Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Friday, January 15, 2016


January 24, 2016

Gospel: (Luke 4:14-21)
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the Sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll and found the passage where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.  He has sent me  to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.  He said to them, "Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
We would guess that Jesus introduced a long, pregnant pause, before he said what the synagogue people could hardly expect: "Today, this Scripture is being fulfilled in your hearing." We are still in the time when the scroll has been set aside, when all eyes turn to Jesus, and there is a pregnant pause.  Now we-our own lives-fill the meaning of the pregnant pause.  We can do so because, like Jesus, in our baptism we also have been anointed with the Spirit.  And so, we are called to look for the poor, captive, blind, and oppressed among us. We don't have to look very far!  "Today this passage has been fulfilled" is now true only when we ourselves respond to those around us who need a nourishing, strengthening, joyful word.  (Living Liturgy, p.46)
Vincentian Meditation:
In light of Vincent's regular practice of taking the imitation of Jesus Christ as the model of behavior, the saint, in Jesus' manner, chose the words of this Gospel: "He has sent me to bring good news to the poor," as the motto of his life and ministry.  Jesus modeled doing before teaching.  Accordingly, Vincent noted that Jesus first integrated "fully into his life every type of virtue." That was his preparation, after which our Lord, then went on to teach, by preaching the good news of salvation to poor people, and by passing on to his apostles and disciples what they needed to know to become guides for others. As followers of Vincent, we must imitate Christ the Lord, first...imitate his virtues and then we can go out in service to the poor. (Melito, St. Vincent -Windows on His Vision, p. 45)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
 How is this Scripture passage from Luke being fulfilled in your life today?
Closing Prayer:                                                                                
 To the indigent and those who are in despair,
 -Lord, send us out to bring good news to the poor.
 To the abandoned poor of the inner city,
-Lord, send us out to bring good news to the poor.
 To the captive, blind and oppressed among us,
 -Lord, send us out to bring good news to the poor.  Amen


Please go to to check the status of whether or not your Conference has submitted their annual report or not.  All Annual Report forms are located on the same page as well.


*If your Conference can host one of the training sessions, please contact either Mary Esther Jockers at or B.J. Polk at  


Classes will be CANCELLED
if no one hosts or RSVPs for the classes.

St. Ann's Annual Homeless Friends Holiday Dinner!


On December 19, 2015, St Ann's Conference held their Annual Homeless Friends Holiday Dinner.
This year, we were blessed with the attendance of 28 hungry and welcome Friends. 

Everyone was treated to a full turkey dinner complete with all the trimmings, dessert and a drink.

It was a complete success  with the assistance of St Ann's Youth Group and a group of SAC students. You can see Virginia Villarreal, President giving them background of working with homeless and explaining our Ministry.

Before the meal everyone prayed together (homeless, Vincentians, Youth Group, SAC Group) and gave thanks for the delicious meal they were about to receive.  A member of St Ann's Youth Group led the prayer. 

St. Ann's would like to give a special thanks to Father Victor, Pastor of St Ann's, for the use of the Community Center, as well as St Ann's Youth Group and SAC Youth who provided decorations and Christmas cards for every guest.

The event was truly a wonderful experience for all of those involved and was much appreciated by the homeless Brothers and Sisters who enjoyed a fantastic holiday meal! 


St. Joseph Honey Creek 
Eagle Scout  Project
Jamie Gonzales was kind enough to choose St. Joseph Honey Creek as the recipient of a shoe drive that he held in order to receive his Eagle Scout.  Jamie and his family are parishioners at St. Joseph Honey Creek.  Please read below to see why Jamie chose SVDP as the recipient of his shoe drive. 

"I've been a scout since 1st grade and since then have participated in many service projects.  My family, too, has been a tremendous example for me, for instance, I can remember as a young child accompanying my parents to numerous service and volunteer events like Feeding the Homeless under the Nolan Street Bridge downtown, Knights of Columbus events, and watching them and my siblings during their Eagle Scout and Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award projects.
My father often uses the term "servant-leaderership" and I am hopeful and prayerful that I am finally beginning to understand this concept.  It is a long-held principle of many faith traditions, including our own, highlighted, for example in the Gospel of Mark..."For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve..." Mark 45.  It doesn't escape me that I am incredibly blessed and that I, and all of us, really, are blessed exponentially more than we deserve.  
So it is because of this, at least in part, that I wanted to undertake this project.  My father told me about a young man at the University of the Incarnate Word, where he is a professor, who undertook a similar project a few years ago and that is what gave me the initial idea for this project.  I also really like shoes, especially basketball shoes, and it is sad to imagine not having shoes, among the most basic of items needed for comfort and survival.  
Another thing that my father often talks about is how one never really knows what an impact our actions can have on others. Even small, seemingly insignificant things can touch someone in deep ways and can really make a tangible difference.  So it's my hope that whomever ends up benefiting from this project understands that they matter, that someone cares about them, and that they are of value and truly children of God, as we all are."

