The St. Bernard Conference of St. Vincent de Paul was formed 35 years ago. We are part o f the Cincinnati District which is 140 years old this year. The district is divided into 5 Deaneries of which we are part of the St. Lawrence Deanery. There are total of 56 conferences in parishes across Hamilton County with 800 Vincentian members along with operating six area thrift stores.
The Society was founded in Paris in 1833 by Blessed Frédéric Ozanam and chose St. Vincent de Paul as it’s patron. Today the Society is international in scope with more than 700,000 members in over 140 countries.
A mission that set SVDP appart from other ministries is that it is home based, that is, we make visits to the home of the people in need. During a home visit we offer spiritual support, food from our pantry, and other help with emergency rent and utilities as funds permit. As we assess peoples needs, we provide resources for longer term.
During Christmas we sponsor a Giving Tree Program where gifts that are provided by the parish are distributed to children and families. Twice per year we have Bundle Sunday weekends. With the help of the district council, a truck is located on church grounds. During this time we collect donated furniture, clothing and other household items. These items are then sorted and distributed to the seven SVDP thrift stores located in the Cincinnati area.
The SVDP St. Bernard conference would not exist without parish support. We are supported weekly with food and monetary donations. Each 5th Sunday and during Thanksgiving, the parish provides a special outpouring of help. We recieve no formal funding from the district, however, during the year there are special funds established by benefactors and some federal funding.
The district also provides our conferences with clothing and furniture vouchers to the thrift stores. They also provide other aids such as a pharmacy, job services, bedding aids, training, and other resouce materials. We also work together with other conferences and churches in the area to help clients.
Our conference meets once per month on the 1st Tuesday. Our members are all volunteers. We welcome new members and visitors to our meetings. Now more then ever, our St Vincent de Paul conference members are seeing many more families seeking help for the first time. Please keep our members and those being served, both locally and around the world, in your prayers.
1st Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm at St. Bernard School