Melbourne News

Vincentians remembered and honoured

Wednesday 15 November 2017

Julie Fewster, St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria

On Tuesday 14 November 2017 nearly three hundred people gathered for the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Annual Thanksgiving Mass for the Deceased where faithful Vincentian people of service and love were remembered and honoured.

Celebrated by Fr Joe Caddy Episcopal Vicar for Social Services, this beautiful Mass began with a lovely Procession of Light where a candle was lit for each of the 125 members and volunteers who have died since last November and the 108 generous donors this year who have made a lasting legacy in their Will.
 
 Photo: St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria
 
‘We remember not only those Vincentians and donors who died but all those countless people in need who were helped by their loving service,’ Fr Joe Caddy said, ‘and they too would be giving thanks tonight.’ 

Each year the names of the Society’s deceased Vincentians are hand written in the St Vincent de Paul Society Book of the Deceased and read out by the President of the host Central Council – this year Wendy Buchanan, Western Central Council.

As each name was spoken aloud in the hushed church, someone whispered ‘They are all famous people.’ Famous indeed to the Society and to the family members and conference representatives who carried a lighted candle to the altar in a beautiful and moving procession of honour.

Photo: St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria 
 
Every November for over 30 years Vincentians have been remembered in this Mass at the site of the Society’s first conference, St Francis Church in Melbourne in 1854.
 
‘Everyone knew why they were here and it was a deeply moving coming together of a community of faith, honouring lives of commitment to others,’ said CEO Sue Cattermole. 

With no government funding the Victorian Society’s 12,000 unheralded members and volunteers last year responded to more than100,000 calls for help and provided $20 million dollars of aid and nearly 200 thousand meals from six soup vans.
 
 Photo: St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria 
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