The Voice

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

Four Annual Events of Columbus Diocese SVDP

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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, 2016.
  • 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 2016 Top Hat Award Ceremony and dinner

Fr. Charlie Klinger, Diocesan Council spiritual advisor, began the 2016 Top Hat Ceremony with 4:30 pm Mass in the St. Charles High School chapel. Fr. Klinger's homily was on Jesus' command to love one another as He has loved them from the Gospel for the Fifth Sunday of Easter. Fr. Klinger pointed out that Jesus loved us by self-sacrifice for our good. He provided several examples of how people had in fact followed Jesus' commandment by sacrificing themselves for the good of other human beings.

Dinner followed in St. Charles’ Cavello Hall. One hundred nine Vincentians from twenty-four conferences attended. Frank Schmidt, from Our Lady of Perpetual Help, was awarded the 2016 Top Hat. Patti Aellig, from St. Cecilia, was a Top Hat Honoree. The inspiring nominations for these two Top Hat Honorees are available below. In his acceptance remarks Frank pointed out that during his many years as a Vincentian he has learned that a necessary condition for mentoring an individual or a family out of a system of generational poverty is to encounter them as individuals in the way in which we encounter our close friends and family members as individuals.

Download 2016 nominations of Top Hat Honorees

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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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