The Voice

of the Conferences and Council, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Diocese of Columbus, Ohio


Four Annual Events of Columbus Diocese SVDP

Vincentian Links

This is the page for announcing, reporting about, as well as registering for the four annual council events.

The four events are
  • Top Hat Award Dinner, April 23, 2017.
  • Day of Recollection, August 21, 2016
  • Friends of the Poor Walk , September 24, 2016
  • Bishop's Appreciation Mass, December 5, 2016

The Top Hat award is given annually to a Vincentian in our Diocese who has provided outstanding service in our ministry to grow spiritually by seeking out and serving the poor and needy. The "Top Hat" title is used to emphasize that our founder, Frederic Ozanam, did not allow his social class, in which men wore top hats, to blind him to the needs of the poor in early nineteenth century France.

Report on 2017 Top Hat Award Ceremony and dinner

On Saturday April 23 sixty five Vincentians from seventeen conferences gathered at St. Charles for a 4:30 PM Mass followed by a dinner in St. Charles’ Cavello Hall to recognize the 2017 Top Hat honorees. The celebrant for the Mass was Fr. Charles Klinger, Diocesan Council Spiritual Advisor. The distinguished individual Vincentian honored with the Top Hat award, which is actually a nineteenth century top hat, was Walt Ohm of the St. Anthony conference. The outstanding Vincentian group presented with a plaque was the “SOUP group” from the Kenton Immaculate Conception conference.

Walt Ohm is one of those long serving Vincentians who has served in just about every Vincentian ministry in his conference. A special contribution of Walt has been applying for and receiving grants from the Catholic Foundation for providing rent assistance. You can read Walt’s Top Hat nomination for Walt Ohm. You can read the SOUP group’s nomination . The SOUP group supplies cleaning and hygiene products; not soup! In Kenton, several churches cooperate to provide a free “soup lunch” during the last week of each month. At these soup lunches a group of Vincentians from the Immaculate Conception conference distribute free cleaning and hygiene products which they have bought in bulk quantities and carefully poured into smaller containers.

April 24 was the Second Sunday of Easter and also Divine Mercy Sunday. Fr. Klinger’s homily focused on Divine Mercy. He modified the saying “You cannot give what you do not have” to reflect on “You can give what you have.” The modification led to the lesson that we can give mercy indefinitely because God gives us mercy without limits.

Keith McCormish from Faith Mission was the after dinner speaker. Keith spoke on his participation in Mt. Carmel’s Community Friendship Program. Keith began by reminding his audience that frequently when homeless individuals and families find housing they become separated from the only community they still had: those who were sharing homelessness with them. The Community Friendship Program bridges the gap from the communities of the homeless to new communities by inviting members of these communities to share a meal and an evening gathering to foster growth of friendships of like minded people.

The program’s website tells us
“The Friends Program gives newly housed people who’ve recently experienced homelessness an opportunity to share, connect and build relationships with others in the community while developing a healthy and beneficial social support system. The program meets monthly so participants can see each other regularly, establish genuine friendships, and ease the transition into independent living. Each meeting includes a meal and an activity, which has ranged from a cooking class and holiday caroling to board game night and Franklinton National Night Out. Meetings are held each fourth Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Mount Carmel West's Healthy Living Center. Visit Community Friendship Program.

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Report on 2016 Bishop’s Appreciation Mass for Vincentian Volunteers

On Monday, December 5, at least a hundred Vincentians gathered at St. Joseph’s Cathedral for a 5:30PM Mass celebrated by Bishop Campbell. This Mass is an annual event, usually celebrated on Monday of the second week of Advent, at which the bishop expresses appreciation for all the works of mercy done by Vincentians in the past year.

Bishop Campbell based his two-point homily on the readings for Monday of the Second Week of Advent. The first point was that the Isaiah reading reminds us of how intensely our Jewish predecessors longed for a salvation in which all would be as it ought to be in a peaceful natural realm. The second point was taken from the passage in Luke’s Gospel in which Jesus first forgives a cripple’s sins and then cures him physically by telling him to take up his mat and go home. The second point was that in the process of re-making all things as they ought to be the forgiveness of sins in the spiritual realm must precede the perfecting of the natural realm. In the Paschal Mystery Jesus created the possibility for forgiveness of all sins. In our intense longing for a salvation at the end of time, we should not forget that the actual forgiveness of our sin is needed for that ideal peaceful natural realm. We should remember that Jesus operates now to actually provide that forgiveness which he made possible.

There has been a long tradition of the Cathedral St. Vincent de Paul conference providing a buffet supper in the Cathedral undercroft. The tradition was followed this year with a delicious supper and wide array of deserts. During the dinner, Pat Summers was awarded in icon plaque for her thirty years of highly competent and diligent service as secretary for the diocesan council office of the Society of St. Vincent dePaul in the diocese of Columbus.

As is his custom, during the dinner, Bishop Campbell circulated through the dinning area personally expressing appreciation to Vincentians for their signficant services to the poor and needy.

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Report on 2016 Vincentian Day of Recollection

Our annual Day of Recollection was Sunday, August 21, 2016 from 9 am to 3 pm at the Martin de Porres Center on the campus of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. From 9-10 coffee,juice and rolls were available along with opportunities for Vincentian friendship. There were 63 Vincentians, representing 22 conferences. A club sandwich box lunch from 11:30-12:30 separated the morning from afternoon sessions.

Mass at 2PM in Motherhouse chapel concluded the Day of Recollection. Fr. Charlie Klinger, Diocesan Council spiritual advisor was the celebrant. Fr. Klinger’s homily addressed the theme of the gospel passage (Lk 13, 22-30) of 2016 Twenty First Sunday of Ordinary time. The theme concerned the difficulty of getting into heaven. Fr. Klinger observed that this passage is a healthy reminder to those who think that if they enjoy a single experience of being saved, they can conduct the rest of their life without worrying about keeping God's law. He cautioned, though, that we should not fall into a type of Jansenist heresy of fearing that only a very few who scruplously fulfilled all details all laws would be saved. He suggested that the practice of Vincentians of struggling to the end of their life to serve others in accordance with moral laws would receive God's grace to get through the "narrow gate."

The facilitator was Jack Murphy, National Goal 4 Leader for Diversity, Systemic Change and Advocacy, on the topic of "Fight Poverty - Vote". Since the Vincentians present were familiar with the Voice of the Poor Committee of the society, the day was properly one of reflection rather than eduction. Mr Murphy guided those present to reflect on how they were incorporating the non-partisan polictical programs and policies of the Voice of the Poor Committee in their conferences and in development of their vincentian spirituality. An interesting example he gave of accomplishing this was to bring voter registration cards on home visits.

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Circleville Walk

The St. Joseph Circleville Friends of the Poor walk was held at Mary Virginia Crites Hannan park (MVCH). At least $2609.50 has been taken in. It will help us help the poor in Pickaway County. Mary Kay Wood and her committee for the Walk did a great job. The weather was great. Praise and thanks to St. Vincent de Paul!

by Pat Meves

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