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The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Toronto Central Council

Contact Information:
240 Church Street
M5B 1Z2
(416) 364-5577
Seminarian/lay person Robert Greenaway


Known As:

Mission Statement:
Mission Statement The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a lay Catholic organization whose mission is to live the Gospel message by serving Christ through our neighbours in need with love, respect, justice and joy. Members of the Society are committed to turning concern into action. Toronto Central Council provides the leadership, coordination, and support required by our Vincentian volunteers and our staff to succeed in that mission. The Mission of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul implies that as Vincentians we see Christ in anyone who suffers come together as a family have personal contact with the poor help in all possible ways. Historical Information The year was 1833, when a young student, Frederic Ozanam and a group of his peers from the Sorbonne University in Paris were challenged to prove their faith in Christ through actions and not just words. A Grass Roots Organization The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul was formed when they took up this challenge and began to work with the desperately poor in Paris.Developing a simple system, they went in teams to help the poor in their homes, in the streets, in the hospitals and the asylums. Adopting as their patron Saint Vincent de Paul, a 16th century cleric renowned for his work with the poor, the Society arose from humble beginnings to become an international organization found in 130 countries with one million members. Our story in Canada begins with Dr. Joseph Painchaud and the first Canadian Conference in 1846 in Quebec. In 1850, George Manly Muir founded the first Ontario Conference at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto. Continuing the tradition of visitation of the needy in their homes, Vincentians organize themselves into parish based units called Conferences to serve those in need through person-to-person contact. Emergency assistance is given by way of food, clothing and furniture; giving those in need access to basic necessities. Friendship, guidance and advocacy are also offered to enable individuals and families assistance through community programs and parish involvement. As well, from the beginning the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul has operated Special Works which in a spirit of social justice seek to offer a helping hand up to those seeking assistance. These include supportive residential programs, children’s camps, community clothing stores and court services. Toronto Central Council The first Toronto Conference started in 1851 at St. Michael’s Cathedral, under the leadership of George Manly Muir, a circuit court judge. There are 110 active Conferences through out Toronto Central Council Over 1,200 Vincentians are actively working in these Conferences Over 65,000 visits are done to neighbours in need each year by Vincentians 250 people have a place to call home in a residential program operated by Toronto Central Council Over 1,600 girls and boys attend Marygrove Camp and Camp Ozanam free of charge each year 350 inmates are visited each month by Court Services

Advocacy and Promotion - Social Justice
Outreach - Poor / Homeless
Prayer and Spirituality - Charismatic