Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Deacon Gus Catipon of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, visited the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles administrative offices and thrift store October 25, 2012.

"He is director of outreach at the cathedral," said the Society's Director of Vincentian Services Catalina Miller. "He was here to purchase furniture for a family in need."

Thanks for your good works, Deacon Catipon.

Photo: Society Deputy Executive Director David Garcia, San Gabriel Coordinator Olga Felix, Assistant Executive Director Susana Santana, and Deacon Catipon surround a portrait of Blessed Frederic Ozanam.

Monday, October 29, 2012


We just got an amazing shipment of "Just Fabulous" fashionable heels, boots and booties here at the Los Angeles store! These hot Fall fashion staples are flying off the shelves so stop by soon and get a pair before they're gone.

Photos: Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles Executive Director David Fields and acting Store Director Jorge Menjivar with the shipment of shoes from Just Fabulous.  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Business Spotlight Webisode Series Shoot

BzS Business Spotlight Webisode Series shot at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles' administrative offices and L.A. thrift store October 18, 2012, after interviewing the Society's executive director David Fields at BzS' Culver City studio. 

Look for an online video on the Society in the weeks to come at

BzS is kindly doing a 5 minute video on the Society for free, so please patronize their business!  You can reach BzS executive producer Sue Berry at (310) 913-5690 or Sue@BzSpotlight.com.

Photos: (top to bottom) David Fields with the BzS crew in the Culver City studio; director/videographer Phil Ramund shoots Fields at the Society's offices in Los Angeles; Ramund, Fields and Sue Berry.


Friday, October 19, 2012



The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles hosted a nutrition workshop for Vincentians October 13, 2012 at the Society administrative offices in Los Angeles. 

"It was to allow us to take this information to the people we serve," said Vincentian Services Coordinator Gabriel Perez. "If they know how to eat right they will do better."

"They even had us drawing our next meal on a paper plate with crayons," said the Society's Assistant Executive Director Susana Santana. "It was a lot of fun and great information!" 

Topics discussed were:
  • Basic nutrition
  • Food and nutrition resources
  • Nutrition budget
  • How can we help our “friends in need?”
The workshop was presented by Wendy McGrail, MPH., RD and Gauri Rio, MS., RD.
Both are from PHFE WIC Program.  The Society is grateful for their time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


The blessing and dedication of the new Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles, Family Housing took place in Los Angeles, October 15, 2012, unveiling beautiful, like-new renovated apartments for low-income families.  Auxiliary Bishop Edward Clark from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles officiated.  

Bishop Clark stated, "I am here to say how grateful the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and how very valuable we consider your work." Clark said that the first parishes he worked in as a priest had St. Vincent de Paul conferences, and that he thought all parishes should have them.  This resulted in a cheer from the assembled crowd, many of whom were Vincentian volunteers.
Society Board President Claire Padama said the new housing continued the Society's mission of providing for those who have less, and that no one should struggle each month wondering how to pay their rent or bills.

Society Board Vice President and Chair of the Housing Committee, Ursula Hyman gave special recognition to Society Director of Housing Ron Mulvihill for his work shepherding the new housing, as well as the general contractor and the many construction workers on the project, many of whom attended the event.  

Hyman assisted Bishop Clark in blessing the new apartments.  80 people attended the dedication, touring apartments and remarking over the beauty of the new housing, kids’ playground equipment and grounds. "Stay here with us Lord, " prayed Bishop Clark, "Grant that those who dwell in this house may live in peace."

Photos: (top) Bishop Clark blesses the apartments with Hyman; (second from top) the new family housing front building; (third from top) Claire Padama addresses the crowd; apartment interiors; (bottom) Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles Spiritual Adviser Fr. Pedro Villarroya, CM, Padama, Bishop Clark, Society Executive Director David Fields, Hyman, Society Housing Director Ron Mulvihill, and Society Social Services Director Gigi Srajer.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Edward M. Castillo, Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Oxnard Council 750, presented David Fields, Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles, with a check for $300 Saturday, October 6, 2012, the funds to be used for the homeless in Oxnard.

Castillo said, "The Knights of Columbus is a proud supporter of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and we look forward to continuing our support for a worthy cause in the days to come."  Fields replied, "We are grateful for the good knights continuing kindness - and contributions!"

Photo: (left to right) Castillo, Fields, Bishop Thomas J. Curry of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, the Society's Sal Gonzales, and Knights of Columbus member Aben "Angel" Carranco.


Society of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store 

From L.A. Weekly's Best of L.A. edition:

"Located in Lincoln Heights, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store is a 90,000-square-foot warehouse of top-notch "vintage" and used goodies: clothes by Vera Wang and Levi's, vintage women's and men's shoes, bookcases, draperies, linens, refrigerators and more.

The beauty about this place is that while you're saving money on quality stuff, your dollars go to the homeless, the poor and other people in need.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international organization run by lay Catholics; it has operated in Los Angeles for more than 100 years. We love its guiding motto: "No act of charity is foreign to the Society."

