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Society of St Vincent de Paul
St James Cathedral-Bl Rosalie Rendu Conference

We must lay a bold hand on the core of poverty.”
Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813-1853)
principal founder of the Society of St Vincent de Paul

Never have I prayed so well as in the streets.”
Blessed Rosalie Rendu (1786-1856)
mentor to the founders of the Society of St Vincent de Paul

The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVdP) is a world-wide, independent, Catholic charitable organization.  SVdP has maintained an active ministry in Seattle since 1920 and at St James Cathedral since 1921. 
Guided by the principles of its founders and the teachings of its patron, St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), SVdP volunteers (called Vincentians) seek personal spiritual growth through service to the poor.  We promote the dignity of every person and strive to help alleviate poverty, including its causes and consequences.    
Our SVdP volunteer group at St James Cathedral is officially called the St James Cathedral-Bl Rosalie Rendu Conference of SVdP.  We are sometimes referred to as Cathedral Vincentians.  We engage in two primary activities year-round:  home visits and conference meetings.
Home visits:  Through home visits, we provide emergency financial assistance to residents of St James parish.  Although we cannot help everyone, we are usually able to provide at least some help to most residents of our parish who contact the Seattle/King County SVdP Helpline to ask for help.  When we can help, two Cathedral Vincentians go together to visit individuals or families requesting help in their homes.  Our purpose in visiting is to better understand the situation and give what help we can, including financial aid and spiritual support. 
Conference meetings:  Our conference meets twice a month at St James, on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of the month, from 6:30 to 8:00pm.  We pray together, share a spiritual reflection, consider current situations involving people we are trying to help and discuss related business.  
Spirituality:  For more information on the spiritual aspect of being a Cathedral Vincentian, please see  “Walking in the Footsteps of St Vincent:  How our Cathedral Vincentians grow spiritually through service to the Poor,” published on pages 8 & 9 of the December 2017 issue of In Your Midst.
Statistics:  In 2017, our SVdP conference at St James Cathedral helped 955 people through 658 home visits.  About 97% of the money we spent in 2017 went directly to help St James parish residents in need.  Of that, over 74% of what we spent paid rent, 14% purchased new beds, 6% paid for groceries and the remainder paid for other basic necessities.  When we cannot help, we try to give referrals to other possible sources of help.  For a similar summary of SVdP activities throughout King County, please see the Annual Report of the SVdP District Council of Seattle/King County.
To request SVdP help in Seattle/King County:  Call the Seattle/King County SVdP Helpline at 206-767-6449 – 8am to 3pm Monday to Friday. Submit a request for help online at www.svdpseattle.org (on the homepage, click on "Get Help" near the top of the screen). 
To volunteer with or obtain more info on our conference at St James:  We seek volunteers (age 18 and older) who are passionate about serving people on the margins, who can attend our twice-monthly meetings (about 90 minutes each) and who can go on home visits 1-3 times per month (allowing about 3 hours each time).  To volunteer or request more information about SVdP generally or about our conference at St James, please contact any of the conference officers listed below.  We also have a table on “Outreach Sunday” in Cathedral Hall on the 1st Sunday of most months, after the 10am mass – please stop by and visit us!
To donate money to SVdP at St James Cathedral:  A special collection for SVdP is taken at the end of mass on the 3rd weekend of most months.  You may also mail donations directly to SVdP, 804 Ninth Avenue, Seattle, WA  98104.  Or you can go to the “Giving” page on the St James Cathedral website to schedule a recurring or one-time gift to “Other” and then type in “SVdP” or “St Vincent de Paul” as the recipient of your gift.
To donate clothing, household items, books, toys, etc:  Donated items are sold in SVdP’s 5 local thrift stores, located in North Seattle, Burien, Kenmore, Kent and Renton.  The #1 need is gently used clothing, most of which is sold in those stores but some of which is given out at the local SVdP food & clothing bank on Fourth Avenue South in the Georgetown neighborhood.  For more information on the SVdP stores and the food & clothing bank, please see http://svdpseattle.org/  Also, at least once a year, our conference sponsors an SVdP “Stuff the Truck” event at St James Cathedral to collect donated goods.  Please watch the St James Sunday bulletin and website for dates, times and details.   
For more information or to volunteer, please contact any of these conference officers:

  • Barb Schmidt (president), 206-495-8214

  • Susan Picht (vice president), 206-724-8768

  • Jo Ann Wiesner (co-secretary), 206-291-4012

  • Ken Goddard (co-secretary), 206-981-7185

  • Bob Clifford (treasurer), 206-718-4158

To help you spot some of us at the Cathedral, here is a photo of our conference leaders (left to right) Barb Schmidt, Susan Picht, Ken Goddard, Tammy Bendix (our conference’s spiritual advisor), Jo Ann Wiesner and Bob Clifford – we would be happy to talk with you!



Return to St. James Cathedral Parish Website

804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303