Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Council Executive Director Jose Rossier announces his retirement


Executive Director Jose Rossier, who oversaw the Society's largest growth period in this Council's history, has announced his retirement, effective January 1, 2010.

Saying that his 30-year, early morning and late night commute to Los Angeles was now taking its toll on him, Rossier made his announcement at the Council's recent board meeting.

"I've been surrounded by wonderful board members and employees who have helped push the Council to the outreach we're able to provide today," he said. "I will miss it here. However, the time has come for me to spend more time with my wife and family. I feel I have done all that the Lord has asked of me here."

During his time with the L.A. Council, the Society's main office, shelter programs, camp services, thrift store operation and volunteerism expanded and improved to better serve the people in the counties of L.A., Ventura and Santa Barbara.

Today, the L.A. Council has the following:

* A two-story Cardinal Manning Center (shelter) in Skid Row for children, women and men;
* An emergency winter shelter in West Ventura County that the Council manages each year;
* A new large office and boardroom with the latest technology to meet the ever-growing needs in the Council's region;
* A Circle V Ranch Camp where 16 beautiful cabins with air conditioning and heat have replaced tents that were once THE sleeping quarters for all children. The cabins have also allowed the camp to host retreats throughout the year;
* Nearly a 100% increase in Conferences (groups of 'Vincentian' volunteers) that help improve the lives of the needy. Today, the Council has 105 Conferences;
* Three thrift stores in L.A., Long Beach and Oxnard, which help support the Council's outreach programs.

The board, employees and Vincentians of the Council thank Jose Rossier for his many years of service to the L.A. Council and the thousands of lives that were touched during his stay.

Enjoy a healthy and happy retirement, Jose!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A prayer during difficult times


During a time when so many families and individuals are struggling financially, here is a prayer:

A Prayer in Time of Debt

ALMIGHTY, everlasting God, we beg of You to help us soon to pay off our debts to our fellowmen. Give us strength and courage to persevere until the last penny is paid. Give patience to those to whom we are in debt, and let them not treat us unjustly. Help us have great confidence in You and in the workings of Your providence, trusting that You will always direct things to our greatest good.

Make us also fully realize that no debt to our fellowmen can begin to equal the debt that we owe You on account of our sins, to say nothing of the immense debt we owe You for the gifts of Your divine grace. These we could never pay at all but for the coming of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. To Him be all honor and thanksgiving, now and forever. Amen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Remembering & Observing: Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul




"My friend,
you belong to God.
Let this reality
color your entire life."
~ St. Vincent de Paul


Yesterday, September 27, was the Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul, our patron.

Several highlights...

* Our Lady of the Rosary of Talpa Parish in Boyle Heights, staffed by members of the Mexican Province of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian priests), whose school is staffed by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul as well as members of the Vincentian Service Corps, and is home to two Conferences of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (one a “traditional, adult” and the other a young adult) celebrated St. Vincent’s Feast Day - in Spanish - at the Noon Mass.

* St. Vincent de Paul Parish near USC, which is ministered to by members of the Western Province of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian priests and brothers) and home to a St. Vincent de Paul Conference, also celebrated our patron saint at Noon Mass, with Fr. Jeff Harvey, CM, as the main celebrant. The Daughters of Charity (Vincentian sisters) oversee its school.

* The Council's Our Mother of Good Counsel and Ascension Conferences of Our Lady of the Angels District were both led in a recommitment ceremony to serve the poor. Each Conference consists of 'Vincentian' volunteers from all walks of life. The call for this ceremony was made by the OLA District President Claire Padama to her Conferences.

This year, St. Vincent’s Feast Day coincided with Australia’s “Social Justice Sunday.” The Australian Bishops Conference has issued a social justice statement entitled “And You Will Be My Witnesses: Young People and Justice.” A copy of this statement is available both through the famvin webpage at http://famvin.org/en/archive/feast-of-vincent-and-australian-social-justice-sunday

Included in this blog are some photos you may find very interesting!



Photos (l-r, clockwise from top): A statue of St. Vincent de Paul; Church of where St. Vincent de Paul was the pastor in Chatillon-Sur-Charlarone (near Lyon); and the rectory where St. Vincent lived (top floor, left window) when he was the pastor of the parish in Chatillon-Sur-Charlarone.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Low prices on Halloween costumes and decorations at SVdP Thrift Stores!


With Fall now here and October 31 just around the corner, where can you purchase your Halloween costumes and decorations at a fraction of the retail price? At the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oxnard......that's where!