San Antonio Healthy Start
Will be hosting our First
Community Baby Shower of 2016

All expectant women are Welcome
Bring a friend too.
Date: January 29th
Time: 12-2 pm
Where: Frank Garrett Community Center
1226 NW. 18th St
San Antonio, TX 78237

Come enjoy Lunch,
Baby Shower Games
Prizes & Drawings
and much more!
For questions call Michelle Dado 210-718-2687


Friday, January 15 - St. Paul the Hermit

It is unclear what we really know of Paul's life, how much is fable, how much fact.

Paul was reportedly born in Egypt, where he was orphaned by age 15. He was also a learned and devout young man. During the persecution of Decius in Egypt in the year 250, Paul was forced to hide in the home of a friend. Fearing a brother-in-law would betray him, he fled in a cave in the desert. His plan was to return once the persecution ended, but the sweetness of solitude and heavenly contemplation convinced him to stay.

He went on to live in that cave for the next 90 years. A nearby spring gave him drink, a palm tree furnished him clothing and nourishment. After 21 years of solitude a bird began bringing him half of a loaf of bread each day. Without knowing what was happening in the world, Paul prayed that the world would become a better place.
St. Anthony of Egypt [January 17] attests to his holy life and death. Tempted by the thought that no one had served God in the wilderness longer than he, Anthony was led by God to find Paul and acknowledge him as a man more perfect than himself. The raven that day brought a whole loaf of bread instead of the usual half. As Paul predicted, Anthony would return to bury his new friend.

Thought to have been about 112 when he died, Paul is known as the "First Hermit." His feast day is celebrated in the East; he is also commemorated in the Coptic and Armenian rites of the Mass.

Saturday, January 16 - St. Berard and Companions

Preaching the gospel is often dangerous work. Leaving one's homeland and adjusting to new cultures, governments and languages is difficult enough; but martyrdom caps all the other sacrifices.

In 1219 with the blessing of St. Francis, Berard left Italy with Peter, Adjute, Accurs, Odo and Vitalis to preach in Morocco. En route in Spain Vitalis became sick and commanded the other friars to continue their mission without him.

They tried preaching in Seville, then in Muslim hands, but made no converts. They went on to Morocco where they preached in the marketplace. The friars were immediately apprehended and ordered to leave the country; they refused. When they began preaching again, an exasperated sultan ordered them executed. After enduring severe beatings and declining various bribes to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ, the friars were beheaded by the sultan himself on January 16, 1220.

These were the first Franciscan martyrs. When Francis heard of their deaths, he exclaimed, "Now I can truly say that I have five Friars Minor!" Their relics were brought to Portugal where they prompted a young Augustinian canon to join the Franciscans and set off for Morocco the next year. That young man was Anthony of Padua. These five martyrs were canonized in 1481.

Sunday,January 17 - St. Anthony of Egypt

The life of Anthony will remind many people of St. Francis of Assisi. At 20, Anthony was so moved by the Gospel message, "Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor" (Mark 10:21b), that he actually did just that with his large inheritance. He is different from Francis in that most of Anthony's life was spent in solitude. He saw the world completely covered with snares, and gave the Church and the world the witness of solitary asceticism, great personal mortification and prayer. But no saint is antisocial, and Anthony drew many people to himself for spiritual healing and guidance.

At 54, he responded to many requests and founded a sort of monastery of scattered cells. Again like Francis, he had great fear of "stately buildings and well-laden tables."

At 60, he hoped to be a martyr in the renewed Roman persecution of 311, fearlessly exposing himself to danger while giving moral and material support to those in prison. At 88, he was fighting the Arian heresy, that massive trauma from which it took the Church centuries to recover. "The mule kicking over the altar" denied the divinity of Christ.

Anthony is associated in art with a T-shaped cross, a pig and a book. The pig and the cross are symbols of his valiant warfare with the devil-the cross his constant means of power over evil spirits, the pig a symbol of the devil himself. The book recalls his preference for "the book of nature" over the printed word. Anthony died in solitude at 105.

Monday, January 18 - St. Charles of Sezze

Charles thought that God was calling him to be a missionary in India, but he never got there. God had something better for this 17th-century successor to Brother Juniper.

