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Dr Nigel Joel Gonsalves, will be available at our Medical Centre for Physiotherapy on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5.30 to 7 p.m. ______________________

Musicians and Guitarists are requested to help with the Cantors. Those willing, kindly give your names at the Parish Office. Thanks in advance for your generosity. _________________________________

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The Society of St Vincent de Paul

The Society of St Vincent de Paul, popularly called the SSVP, is an international, fraternal, charitable organization of lay persons, who, in a spirit of love, justice and charity, reach out to people, (irrespective of caste, creed or community) suffering on account of poverty of temporal wants, distress and loneliness.

The Society was founded in 1833 in Paris, by a young college student, barely 20 years of age, named Frederic Ozanam, along with a few of his friends, and named it after St Vincent de Paul, whom he tried to emulate, and therefore, in all humility made him the patron saint of this organization.

The St Peter’s Conference in Bandra prides itself in being one of the first 5 conferences that were established in India, way back in 1863. And what is more, we are happy to be rendering service to the poor and needy of our parish for the last 143 years! The Conference comprises 32 active members and 8 auxilary members. Meetings are held every Tuesday at 7:25 p.m. in one of the parish rooms. Bread and clothes are distributed to the poor before the meeting.

MEETING TIMINGS

TUESDAY: 7:15 p.m.
Our Lady’s Room

The order of the meeting is:
The President leads the group in the opening prayer. The Spiritual Adviser then gives us some food for thought and reflection, after which the Minutes of the previous meeting are read, confirmed and signed, followed by the Treasurer reading the Weekly Statement of Accounts. The President then makes a few important announcements, and new cases are discussed before adoption. Reports of weekly visits to the aided are then given by the pairs concerned. And the meeting ends with the concluding prayer and the Spiritual Adviser’s blessings.

Main areas or work:

1. Weekly rations in cash or kind. Vincentians in pairs, visit the aided family, give them a listening ear, offer help of body, mind and spirit and leave the place after praying for and with them, reminding themselves that they are our masters and that they are responsible for our eternal reward.

2. Education: Where there are children studying in school/college, we try and pay as much as possible, subject to funds available. This area of help is a must, as our sole aim is to help them fish and give them the fish. Quite often, we pay for their books, uniforms and footwear. Scholarships are given every year to the students who have performed well, to motivate them to do even better.

3. Medical: With inflation and hike in medicines and hospitalization, the poor suffer most. Here again, assistance is given to the fullest if they go to Municipal hospitals, and to some extent, should they need to go to private hospitals.

4. Employment: In spite of not having much of a data bank of employment available, members try their best in procuring jobs for the levels that these aided families come up to.

Activities of the Conference:

1. Annual Christmas Party, which is one good time to interact with the aided families and the members, is celebrated well. Apart from the Thanksgiving Service, there’s much fun and frolic, with snacks served. A lot of prizes are awarded for the games played, scholarships are given away at this function, and lunch is served to one and all.

2. Annual picnic, bringing a smile on their faces, and rest to their otherwise weary feet.

3. On the occasion of the patron saint’s (St Vincent de Paul) feast in September, Mass is celebrated at which time the members and the poor offer their petitions of thanksgiving, and offer prayers for the benefactors/donors, but not without ending the evening with song and dance and mouth watering snacks.

4. Funding of the Conference: Money comes through from well-wishers and benefactors throughout the year. The Conference makes its annual collection outside the Church. Door to door collections are also made to build up the fund. The Parish Priest helps the Society to the extent required from the Community Welfare Fund.

To conclude:
Our main charism is to beg for the poor in order to alleviate their misery; in other words, to see that no single individual goes hungry to bed. And, to see that the poor become self-sufficient soon.

 

President: Glenn Rodrigues (9821391235 / 26402052)

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