A variety of costumes for children and adults, alike, are available, as are numerous decorations to help get you and your family in the spirit for this special day of the year. The best news? In this challenging economy, you can purchase these items at LOW everyday prices. And your patronage helps improve the quality of life for local children, women and men through various outreach programs.

Hurry, though. These items won't last long!

For directions to the St. Vincent de Paul store nearest you, please click on one of the thrift store links on the right side of this blog.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

An event that keeps on giving back











The 710 ESPN 'Lunch with a Legend' event, was held yesterday at Morton's the Steakhouse in Santa Ana. Former Super Bowl winner and USC legend Keyshawn Johnson was the guest of honor.

Due to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul's local outreach in helping children, women and men, 710 ESPN is supporting the Council of Los Angeles' radio ad campaign by giving the non-profit organization 100% of the raffle proceeds from each lunch event, as well as a table to help network with local leaders, businesses and the general public. This event is a bonus for the Society: one that keeps giving back to help those in need.

Items raffled included framed autograph football photos of USC coach Pete Carroll, former USC QB Mark Sanchez, now with the New York Jets, and one consisting of USC legends.

With this month's lunch being held in Orange County, two representatives from the Society's Orange County Council joined the L.A. Council: Andy Saavedra, president, and Terry Notko, executive director.

Photos (l-r): Former Super Bowl champion and USC legend Keyshawn Johnson is interviewed live by 710 ESPN host Andrew Siciliano; The Society's Orange County President Andy Saavedra and Executive Director Terry Notko.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Join St. Vincent de Paul's AIDS Walk L.A. Team



Dear Young Vincentians & Friends:

AIDS Walk Los Angeles is scheduled for Sunday, October 18. Join other young Vincentians from across the Archdiocese to show your solidarity with those battling AIDS and HIV. To sign up for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul AIDS Walk Team, please go to: https://www.kintera.org/faf/teams/registerTeam.asp?ievent=315927&lis=1&kntae315927=05077DFCB10E4626A51EFFEE163863CE&teamAction=join;

To set up your own AIDS web page, follow the instructions below:

* Click on "Join a Team;
* Log on to the “Please select a Team” menu;
* Scroll down to “Society of St. Vincent de Paul – 3283” and click (after you choose this team, right-click to ensure that your option doesn’t accidentally change);
* Click on the “Continue” button, fill out the form and create your own fundraising web page;
* Click the “Continue” button again, where you’ll find a confirmation page to read;
* Hit the “Continue” button a final time to view your new, personal AIDS Walk web page;
* Copy the web page link to share with friends and family who may wish to donate to you through the web.

For more information or questions, please don't hesitate to e-mail me at sanman@svdpla.org or call 323/226-1757.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Yours in St. Vincent de Paul,

Manuel A. Sánchez
Youth/Young Adult Conference Coordinator
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Serving the poor is first and foremost for Vincentians


To recognize the call to strengthen their commitment to the poor, 'Vincentian' volunteers from the Council's Holy Name of Jesus Conference in Los Angeles recently were led in a re-dedication pledge on the feast day of Blessed Frederic Ozanam, founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Father Paul Spellman of Holy Name of Jesus led the re-dedication pledge, as students and staff of Holy Name school looked on. The children were invited to attend to help increase student awareness of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and its outreach. Mark Stelly, a local 'Vincentian,' presented a brief history about the Society's impact around the world.

In his Homily, Father Spellman illustrated a Vincentian's concern for the poor by saying, “Whatever you do for the least of my brethren, you do unto me.”(Matthew 25). Father Spellman’s interactive illustration of charitable works solicited ideas and suggestions from more than 20 students (K-8) on how they could practice the promotion of spirituality, friendship and compassionate service to those in need.

The call to Vincentians to rededicate their commitment to serving the poor was made by Our Lady of the Angels District President Claire Padama to her Conferences, made up of Vincentians from every walk of life.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Council's ad schedule for week of September 21...


The Council's month-long 30-second ad on KCBS-TV 2, which encourages the public to shop at - and donate to - the Society's large thrift store at 210 N. Avenue 21 in L.A., continues this week.

The ad has been seen during various programs: The Early Show, As the World Turns, the Rachael Ray show and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, among others.

Scheduled air times/days for this week include the following:

* 5:28 a.m., TODAY
* 12:50 a.m., Tuesday
* 5:14 a.m. Tuesday
* 5:14 a.m., Wednesday
* 3:38 p.m., Thursday
* 10:28 a.m., Saturday
* 4:46 p.m., Saturday
* 4:33 p.m., Sunday


For those of you who don't reside in Southern California, you can view the spot by clicking on the NEW TV Spot link on the right side of this blog.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Time is short; Register today for special event & help Cardinal Manning Center



You only have a few days left to make your reservation to hear and meet former Super Bowl champion and USC great Keyshawn Johnson.

