. The purpose of this partnership is to support and encourage the two organizations to support each other’s charitable works. This is done through continuing to provide a working space at the DC for us, to explore and develop a mechanism for shared services, information and resources between partners, to provide students with service opportunities, and to pursue other common areas of interest as decided by the Alliance Management. On behalf of the Board the document was signed by Laura Thibert ,Board Vice-Chair, and Joan Carr, Superintendent; on behalf SSVP the document was signed by Bernie McCracken, President, and Mary Dunnigan, Vice President. Together we move forward.
Edmonton Public Teachers Local 37
On October 27, teachers from Edmonton Public Schools gave a most generous gift to our Society. Their cheque was presented by the chair of the Donations Committee, Mr. Anthony Walsh. We are fortunate to be among the wide array of organizations the committee helps, knowing that helping families and especially children in their homes, benefits those receiving our help in their schoolwork, education and Canadian society in general. Thank you teachers for supporting our efforts to help those in need within Edmonton.
Terence Mahon Clothing Room Dedication
On November 12, 2013 we were pleased to have a dedication of the Terence Mahon Clothing Room at our Distribution Centre. Terry Mahon, his father, was in attendance to unveil the plaque. This was done with the help of both Mr. Mahon and Archbishop Richard Smith. Every time someone uses our facilities, or our workers serve the needs of those who come, Terence’s memory will be remembered and honoured. We are most grateful to Terry and Noreen Mahon for their kind and generous gift in the name of their son. His strong spirit of volunteerism, and support of others fit right in with the spirit of SSVP. Gail Dumas (Community Development) presented Mr. Mahon with a copy of our Rule and Opening Prayer card in honour of the occasion. Darcy Knoll spoke highly of Terrence’s active life and spirit. Bernie McCracken, President, accepted the cheque on behalf of SSVP.
THANK YOU AGAIN TO BOBINO BOBINETTE PRESCHOOL!
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul was the fortunate recipient for a second year in a row of donations collected at the Bobino Bobinette Francophone Preschool 2014 Christmas Drive. Items collected for struggling families included children's pajamas, clothing, hats, gloves, mitts, socks, underwear, toothbrushes and some miscellaneous items. It will be such a treat for the children from disadvantaged families to receive something new to wear. Some Canadian Tire money was also donated, and will be used towards the purchase of household items to be given to people in need.
St. Dominic School Shares with SSVP
The students of St. Dominic School worked together to share their abundance with those in need. The warm clothing, food and financial help, will aid us in our work. Thank you to Principal Cathy Kaup for her energy and leadership in showing how Social Justice can work at all levels and in various ways. Making the world, and especially Edmonton, a “warmer” place to be is an important part of learning to share. We appreciate your efforts.
Mother Margaret Mary High School Steps Up
For a Social Justice Project termed Winter Warmth, students across the school teamed up to collect items to keep people warm. Bags of jackets, tuques, mitts, scarves and socks will make life better for those who come to our Clothing Room. Students know that winter can be a harsh time, and they worked to make life better for others. Thank you to Mrs. Sandra Holtiner, staff and students. Your efforts will make many people smile this winter.
Faith Into Action
On November 20, two very Special Students visited the Distribution Centre to present a cheque for use in the Food Pantry. Lynette and David raised money through a Halloween movie event and selling tickets on a basket they created. These students from St. Joseph High School highlight the youth that also support those in need through their actions. Thank you very much Lynette and David.