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Society of St. Vincent de Paul

St. Mary Conference

Goldsboro, NC


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVDP or SVDP) St. Mary Conference in Goldsboro is a 100% volunteer organization whose purpose is to give its members the opportunity to grow spiritually.

Spiritual growth manifest itself through service to those in need in Wayne County, NC.

A Conference is the basic organizational unit of the Society.  The St. Mary Goldsboro Conference is part of the Southeastern Region of SSVDP USA.


The members of each Conference determine how they will assist those in need.  No charity is foreign to the Society and as a result the types of assistance provided by Conferences varies.  Not all Conferences provide the same types of assistance.

See the section "What we do" to learn how the St. Mary Goldsboro Conference assist.

What we do

What St. Vincent de Paul, St. Mary Conference Does

The Goldsboro Conference has two fundamental ministries but also assist with other non-routine needs as they arise within Wayne Count.


  To find out more about assistance click on the 'How to request help' on the menu bar at the top of this page.


Financial assistance:  To the extent that resources are available SVDP assist those with a financial need such as for rent, utility bill or other less common expenses.

The Conference guideline is to assist no more often than once every 12 months.  


Food Pantry: The Conference has a food pantry comprised of non-perishable items.

The Conference guideline is to assist with food once every three months.



The Origins of The Society of St. Vincent de Paul

Goldsboro History:  The St. Mary Conference was established in 1999.  Five members of St. Mary Church, all women, met after a bible study class.  One of the ladies had recently moved to Goldsboro from Ohio where SVDP Conferences are more commonplace.  Each of the ladies contributed $100 which became the financial foundation of the current organization.  To learn more about today's Conference click on the Membership & Meeting tab on the menu.

A Conference may be characterized as isolated, or aggregated with other conferences to form a Council. The Councils and isolated Conferences comprise a Region.  The St. Mary Conference is a member of the Southeastern Region of SSVDP USA.  There are only four SVDP conferences in eastern NC and are not geographically close enough to form a Council.


While historians are not certain about some details, there is no doubt that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul was established in St. Louis, Missouri at the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, popularly called "The Old Cathedral," in 1845. Father John Timon, CM, an American Vincentian priest from Pennsylvania, and later Bishop of Buffalo, New York, was the one who brought copies of the Rule of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul back from Dublin, Ireland, to St. Louis. Timon talked to various people about the Society and its wonderful work with the poor. Bishop Peter Richard Kenrick, successor of the first Bishop of St. Louis, Joseph Rosati, CM, asked Father Ambrose Heim to establish the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and be its Spiritual Advisor. Father Heim was known by all for his extraordinary zeal and ministry with the poor. He became known as "The Priest of the Poor." The first meeting of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the United States was held on November 20, 1845, only twelve years after its founding in Paris. The Conference was aggregated (formally recognized) by the Society's International Council in Paris on February 2, 1846.

Click SSVDPUSA to learn more about The Society in the United States.


SSVDP International History:

The Society was created by six college student of the University of  Paris, Paris, France in 1833.  Paris in the 1830s was in turmoil, especially between 1827 and 1832.  During that period there were harvest failures, shortages of food, and increases in the cost of living.  In the spring of 1832 there was a widespread outbreak of cholera.  Over 18,000 in Paris and 100,000 across France died.  Many of those deaths were in the poor neighborhoods and that created suspicion that the government poisoned wells.

In June, 1832 the June Rebellion occurred.   During the revolt, Victor Hugo walked the streets of Paris, saw the barricades blocking his way at points, and had to take shelter from gunfire.  He described the conditions in France and Paris in his famous book Les Miserables.

Click these links to see movie trailers of Les Miserables:

2012 Version

1998 Version

This was the environment from which The Society of St. Vincent de Paul arose.  In 1833, less than one year after the June Rebellion, a student Jean Broet challenged six other University of Paris college students to “show your works and we will believe” that the Catholic Church continues to be a source of good as it once was.


The six students were:

·         Frederic Ozanam

·         Auguste Le Taillandier

·         Paul Lanmache

·         Francois Lallier

·         Jules Deverus

·         Felix Clave.

Initially the group called their organization The Conference of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul but soon changed the name to The Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  They kept the Conference term which refers to the individual unit within the broad organization.  That term continues to be used today to identify the basic group of people that comprise the Vencentian organization. The Conference is the local organization typically associated with a church or other spiritual group.  Each conference determines the size and scope of their works.  However, there are expectations that define a Vencentian conference and the SSVdP books Rule and Manual explain the precepts of the organization.

Frederic Ozanam is considered the founder of the organization created with the purpose to help the poor.  That organization eventually became known as The Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  The founding members selected St. Vincent de Paul as their patron because of his many works associated with helping the poor. 

A contemporary of Frederic Ozanam is Sister Rosalie Rendu; 1786-1856.  She is a member of the Daughters of Charity and was a mentor to Frederic and the Society’s members as she taught them the art of helping the poor and the sick.

Click the image to see a short video about St. Vincent de Paul.

Vincent de Paul was born in Pouy, France in 1581 to a poor peasant family.  He died in 1660 at the age of 80 after many years of service to the poor.  Two miracles are attributed to him and he was beatified on August 13, 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII and canonized June 16, 1737 by Pope Clement XIII.  He is the patron saint of all charitable societies.  His feast day is September 27.

St. Vincent de Paul was instrumental in forming three organizations with the purpose of helping the poor; Confraternities of Charity (Ladies of Charity in the US), Congregation of the Mission and with St.  Louis de Marillac they founded the Daughters of Charity.  These organization were founded between 1617 and 1633 with their purposes being to honor Christ and provide help to the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, the young and others in need.  He is also known as “the Apostle of Charity and Father of the Poor”. 

St. Louise de Marillac (1591 - 1660), a contemporary of St. Vincent, was inspired and directed by Vincent's spiritual leadership. She was Vincent's collaborator in founding the Daughters of Charity and organizing hospitals for the sick poor, asylums for the orphaned, workshops for the unemployed, championing literacy for the uneducated, and establishing standards for local charities. Louise was a wife, mother, teacher, nurse, social worker and religious foundress.

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