Johnson will be spotlighted at the next ESPN 'Lunch with a Legend' on Wednesday, September 23 at Morton's the Steakhouse, South Coast Plaza Village, 1641 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92704.

Sports memorabilia also will be up for raffle, with ALL proceeds benefiting the Council's Cardinal Manning Center (shelter) in Los Angeles' Skid Row.

Following a tremendous career at USC, Johnson was drafted by the New York Jets with their top overall selection in the 1996 NFL Draft. He was the first wide receiver selected with the number one overall pick since Irving Fryar in 1984 (New England). In 2002, Johnson won a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

For more information, please click on the Lunch with a Legend link, featuring Keyshawn Johnson, on the right side of this blog.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Financial gifts sought for Layette Project


In celebration of St. Vincent de Paul's Feast Day on Sunday, September 27, Vincentian volunteers from the Council's Our Lady of the Angels District will participate in a special Layette Project at California Hospital Medical Center in L.A. on Friday, September 25.

Blankets, diapers, diaper bags, bottles, strollers and more will be distributed to 50 new mothers. In addition, the first two babies born on September 25 will receive new cribs!

Tax-deductible financial donations are appreciated to help offset the cost of these new baby items. Please earmark your check '2009 OLA Layette Project,' and mail it to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of L.A., 210 N. Avenue 21, L.A., CA 90031. The deadline for donations is September 23.

Information: 323-224-6298.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TV ad helps promote Council's large store & outreach



During the month of September, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles is airing a special 30-second ad on KCBS-TV 2, encouraging the public to shop at - and donate to - the Council's thrift store at 210 N. Avenue 21 in L.A. (down the hill from Dodger Stadium).

The spot, called Leading the Way in L.A. County, draws attention to the low prices on everyday items at the Society's large store and how the revenue helps support its local outreach programs.

The ad has been seen during numerous programs: The Early Show, As the World Turns, the Rachael Ray show and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, among others.

Scheduled air times/days for the remainder of the week include the following:

* 6:37 a.m., Thursday
* 5:51 a.m., Friday
* 4:46 p.m., Saturday
* 5:11 p.m., Saturday
* 4:15 p.m., Sunday

For those of you who don't reside in Southern California, you can view the spot by clicking on the NEW TV Spot link on the right side of this blog.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Save the Date: Vincentian Family Day, November 14


You are invited to the 22nd Annual Southern California VINCENTIAN FAMILY DAY, scheduled for Saturday, November 14, 2009 at the De Paul Evangelization Center, 1105 S. Bluff Rd., Montebello.

Come celebrate with us – the Vincentian Family – including the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity, the Ladies of Charity, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, the Vincentian Service Corps, the Vincentian Marian Youth, Vincentian parishioners, partners, associates … and be inspired and empowered for our service with the Poor.

The schedule for that day is as follows:

* 9-9:30 am Registration

* 9:30–10:30 am Eucharistic Liturgy

* 10:30–11 am Coffee Break

* 11 am – 1 pm Keynote Presentation: Allison Boisvert, MSW
"From Hope to Reality: Systemic Change & the End of Generational Poverty"

* 1–2 pm Lunch

* 2-2:15 pm Raffle

* 2:15–2:30 pm Sending Forth Prayer Celebration

The general public is invited to attend this event. The cost, which includes lunch, is just $15 per person. To register, please call 323-721-6060.

NOTE: The keynote speaker, Ms Boisvert, is the Social Justice Minister for the Pax Christi Catholic Community in northern Michigan, and was a key-note speaker at the 2009 National Vincentian Family Gathering

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lunch with a Legend - Super Bowl champion Keyshawn Johnson





Come hear and meet former Super Bowl champion and USC great Keyshawn Johnson at the next ESPN 'Lunch with a Legend' on Wednesday, September 23 at Morton's the Steakhouse, South Coast Plaza Village, 1641 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92704.

Sports memorabilia also will be up for raffle, with ALL proceeds benefiting the Council's Cardinal Manning Center (shelter) in Los Angeles' Skid Row.

Following a tremendous career at USC, Johnson was drafted by the New York Jets with their top overall selection in the 1996 NFL Draft. He was the first wide receiver selected with the number one overall pick since Irving Fryar in 1984 (New England). In 2002, Johnson won a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

For more information, please click on the Lunch with a Legend link, featuring Keyshawn Johnson, on the right side of this blog.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ventura County Business Owners: Donate your usable discards to SVdP!


