Tonga and Samoa
With Cyclone Gita passing through Tonga and Samoa in February we had to try and meet the immediate needs of both areas as requested through their National Councils.
Samoa got off relatively lightly with most of the damage being flooding and some roofs ripped off mostly at the western end of the main island, Upolu. There was also considerable damage to crops, breadfruit and bananas. It will be 6 months before crops will be reproducing. Damage to a drinking water supply on the island of Savaii also occurred.
Tonga as we have seen suffered considerable long term damage to property and crops on the main island of Tongatapu and neighbouring Eua.
The Conference in collaboration with W.I.T.S. - Napier two Mercy Sisters, Sr Theresa Scott and Sr Anne McLaughlin assist those who live in a low socio-economic suburbs of Greymouth in a meaningful way:
For over 20 years Cobden Mercy Outreach has been a home for the homeless on the West Coast, hosting families from Karamea to Haast for periods from a few days to a number of months.
Those seeking accommodation are not homeless by choice, they are often casualties of domestic violence or of insufficient government services and benefits. Families are assisted to transition into more secure accommodation.
Holy Name Conference Ashburton
The Ashburton Conference is responsible for helping the needy across a huge area of about 6000 square kilometres. Much of the work is in Ashburton itself and the conference has a membership of about 28 to do the work there. Some years ago, to lessen the travelling, ‘satellite conferences’ of three or four members were established in the outlying towns of Methven and Rakaia.
Through people leaving the area and getting older the time has come to strengthen these two groups. An information evening is soon to be held at Rakaia in an effort to re-establish the group there, and earlier in the year the conference held one of its fortnightly meetings in Methven.
What Ever it Takes Service W.I.T.S. - Napier
Napier Area Council, St Patrick’s and St Mary’s Conferences of St Vincent de Paul Napier help the marginalized people in Napier, through their interaction with W.I.T.S. which is What Ever It Takes Service in conjunction with the Napier City Council and Department of Social Welfare.
People who are helped are the homeless, those who have mental health and addiction issues.
W.I.T.S. runs an Outreach centre on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday where about 20 people gather for breakfast, get help with their issues and get together to talk and discuss things with others in similar situations. Both Conferences have given food and other equipment e.g. a washing machine for the homeless to wash their clothes.
St Patricks Palmerston North Assists Asylum Seekers
Rose and Joseph were originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo where French is the official language. Their separate journeys started years earlier after both witnessed terrible violence and abuse by government and armed forces.
Both moved to South Africa where they met and married. Joseph was a victim in an armed robbery when the supermarket he was working for was held up. Plans were made to emigrate to New Zealand which was viewed as a safe haven. In May 2015 they arrived as asylum seekers and were granted temporary NZ residence and Congolese in NZ brought them to Palmerston North.
Charity and Social Media” address by Renato Lima
On Saturday, November 11, 2017, the SSVP of Italy organized, in Turin, a video conference entitled “Charity and Social Media” which was attended by 300 people, in the auditorium of the Industrial Union of Torino. The round table was moderated by the SSVP member Alessandro Ginotta. From Brazil, the 16th General President of the SSVP, Renato Lima, participated. You can read Renato’s speech below:
International Themed Year of Francis Lallier 2018
As 16th President General, I announce that 2018 is the INTERNATIONAL THEMED YEAR OF FRANÇOIS LALLIER. On 8th February 2018, the International General Council will launch the International Competition, for monographs on "The First Conference - Lallier", in order to delve into the biography and works of François Lallier, one of those responsible for the collegial foundation of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, in 1833.
Pope Francis praises Vincentians on 400th anniversary
Greeting 10,000 Vincentians, including 500 priests and even more nuns and thousands of laity in St. Peter’s Square on the 400th anniversary of their founding, Pope Francis thanked God for “the impulse of charity that came from the heart of their founder, St. Vincent De Paul, which has lasted through the centuries.” He strongly encouraged them “to continue in movement on the roads of the world” as they have been doing, and ...