WHAT WE DO
Our goal is to help those who struggle to afford basic necessities such as food, rent, and utilities. Through our network of Conferences, each offering support according to their means, we strive to alleviate suffering and promote human dignity in all its dimensions.
Each Conference in our Council of Biloxi provides assistance according to their means. We aim to address the needs of individuals and families who live within our parish boundaries and are struggling to afford food, rent, or utilities. Some of our Conferences offer aid to the unsheltered, offering to provide life’s basic needs with dignity and compassion. No work of charity is foreign to the Society. It includes any form of help that alleviates suffering or deprivation and promotes human dignity and personal integrity in all dimensions.
Vincentians are not social workers. We serve as neighbors, seeking to understand the troubles of those we serve as we would a brother or sister, desiring to form relationships based on trust and friendship, and to walk with our neighbors in their time of trouble.
SPECIAL WORKS OF THE DIOCESAN COUNCIL OF BILOXI
Within our area, we have two "special works" of the Society - a Thrift Store, and Pharmacy - that provide much needed resources to those in need.
St Maximilian Kolbe Conference - operating as St Vincent de Paul Thrift Store -
The St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store of Ocean Springs, MS recycles your gently used donated items for repurpose in the community. Our profits go toward supporting the poor and those people who are homeless, in need of food and clothing. Please visit our website for our Store Hours, and the many ways we assist those in our community: www.svdpos.com
St Vincent de Paul Pharmacy - The Pharmacy is a nonprofit agency with an innovative approach to filling a gap in health care services. Founded in 1998, this tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization has provided free prescription services to more than 5,000 medically needy South Mississippians. The Pharmacy is sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization dedicated to working with the poor. Although sponsored by St. Vincent de Paul, the Pharmacy is independently incorporated. The Pharmacy does not discriminate by religion, race, ethnicity, sex or age. The Pharmacy’s staff, Board and people it serves, reflect its community. Please visit our website for detailed information on our services and how to seek help: www.svdprx.org
BILOXI ST VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY
- providing compassionate services for neighbors in need -
It’s not for everyone, nor for just anyone, but being a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul — being a Vincentian — is for those who hear this special calling from God. Members are more than volunteers; this is not merely something that we do, but something that we are: Vincentians.
As Vincentians, we put our faith into action. We love God, as St. Vincent said, “with the strength of our arms and the sweat of our brow.” The Vincentian vocation calls us to participate personally and directly in helping the needy by person-to-person contact and by the gift of our hearts and friendship, within the communal spirit of a Conference of lay persons each inspired by the same vocation.
In an audience with Vincentians, Pope Paul VI praised our ministry as “a great testimony of living Catholicism. You give witness to Christ in the Church of the Poor. The critic from outside is impressed. If he wants to understand you, he must look for that mysterious religious vitality that animates your silent work of love. And those others, too, see you living the Gospel, those to whom you direct your steps, and whom you do not call by the name of the poor, but by that of friend and brother.”
SEEING CHRIST'S FACE
St. Vincent taught: “Since Christ willed to be born poor … he made himself the servant of the poor and shared their poverty. He went so far as to say that he would consider every deed which either helps or harms the poor as done for or against himself.”
Frédéric also taught, by his word and example, that Christ is present in those we serve. It is because of this calling to see Christ’s face that we serve the poor cheerfully, listening to them and respecting their wishes, helping them to feel and recover their own dignity.
OUR TRUST IN GOD'S PROVIDENCE
One of the primary tenets of Vincentian spirituality is belief in and reliance on Divine Providence. For Vincent, nothing — absolutely nothing — in life happened by chance. He found the providence of God in all events and in the people who touched his life.
Frédéric also saw God’s plan operative everywhere. He trusted that God was providing for him, always acting in his life and in the lives of others. Just as Christ taught us to “let the day’s own troubles be enough for the day,” so Frédéric and Vincent teach us to abandon ourselves to God’s providence.
Frédéric Ozanam, in his academic robes, performing a home visit. Painting by Gary Schumer.
Courtesy of the Association of the Miraculous Medal, Perryville, Missouri
Vincentians are people of prayer. We pray before and after our meetings, we pray with and for the neighbors we serve, and we promote a life of prayer and reflection, both as individuals and as a community of faith, sharing with our fellow members.
Meditating on our Vincentian experiences offers us internal spiritual knowledge of ourselves, others, and the goodness of God.