Born in Sezze, southeast of Rome, Charles was inspired by the lives of Salvator Horta and Paschal Baylon to become a Franciscan; he did that in 1635. Charles tells us in his autobiography, "Our Lord put in my heart a determination to become a lay brother with a great desire to be poor and to beg alms for his love."
Charles served as cook, porter, sacristan, gardener and beggar at various friaries in Italy. In some ways, he was "an accident waiting to happen." He once started a huge fire in the kitchen when the oil in which he was frying onions burst into flames.

One story shows how thoroughly Charles adopted the spirit of St. Francis. The superior ordered Charles - then porter - to give food only to traveling friars who came to the door. Charles obeyed this direction; simultaneously the alms to the friars decreased. Charles convinced the superior the two facts were related. When the friars resumed giving goods to all who asked at the door, alms to the friars increased also.
At the direction of his confessor Charles wrote his autobiography, The Grandeurs of the Mercies of God. He also wrote several other spiritual books. He made good use of his various spiritual directors throughout the years; they helped him discern which of Charles' ideas or ambitions were from God. Charles himself was sought out for spiritual advice. The dying Pope Clement IX called Charles to his bedside for a blessing.
Charles had a firm sense of God's providence. Father Severino Gori has said, "By word and example he recalled in all the need of pursuing only that which is eternal" (Leonard Perotti, St. Charles of Sezze: An Autobiography, page 215).

He died at San Francesco a Ripa in Rome and was buried there. Pope John XXIII canonized him in 1959.

Tuesday, January 19 - St. Fabian

Fabian was a Roman layman who came into the city from his farm one day as clergy and people were preparing to elect a new pope. Eusebius, a Church historian, says a dove flew in and settled on the head of Fabian. This sign united the votes of clergy and laity, and he was chosen unanimously.

He led the Church for 14 years and died a martyr's death during the persecution of Decius in 250 A.D.. St. Cyprian wrote to his successor that Fabian was an "incomparable" man whose glory in death matched the holiness and purity of his life.

In the catacombs of St. Callistus, the stone that covered Fabian's grave may still be seen, broken into four pieces, bearing the Greek words, "Fabian, bishop, martyr."

Wednesday, January 20 - St. Sebastian

Almost nothing is historically certain about St. Sebastian except that he was a Roman martyr, was venerated in Milan even in the time of St. Ambrose (December 7) and was buried on the Appian Way, probably near the present Basilica of St. Sebastian. Devotion to him spread rapidly, and he is mentioned in several martyrologies as early as a.d. 350.

The legend of St. Sebastian is important in art, and there is a vast iconography. Scholars now agree that a pious fable has Sebastian entering the Roman army because only there could he assist the martyrs without arousing suspicion. Finally he was found out, brought before Emperor Diocletian and delivered to Mauritanian archers to be shot to death. His body was pierced with arrows, and he was left for dead. But he was found still alive by those who came to bury him. He recovered, but refused to flee. One day he took up a position near where the emperor was to pass. He accosted the emperor, denouncing him for his cruelty to Christians. This time the sentence of death was carried out. Sebastian was beaten to death with clubs. He was buried on the Appian Way, close to the catacombs that bear his name.

Thursday, January 21 - St. Agnes

Almost nothing is known of this saint except that she was very young-12 or 13-when she was martyred in the last half of the third century. Various modes of death have been suggested-beheading, burning, strangling.
Legend has it that Agnes was a beautiful girl whom many young men wanted to marry. Among those she refused, one reported her to the authorities for being a Christian. She was arrested and confined to a house of prostitution. The legend continues that a man who looked upon her lustfully lost his sight and had it restored by her prayer. Agnes was condemned, executed and buried near Rome in a catacomb that eventually was named after her. The daughter of Constantine built a basilica in her honor.

Does your Conference have any news, events, or any other information that you would like to share in the Friday Five? **Please note, that events can be advertised if they ONLY support the SVDP Conference.  Any events that are put on by a parish can no longer be advertised.**

If so, please email Rachel Esposito at to be include in the next edition of the Friday  Five! All information must be submitted by 3:00 pm on Wednesday. Thank you. 

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Thanks to all who prayed for one of our Vincentian's spouse, Adan Polanco, from St. Stanislaus Parish.  Praise God the family received wonderful news last week and he is now cancer free.  Praise the Lord and thanks to all for your prayers.
Please continue praying for Yolanda and Ramiro Ramirez, Angela Angel and Gloria de Luna,  all from St. Ann's Conference  who are experiencing health issues.