The charism that distinguishes the St. Vincent de Paul Society (“SVdeP”) from other social service agencies is our insistence upon visiting people in need in their own homes, where they have chosen to invite us. Usually their need is for help to pay a delinquent rent or utility bill, and that’s where you partner with SVdeP, donating the alms we use to help them. In the course of a year, we identify people who are particularly vulnerable – usually a working single parent with children or grandchildren in their care. Around the first Sunday of Advent, right after Thanksgiving, St. Ben’s traditionally places the “Dove Tree” in the rear of the Cathedral with dove-shaped cut-outs hanging from the boughs on which are written a need identified to SVdeP by poor folks we have visited. St. Ben’s parishioners – all of us – are invited to choose one or more of the Doves from the Dove Tree, purchase the item(s), gift wrap them, then return and place the gifts under the Dove Tree with the Dove attached to the wrapped item(s) identifying the contents. So we are all together in our care of the poor at St. Ben’s. Thank you. God bless you.
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