210 N. Avenue 21, Lincoln Heights. (323) 224-6280, svdpla.org.

—Patrick Range McDonald

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


The third annual Black and White Dinner Dance rocked the Oxnard Performing Arts Center Saturday, October 6, 2012 in Oxnard from six p.m. until midnight.

All proceeds from the event are used to operate the Winter Shelter for the homeless in Oxnard operated by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles.

Jesse R. Ramirez, Oxnard Harbor Commissioner, was Master of Ceremonies; with a welcome and introduction by Ernie Morales, President, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Ventura District; opening prayer and meal blessing by Bishop Thomas J. Curry, Auxilary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; guest speaker Christian recording artist Donna Marshall; and remarks by Peggy Rivera, Chair of the Oxnard City's Commission on Homelessness and David Fields, Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles.  Music was provided by Trio Guadalajara and Juano and Friends.

Photos: (top) dancers on the floor, (left top) Ernie Morales, (bottom left) Peggy Rivera, (top right) Donna Marshall, (bottom right) David Fields, (far bottom right) Claire Padama and Bishop Thomas J. Curry, (bottom center) attendees in black and white.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


"Let us love God...but let it be with the strength of our arms and the sweat of our brows."                             - St. Vincent de Paul

A celebration of St. Vincent de Paul's feast day took place with 120 members of the extended Vincentian family September 27, 2012, at a mass and party at the De Paul Evangelization Center in Montebello, California.  Beer, wine, appetizers and desserts were served. Join us at this fun event next year!

Frederic Ozanam: "A Patron...is a model one must strive to imitate, as he himself imitated the model of Jesus Christ.  He is a life to be carried on, a heart in which one's own heart is enkindled, an intelligence from which light should be sought; he is a model on earth and a protector in heaven...Without a doubt St. Vincent de Paul had an anticipated vision of the evils of our age: he was not a man to build on sand, nor to build for two days...Let us work in his light: let us honor our Father in this patron so worthy of love, and we shall live long. We shall perhaps see one day the children of our old age find ample shade under this institution whose frail beginnings we have seen. "

Photos: Members of the extended Vincentian family, including (top) Fr. Pedro Villarroya, CM, the primary celebrant of the mass honoring St. Vincent de Paul.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


In honor of St. Vincent de Paul's feast day on September 27, 2012, low-income babies received 26 free layette sets at California Hospital Medical Center in downtown Los Angeles. 
"It's a nice thing to do for the babies," said Vincentian volunteer Stanley LeSassier. "So many people have need here in the United States."
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles, Our Lady of Angels District donated and distributed the sets with great enthusiasm to the new mothers and their babies. 
It was the 14th annual layette distribution, with each newborn receiving blankets, infant shirts, infant bodysuits, infant socks, wash cloths, diapers, sleeping gowns/sleepers and jumpsuits. 
Six new strollers were also distributed to infants born first on St. Vincent’s feast day. The mothers and their families received the layette sets with surprise and happiness.


 Photos: (top) some of the Society's Our Lady of Angels District Vincentian volunteers with layette sets and strollers, (right top) Society President Claire Padama presents a layette set to a new mom, (left) Maudell Williams and another Vincentian present a layette set to a mother and her baby, (right) a family with their new stroller.

Monday, October 1, 2012



Joan Sotiros, Director of the Cardinal Manning Center for the homeless was honored at the center on Skid Row in Los Angeles, September 26, 2012, for her 18 years at the center and retirement from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles.

"Joan, your presence will be greatly missed," said Society President Claire Padama, who presented Joan with an award in recognition of her service. 

The Society's Director of Social Services Gigi Srajer presented Joan with a book of photos and quotes from the staff. "Thank you," said Sotiros, "I will read it later and cry." 

Sotiros said, "I keep getting told by the guys outside 'You are the best place on Skid Row.'  That they get respect here, not yelling at them.  So never lose that...They are not the least of my brethren. They are people."

Society Executive Director David Fields reminiced about bringing St. Francis high school students to the center: "Joan talked to them. Made them more appreciative of what they had. And they went back to St. Francis and collected 5,000 pairs of socks!"

Many center volunteers were present to honor Joan, including Brian Whalen and his four children, who volunteer weekly. "Joan is an icon here on Skid Row, " said Whalen. "Joan is the most tireless worker on behalf of St. Vincent de Paul and the most thoughtless of herself." 

Gigi mentioned that Joan had trained close to 50 social workers from UCLA over the years, and touched the lives of tens of thousands of people on Skid Row for the good.

Joan thanked the 30 attendees of the gathering by concluding, "Thank you for being there when I needed it, and the people on the street needed it."

Photos: (top) Sotiros receives her award; (right) Sotiros unwraps her book as Deputy Executive Director David Garcia, Director of Operations Jim Bibb, and Executive Director David Fields watch; (left) Brian Whalen and his children.