Conference Presidents, please forward to your conference members.

SSVDP Calendar
Upcoming Events

4/18 Council Board Meeting



5/14 New Vincentian Family Center Carnival and Community Celebration
 
Predatory Loan Conversion Program
The Numbers
$47,986.72 in loans converted

74 high interest loans converted 

21 closed loans

7 incentives paid

329% APR for loans converted

2.25% APR for PLCP loans

86.4% repayment rate

56 days without a default

Friday, April 15, 2016
Prayers for West, Texas

We ask our entire Vincentian family to remember the people of West, Texas in your prayers this weekend. Sunday, April 17 will mark the third anniversary of the fertilizer plant explosion.

Please pray for strength and continued healing for the community in West. 
REMINDER:
Upcoming Blessing 
of the Vincentian Family Center
Tuesday, May 10th

We are just a few weeks away from the Blessing of the Vincentian Family Center on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm. The Most Reverend Joe S. Vasquez, Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, and the Most Reverend Daniel Garcia, Auxiliary Bishop will mark our grand opening with a blessing. 
Doors open at 1:00 pm, and Society staff and leadership will lead small group tours of the facility. The blessing of the facility will take place at 2:00 pm, with tours resuming at 2:30 pm. 

All guests need to RSVP by Monday, May 2. We are encouraging everyone to bring friends, family, and guests, and remember: all names must appear on the guest list to attend. 

Novena

In preparation for our move to the new Vincentian Family Center in early Mary, we ask that you pray a ten-day Novena with us. We will send out an introductory email on Saturday, April 23, and the final prayer hitting your inbox on Monday, May 2. To receive our Novena emails, make sure that you are on our mailing list. 

Your spiritual support will be crucial to our success in the new facility. We are grateful for your prayers!
  
Our Society
Pope Francis Quote

"The Lord's presence dwells in families, with all their daily troubles and struggles, joys and hopes.
                                                                                  - @Pontifex, April 13

 
General Assembly

"I declare this General Assembly open." With these words, Diocesan Council President Joleen Boyer officially opened the 2016 General Assembly of the Diocesan Council of Austin. Over 150 Vincentians gathered at the new Vincentian Family Center at 901 Braker Lane for prayer, fellowship and learning opportunities. Joleen welcomed the Vincentians, explaining that the major focus of the day would be "The Diocesan Council of Austin Pursuing Systemic Change."  The "what is" and "how to's" of systemic change were woven into the 16 diverse and dynamic presentations throughout the day.

Reminding us that the mission of the Society is to strengthen the spirituality of each Vincentian by serving those in need, Spiritual Advisor James Davis gave us a clear understanding of how the core values of the Society are enhanced by utilizing systemic change best practices. Systemic Change Coordinator Angela Gimbert and Systemic Change leaders presented the do's and don't's of home visits - and got some laughs and chicken calls along the way

The day was complete with lively table discussion, sharing of best practices, tours of the new facility, and an art project to be installed at the VFC at a later date.  Food was provided by the restaurant tenants, 2 N 1 Salad Bar and Grill.  The day included Q & A and an overview from Executive Director Stacy Ehrlich "Looking Forward."  The day concluded as we had begun with prayer led by our Spiritual Advisor James Davis. 

The PowerPoint presentation used for the day is available for viewing on the Austin Diocesan Council website.

Thank you for taking the time to join your fellow Vincentians from across the Diocese! 


Spiritual Advisor Update 
 
Greetings Vincentians of Central Texas!  What an exciting time it is for us as we wait in anticipation for the opening of our Vincentian Family Center!  We gathered for our General Assembly at the Center last Saturday, April 9 and we were all impressed with the big and beautiful space that is emerging.   As I "took in" the experience of being in the "almost finished, but not yet" space I was overwhelmed by a sense of the potential and opportunity the Center promises. 

In the Vincentian tradition, evolving expression of the Mission is central to our spirit and charism.  We are always asking ourselves "Who are the poor and what must be done?"  Across the world in the Vincentian Family, we focus on God's Providence by attuning to the needs of those we are committed to serve.  The Rule of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul addresses this in Part 1.6, Adaptation to a Changing World: "Faithful to the spirit of its founders, the Society constantly strives for renewal, adapting to changing world conditions.  It seeks to be ever aware of the changes that occur in human society and the new types of poverty that may be identified or anticipated..."  