Dear Ventura County Business Owners:

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has a thrift store in Oxnard in which to help improve the quality of life for the poor in this region.

However, we can NOT do this without usable donations of clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics and more – especially during this difficult economy. Instead of discarding your items, PLEASE donate them to St. Vincent de Paul. All donations are tax-deductible and benefit local residents.

Your support of St. Vincent de Paul helps the local economy! To arrange a FREE pick-up of your donation, or for more information, please don’t hesitate to call 805-487-1500. We have a truck ready to pick up your discards!

Our store address is 1258 Saviers Rd., Oxnard, CA 93033. It is open seven days a week.

May God bless you,


Angela Smith
Manager
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, Oxnard

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Questions to ponder in these difficult times


In these difficult times, consider the following:

1) Have you ever met a man who planned to live (or retire) on Skid Row?

2) Could you imagine your wife and children living in a shelter on Skid Row?

3) Have you ever been turned down from a job because you didn't have a home address?


Unfortunately, there are many children, women and men who find themselves in this position today! The Society's Cardinal Manning Center - a shelter in Los Angeles' Skid Row - is at capacity every night; individuals trying to figure out how they can rebound and get back to life as they once knew it.

Your tax-deductible gift of just $50 will help give one homeless child, women or man a second chance at life.

To help, please earmark your check '2009 CMC Homeless' and mail it to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of L.A., 210 N. Avenue 21, L.A., CA 90031.

For more information, call 213-229-9970.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Society celebrates Founder's Feast Day today


"The question which divides men in our time is no longer a question of political systems. It is a social question: that is of knowing which will prevail: the spirit of selfishness or the spirit of sacrifice? Whether society is to be simply a great opportunity of exploitation for the benefit of the strongest or a dedication of everyone for the benefit of all and especially for the protection of the weak...."

~ Blessed Frédéric Ozanam



Dear Young Vincentians and Friends:

Today, we celebrate the Feast of Blessed Frédéric Ozanam, the founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Coincidentally, his mentor (Vincentian) Sister Rosalie Rendu, DC, was born on this day in 1786 (see the Vincentian Family Website at http://www.facebook.com/l/;famvin.org/en/archive/resources-for-the-feast-of-bl-frederic-ozanam for a wealth of information and resources).

An article on our founder was published a few years ago by the Western Catholic Report ("Canada's Largest Religious Weekly"), which can be found at http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.wcr.ab.ca/columns/tedfitzgerald/2005/fitzgerald082905.shtml.

A short, one-page reflection, composed and compiled by Vincentian Sister Kieran Kneaves, DC, of the Society's National Office, and taken from her "Vincentian Reflections: Seek refuge in the name of the Lord" can be found at http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.svdpusa.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=lpk5D2RENs0%3d&tabid=56&mid=410&language=en-US.

To listen to a short bio of Frédéric by the Franciscan community, (offered by FrancscanRadio) go to http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.americancatholic.org/Features/SaintofDay/#Audio .

Yours in St. Vincent & Blessed Frédéric,

Manuel A. Sánchez
Youth/Young Adult Conference Coordinator
Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Donations are low. Please call us today!


Usable donations to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles are down!

The Council's three stores in L.A., Long Beach and Oxnard are low in items, thus making it difficult to keep its floors stocked with clothes, furniture, appliances, electronics and more.

YOUR generous support of these usable donations will help the Society provide excellent bargains for shoppers and items for the Council's free distribution program, which is handled by our dedicated Vincentian volunteers in more than 100 Conferences in the counties of L.A., Ventura and Santa Barbara. The number of families and individuals our Vincentians visit on a daily basis is growing, as these difficult times have more than doubled the number of people in need across the three counties we serve.

Please look through your closets, garage or storage shed and donate any unwanted or unneeded usable items to St. Vincent de Paul by calling 323-224-6280 or 800-974-3571. The Society will pick-up your donations for FREE.

YOUR donations will help improve the quality of life for disadvantaged children, women and men in YOUR community. Act now and avoid the spring cleaning rush!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

Check Out ClipartJungle.com for free clipart!

Have a very relaxing and enjoyable Labor Day!

Please remember that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Labor Day weekend sale continues through today at its Oxnard, Los Angeles and Long Beach thrift stores. During this economic downturn, saving BIG on everyday items is a shopper's dream!

