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Our Story

Who We Are




Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, and patron, St. Vincent de Paul.


As a reflection of the whole family of God, members, who are known as Vincentians, are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level. Vincentians are united in an international society of charity by their spirit of poverty, humility and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings and adherence to a basic Rule.


Organized locally, Vincentians witness God's love by embracing all works of charity and justice. The Society collaborates with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction in those served because, in them, Vincentians see the face of Christ.


The International Society of St. Vincent de Paul was founded in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam, a 20-year-old law student at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France. Challenged to “practice what they preach,” Frederic and a group of fellow students sought out the poor in Paris and initially brought them firewood to keep warm and subsequently bread, clothing and most importantly, friendship. This small group was guided by Sister Rosalie Rendu, a Daughter of Charity.  The Society took as its Patron and model St. Vincent de Paul, a 17th Century French priest known as the “Apostle of Charity.”

Similar groups began forming across France and eventually throughout the world, including the United States.  The first conference in the United States was founded in 1845 in St. Louis, Missouri, where the National Council is located today.

Here in the Sacramento Diocese, the first St. Vincent de Paul District Council was incorporated in 1955.


"A network of friends, inspired by Gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with and service to people in need."

In the spirit of love and justice, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Sacramento Council, through its districts and conferences throughout the Diocese of Sacramento, provides person-to-person services of time, talent and resources to help our neighbors in need.

There are families and individuals throughout Northern California who right now are in crisis and in desperate need of our love and support. They may lack in education, they may struggle with literacy. They may have physical and mental disabilities, they may have prison records. The common thread, though, is they are all human beings. Their stories could be anyone’s stories, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is here to listen and respond to their needs.

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