2005 Annual Appeal for SVDP Society
It has been a busy few months while the St. Vincent de Paul Junior Vincentians have come a reality.
A group of 19 children have answered the call to become the first Junior Vincentians in a pilot program that has been sponsored by the parish of St. Ambrose in Buffalo. The concept was introduced to address a need in the Vincentian community in the United States to introduce younger people to champion the poor, ill and homebound.
The idea of children becoming members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, while foreign in this country, has taken hold and is visible in Australia are known as the Minnie Vinnies Conversations with the Youth School Ministries Coordinator of Townsville, Queensland Australia, Fran Byrne, and a local Vincentian from Buffalo became the inspiration for the birth of the Junior Vincentians in Buffalo. The Junior Vincentians, however, differ from the Minnie Vinnies in that the primary of the Junior Vincentian deals with the needs of children who are ill or in need.
The first meeting of the Junior Vincentians took place on November 8 at St. Ambrose rectory. After introductions, the group heard stories about the life of St. Vincent de Paul. The children were particularly fascinated to hear the St. Vincent was captured by Turkish Pirates, became a slave, converted his master, and then escaped with his master back to his home country of France.
The next order of business was to talk about the mission of the Junior St. Vincent de Paul Society. Their mission is service work for the benefit of children who are ill or in need.
Each child was given an envelope with the first name of a terminally ill child, age and illness written on the front of an envelope. Inside each envelope were three band aids. They sat in a circle and in turn the children were asked to read what was written on the envelopes. After the information was read, a child wrote the name on the band aid and placed a band aid on the readersí wrist. The other two band aids were left to give to a friend or family member to wear. The band aid became a reminder to pray for the ill child.
The pace of the new Junior Vincentian program has not slowed down between meetings. A donation was made to the Junior Vincentian, and along with the St. Ambrose Scout Troops, twelve Thanksgiving meals for families in need were provided. There were also several Junior Vincentians who helped sort, count and load food items with the Social Action Committee of St. Ambrose Parish. These food items were donated for the benefit of the people who visit the South Buffalo and St. Bridget Pantries. All food items were donated by parishioners of St. Ambrose during the weekend Masses.
On Thursday, February 23, at 1:30 p.m., these new Vincentians were introduced to the community during a school Mass at St. Ambrose Church, 65 Ridgewood, Buffalo.
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