The Society of St. Vincent de Paul traces its origins to Paris in 1833, where Frederic Ozanam and five of his peers studying at the Sorbonne University were challenged by their classmates to demonstrate what they were doing to meet the needs of the city’s poor. The students walked the streets of Paris, engaging in person-to-person ministry by providing food and clothing, confident that Christ would be revealed through their loving acts. They formed the first “Conference of Charity” on April 23, 1833 and adopted, as their Patron, the devoted French priest, St. Vincent de Paul, who alerted the world to social disparity. These students formalized their work changing the official name to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul under the guidance of Sister Rosalie Rendu, Daughters of Charity, who was known for her service to the poor in the impoverished areas of Paris.
Similar groups grew in Paris, then to the rest of France, and eventually throughout the Christian world with the purpose of visiting those in need as an extension of God’s love. Now in over 150 different countries, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is growing close to 1,000,000 members or Vincentians serving their neighbors in need.
Who We Are
The Northern Kentucky Council of St. Vincent de Paul is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and a chapter of the international organization. We are a “lay” organization, meaning we are affiliated with the Catholic church but under Cannon Law not a direct part of it. Although our roots can be traced back to 1911, our Council was not officially aggregated until 1923. Traditionally, our volunteer base has been drawn from the Catholic community. Catholic parishes remain an important part of carrying out our mission; however, St. Vincent de Paul welcomes and appreciates the collaboration of a variety of faith communities.
We serve the less fortunate in Northern Kentucky with basic necessities regardless of religious affiliation or any other demographic. We provide services to those in residing in 29 parish or Conference communities located in the counties of Kenton, Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Grant and Pendleton.
Our Vincentian volunteers visit the homes of those needing help to offer spiritual, emotional and material assistance. In-home visits offer the personalized care to determine the extent of the need, the validity of the request, and develop a plan to move toward stability. One of our goals is early intervention with the hope of preventing homelessness for our clients.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Northern KY is a network of friends, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need. The most important part of our mission is to provide hope to those in need. One can survive without material goods, but when you have lost hope that tomorrow will be better than today, you have lost everything.