The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

St. Vincent de Paul Society

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Dear Parishioners,

The Conferences at Corpus Christi, St. Gregory’s and St. Theresa’s would like to thank you all for your continued support to the Society. We regularly receive donations for which we are truly grateful. It is these donations that allow us to help people less fortunate than ourselves – so thank you again.

Every year September is dedicated to SVP awareness month. I hope you enjoyed the posters on our noticeboard and information which was given out and in the bulletin and the sponsored walk too. Thank you all for supporting the walk and the masses and liturgies you attended for the Society held during September.

When the SVP started almost 200 years ago, poverty was very visible and the SVP was innovative in that it went out to people in need, visiting them in their homes. This face to face help remains fundamental to the SVP’s ethos, to seek and find those who are forgotten. The support the Society brings offers practical help as well as friendship, comfort and the love that springs from Jesus Christ. Since those days, poverty has changed, especially in the affluent west. However, perhaps we have been better at covering it up, rather than eradicating it.

I would like to tell you, with your kind donations some of the things we have been able to do in the last few months:
  • Nine young people from our Parish were able to go to the one week SVP Children’s Camp. They all had a wonderful time and when I asked one young boy (10 years) what was the best part of the holiday, he replied: ‘the best is yet to come’ and when I asked him to explain he told me that on the first day back at school you are always asked to write (or tell) about the holiday you have been on - he told me he had never had a holiday and never had anything to say - but he was looking forward to this question because he now had a holiday to speak about.

  • Two families were able to go on holiday to one of the seven SVP holiday camps in the country.
  • Vouchers and train tickets were given to some families in the Parish who did not have the finance to give their children a day outing (Lightwater Valley, Diggerland and the Cinema)
  • A young man in a bedsit with no family contact was not looking after himself at all and facing an uncertain future. With your donations we were able to provide some clothes, food, basic furniture for his room and a weekly metro ticket to enable him to go to his benefit and medical appointments and to the St. Vincent Support Centre where he received help with filling application forms in and advice on debt. He is now in a much healthier and happier place.
  • There are a number of single parent families too who have received essentials - we have provided five cookers and four washing machines and vouchers for decorating materials since I last wrote to you. We have kept in touch and continue to support as best we can.

These are just a few examples of the help we have been able to give and none of the above would be possible without your kind support.

In parishes all over the country the SVP does great work, essential work, Christ’s work - and so it is here in this parish. The only thing is: there aren’t enough members here to meet all the need. We are most fortunate that all our three churches have a conference but many of the members will soon be retiring and we need to prepare for this. I would ask you to please consider joining our small and friendly conferences - you would be made most welcome and training would be given. We always work in pairs and you would not be asked to do anything you were uncomfortable with. If you are thinking about becoming a member or a friend of the Society then the names and contact numbers are in the directory in this bulletin or you can drop a note and leave it in the parish office or call the office. Initially, we could just have an informal chat for you to find out more and see if it is something you would like to do.

In December, Pope Francis has announced a Holy Year of Mercy, during which Christians worldwide are committing to meet people’s ‘real needs’ with concrete assistance, to experience a ‘true pilgrimage’ on foot and to send ‘missionaries of mercy’ throughout the world.

Thank you and God Bless

St. Vincent de Paul Society: Blessed John Henry Newman Parish.
"Yours must be a work of love; you must give your time,
your talents, yourselves"

Blessed Frederic Ozanam, SVP Founder

Published Tue 10th Nov 2015 18:15:14
Last Modified on Tue 10th Nov 2015 19:40:08

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