For store directions, please click on the Oxnard, L.A. and Long Beach store photos on the right side of this blog.

Also, don't forget...

Cardinal Roger Mahony will hold a special Labor Day Mass today at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 West Temple, L.A.

Join workers who struggle for a living wage, better working conditions, justice and dignity for all. Cardinal Mahony will be the principal celebrant.

Sponsors: Office of Justice and Peace and Commission, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, SEIU, L A Cty Fed of Labor, SEIU-ULTCW, CASA NICARAGUA, SEIU-USWW, Midvalley YELLOW CAB, CLEAN Carwash Campaign, SEIU Local 99, SEIU-Workers United,CHIRLA, SEIU-UHWW, Teamsters Local 396, SEIU Local 721, UNITE HERE Local 11, Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, Casa Nicaragua, Dolores Mission Choir, CLUE LA and LIUNA So Cal District Council

For more information, please call Sr. Gail Young, S.S.S., at the Office of Justice and Peace (213) 637-7690.

Friday, September 4, 2009

HUGE Labor Day Weekend $ale at all three Council THRIFT STORES












In this challenging economy, here is YOUR chance to take advantage of a GIANT LABOR DAY weekend sale at all three Society thrift stores in Oxnard, Los Angeles and Long Beach!

Shoppers will find tremendous savings on the following items at each store:

* Oxnard Thrift Store (1258 Saviers Rd., 93033): On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, all store items will be marked down 50% (excludes purple tag items, new dressers and mattress sets).

* Los Angeles Thrift Store (210 N. Avenue 21., 90031): On Sunday and Monday, selected furniture will be discounted 30%-50% (excludes mattress sets).

* Long Beach Thrift Store (2750 Pacific Coast Hwy., 90804): On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, selected furniture will be 15% off (excludes mattress sets).

Take advantage of this opportunity to save big on everyday items you need most, as these sale items are on top of the Society's already everyday low prices.

Not only do YOU save, but store revenue benefits the Society's various outreach programs to help the local poor.

For directions to the Oxnard, Los Angeles or Long Beach thrift stores, please click on the store photos on the right side of this blog.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Photos (l-r): Interior photos of the Council's Oxnard and Los Angeles thrift stores.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tax-deductible funds sought for rental assistance in difficult economy


Due to the continued economic downturn, the Council's need for tax-deductible financial gifts to support its rental assistance program has increased this year.

Of the Council’s more than 100 Conferences of dedicated Vincentian volunteers in the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara, nearly 25% have seen its daily outreach double over the same period last year, according to Gloria Jara, the Council’s Spanish Conference Coordinator.

“Due to the economic times and the fact that many families continue to struggle, financial donations are most appreciated to help pay mortgages and rent. People are still asking for rental assistance because they can't make ends meet," said Council Conference Director Catalina Miller.

Financial donations, earmarked '2009 Rental Help,' can be sent to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles, 210 N. Avenue 21, Los Angeles, CA 90031. For more information, please call 323-224-6298.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Attention - South Bay Businesses


PLEASE don't discard your usable items (clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics, vehicles and more). The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has a new thrift store in Long Beach and can use donations to help South Bay residents during this difficult economy!

The pick-up of donations is FREE and tax-deductible for YOUR BUSINESS!

Donations help improve the quality of life for local children, women and men through various avenues, including the Society's free-distribution program, where families in extreme-need receive needed items at no cost.

Here is a testimonial from Emil, age 88: "Today, I received a dresser, two chairs and a lamp. I was in dire need and you came to my rescue. I thank St. Vincent de Paul from the deepest recesses of my heart."

The Society's new store is located at 2750 Pacific Coast Highway - the former site of Al Greenwood's Bedspread Kingdom - and is open seven days a week. However, to have your donations picked up for FREE in Long Beach and the surrounding communities, please call 800-97-HELP-1.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Council's telephone room is where the donation process begins











When you call this Council to make a donation, do you every wonder where your call goes? It goes straight to our telephone room, where our efficient and courteous operators assist you with your generous donations.

Your address and list of donations are logged into the Society's computer system, which are then sorted by the drivers according to their routes throughout the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara.

We encourage you to donate to the Council, as usable items of clothing, furniture, appliances, electronics and more support the Society's stores in Long Beach, Oxnard and L.A.

Donations: 800-97-HELP-1 or 323-224-6280.

Photos (l-r): Sofia Ribera takes care of some paper work; a shot of the telephone room, as telephone operators (l-r) Marissa Alvarez, Luisa Medina and Roxane Chavez answer calls and handle tasks relating to donations.

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