The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international service organization founded in 1833 by French student Frederic Ozanam. Inspired by the work of 17th century priest, St. Vincent de Paul, Ozanam established the society to bring concrete aid to those in need through friendship, service, and charity. Today, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a network of charity organizations in 147 countries with over 750,000 members.
St. Vincent de Paul was founded at our church in 1955 by Monsignor Varni and Ed "the Beggar" Thull, who resided in the rectory and cooked for the priests for many years. Ed served the poor and downtrodden as a one-man St. Vincent de Paul operation until illness forced his retirement in 1995. At that time Fr. Macchi asked a group of parishioners, led by Bill Ratto, to form the present St. Vincent de Paul Conference, with the mission of feeding the hungry and providing other emergency services to those in need in the surrounding community.
In the first year, volunteers worked out of a tiny office in the rectory, with food donations stored and bagged in a garden shed in the backyard. It was a happy day in the Fall of 2000 - for both priests and volunteers - when the St. Vincent de Paul office and food pantry were moved to its present location adjacent to the rectory. Service was expanded to six days a week, and today more than 30 men and women volunteer in various capacities to distribute 500-600 bags of food to approximately 200 families or homeless individuals each month. In addition, holiday food " baskets" are distributed to 150 families for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Requests for other emergency assistance are met as their financial resources permit.
The members of St. Vincent de Paul wish to express their gratitude and congratulations to the parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi for 50 years of caring for those in need.
860 Oak Grove Road, Concord, CA 94518
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