This willingness to see beyond our own preferences and comfortable patterns to discern the emerging manifestations of God's Providence for our ministry opens our eyes and hearts to what might be next.   Hearts and minds open to discern God's Providence see potential and opportunity.  The vision of ending poverty through systemic change is a framework that helps us to engage this potential, this opportunity to stand on the shoulders of our founders, honoring what has been, and saying yes to new ways of living out our Vincentian vocation.  This is the Vincentian Spirit, honoring the heritage and traditions that have formed us and engaging the needs of today in creative ways.   Part 3.5 of our Rule describes Preserving the Spirit: "Members of all ages strive to preserve the spirit of youth, which is characterised by enthusiasm, adaptability and creative imagination. They are willing to make sacrifices and take risks for the benefit of the poor wherever they may be: by sharing their discomfort, needs, and sorrows and defending their rights."

Next Sunday is Ozanam Sunday.   Frederic Ozanam was born on April 23, 1813 in Milan Italy.   On April 23, 1883 at the age of twenty, he and six companions founded the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  Energetic and passionate, these young people were supported in their energy and passion by Emanuel Bailly and Blessed Rosalie Rendu, who anchored them with wisdom and engaged their exuberance. This is an opportunity to gather as conference communities and celebrate the Birthday of our Founder St. Vincent de Paul April 24 1581, the Birthday of the Founder of the Society Frederic Ozanam April 23, 1813, and the Birthday of the Society itself, April 23 1883.  

As we gather, let us give thanks for what has been and pray for our new beginnings; the opening of  our Vincentian Family Center and the emergence of our commitment to systemic change.


Donations & Volunteers 
 
We want to extend our gratitude to all our Vincentians who donated nonperishable goods to stock our VFC food pantry! Although construction on the building is nearly complete, we still need your help to get programming started at the Vincentian Family Center and Thrift Store. 

To that end, conference donations to the Vincentian Family Center are welcome and sincerely appreciated. Similar to twinning or co-pays, these gifts still support the Society's ministry of service. Your generosity will have an immediate impact. Gifts will support numerous services for our neighbors, including a computer lab and classroom, food pantry, restaurant, prayer room, and retail thrift.

Beyond financial support, we are actively seeking volunteers for the new building! We consider ourselves truly blessed to work with such a devoted, enthusiastic volunteer base. Not only do Vincentians continue to serve their neighbors through their conferences, but a number of you have already expressed interest in volunteering at the building! Please be on the lookout for more information on volunteer opportunities in the coming days.

Thank you for sharing in this ministry, and thank you for your ongoing support of the Vincentian Family Center and Thrift Store!

  
In Case You Missed It
Tale of Two Austins: Housing

One Voice Central Texas, a coalition of health and human services nonprofits, is committed to raising awareness of economic disparities in Austin. With its Tale of Two Austins, OVCT contrasts the city's the public image as a thriving community with the reality that many residents have not reaped the benefits of Austin's economic growth. As many Society volunteers know, a number of our neighbors regularly sacrifice their own well-being to keep the lights on or pay their monthly rent. That anecdotal evidence is borne out by One Voice's data. 

As a One Voice member organization, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul plays a crucial role not only in alleviating those disparities but also sharing the message. For more information, you can check out One Voice's website!


Stacy Ehrlich   Executive Director  stacy@ssvdp.org
Roz Gutierrez  Conference Support Director  roz@ssvdp.org
Katie Conyers  Assistant Director of Development  katie@ssvdp.org
Midge Beard    Executive Office Manager  midge@ssvdp.org
Paula Pompa   Vincentian Family Center Manager 
                        
paula@ssvdp.org
Paul Kleypas   Store Director   512-442-5652  
                        svdpstoreaustin@sbcglobal.net

Prayer Requests: pray@ssvdp.org

Physical Address of New Vincentian Family Center:   
901 W. Braker,  Austin, TX  78758
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, PO Box 9070, Austin, TX 78766