Bishop Ricken

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The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.

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SVDP Society: Thanksgiving in Action

By | November 10, 2010

The saint for whom this society is named is St. Vincent de Paul, whose hallmarks of ministry were the care for the poor and education of seminarians. This is a very interesting feature of his living out of the Gospel and of his priesthood. He obviously saw a great linkage between the outreach to the poor and the priesthood. The founder of the St. Vincent de Paul Society was Blessed Frederic Ozanam, who used the inspiration of St. Vincent de Paul to create the society of mostly lay volunteers to care for those in most need around them.

The mission statement of the St. Vincent de Paul Society reads, “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 Frederic Ozanam, and patron, St. Vincent de Paul.”

The society is organized locally around a diocesan council, district councils and conferences in parishes. In this diocese we have 54 parish conferences with 630 active Vincentians, 457 associate members who give in-kind goods and services in food, furniture, clothing and other supplies and make visits to the sick in hospitals the homebound, elder care, prison visitations and other charitable works.

The Diocese of Green Bay has a very strong presence of the St. Vincent de Paul chapters, and they continue to grow as the needs in our communities are affected by the downturn in the economy and the loss of jobs here in our area.

This society is a community of service organized around Gospel ideals and church outreach that is a shining example of the living out of Gospel values without calling attention to themselves. I would call this wonderful group — and other groups in our diocese — those who live out Thanksgiving in Action.

I hope that you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving and thank you for all you do to make the church, this country and our world a much better place to live.

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