It may be a surprise to many, but the primary purpose of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is to increase the holiness of its members. Each Conference of charity volunteer group has a spiritual adviser whose responsibility is to help the conference reach a deeper faith.
The spiritual element of the Society’s work would never be underestimated. Without that foundation, the work of serving the poorest of the poor couldn’t be sustainable.
“In order for us not to burn out we have to be aligned with prayer or we would not be able to do it for long,” said spiritual adviser Mark Stelly, on the Vincentian volunteers’ service to others. Stelly is a Spiritual Adviser for the Los Angeles Council’s District of Los Angeles South.
A spiritual adviser to the entire Los Angeles Council, Rev. Pedro Villarroya C.M. said, “The spiritual adviser is the animator, soul, and conscience of the conferences.”
Santa Barbara District Spiritual Adviser Romeo Mabansag said he makes sure the Vincentians in his conference remember to pray before their visits with people in need.
“Some of the things we come into contact with are not so pleasant,” Stelly remarked. Rev. Villarroya agreed, “The spiritual adviser must help to find the secret of Vincentian spirituality: to see the face of Christ in the face of the poor person.”