St. Vincent de Paul Society
There are two separate Conferences of the Society in the parish, one based in Mona Vale and the other in Avalon. Both operate within the Northern Beaches Region of the Society which has it’s center in Brookvale. The areas cared for by each Conference correspond roughly with the old parish boundaries of Mona Vale and Avalon.
The Society was established in Paris in 1833 by a group of young Catholic lay people including Blessed Frederick Ozanam who became a great source of inspiration to the fledgling society. They saw Christ in the poor of Paris and dedicated their lives in service to those in need and to show their commitment through person-to-person contact.
In 1881, an Irish Scottish engineer, Charles O’Neill with a deep sense of social justice,came to Sydney. At this time, Sydney’s population was 200,000 and the Rocks district was a place of squalor and depravity populated by the poorest of Sydney’s inhabitants.
With St.Patricks Church as the center for many of the Irish Catholic immigrants, Charles O’Neill established the first St.Vincent de Paul conference there with the desperate plight of the people of the Rocks for it’s immediate attention.
The Society has flourished since that time to such an extent that there are now over six hundred conferences in Australia and a variety of activities all directed to the needs of those most vunerable in both metropolitan and regional areas of the Nation.
Who are We
Society members are called Vincentians and are volunteers who try to serve Jesus by being of service to those in need……”For when I was hungry you gave me food”……...by acknowledging the need for individual and collective prayer, by a commitment through action and by our vocation as Catholics
We respect the human dignity of people i.e. that everyone is created in God’s image and is therefore of real worth both to themselves and to society.
What do we do
We meet fortnightly and after prayers, we discuss the needs of people we have visited since our last meeting. We talk about how we can help these people to gradually help themselves.
Usually, two Vincentians visit people in their homes (or sometimes in the park or on the beach!) We listen to their problems and have to decide how best we can help them. Often our assistance covers financial help to purchase food, clothing or pay their bills. Sometimes it’s just listening and giving support by discussion and friendship.
In all our dealings with clients, we keep absolute confidentiality.
Helping or joining us
We always need and welcome support and/or extra members. You could ask around your Parish and talk to a Vinnies member or contact the Parish Secretary (click the "Contact" tab at the top of the page). You could also some to one of our meetings which are held regularly 7.30pm Tuesday nights as follows:
Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at the Mona Vale Church meeting room or
Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at Avalon Church meeting room.
How to contact us
All referrals to the two conferences come from the Society’s center in Brookvale. Clients may telephone for assistance on 9905 0424 during office hours or visit the center to discuss their requirements with the experienced staff there.