Over the past few years, the St. Bernard of Clairvaux Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been restructured and revitalized. The vocation of the members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is "to follow Chris through service to those in need." Much of our work is done through person-to-person contact either in the client's home or in our parish office. Prayer is an integral part of our contact--we ask to share a prayer with all clients when we meet with them, and we provide them with a prayer book when they leave. All who come to our Conference for assistance are served regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, gender or political opinions.
From a humble first year of the restructuring when we provided service to approximately 20 families, we grew to service 110 families in 2009, and have been growing ever since. Our conference, funded by donations from our parishioners, provided financial assistance of over $10,000 to those families during 2009. We also provided referrals to other sources of assistance.
A major accomplishment for our conference during 2009, was to expand membership beyond St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish. As a result of our recruitment efforts we now have membership from St. Thomas More University Parish and Church of the Resurrection Parish. As we expanded our membership, support for our services also expanded. Two of the parishes in our region took up special collections specifically for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Bernard Conference. On Feb. 2, 2011, thanks to the expansion, our conference was able to locate sufficient numbers of volunteers to open at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in the mall complex of the Fourth Street Bilo.
Anyone interested in getting involved with our program or wishing to send a donation, please contact the parish office, You will be required to give your name, telephone number, and a description of how you are interested in helping.