Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Friday, January 29, 2016



February 7, 2016
Gospel: (Luke 5: 1-11)

After he had finished speaking, Jesus said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch." Simon said in reply, "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets." When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing...when Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him...Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.


Jesus' power manifested in the great catch of fish brings Peter to confess his sinfulness. But the story does not stop with the confession of unworthiness, but continues with Peter who then "left everything and followed him." The appearance of God always reveals our own sinfulness, but God's focus is elsewhere-on our call and our mission. God sees humanity as created to be good, as persons who can choose to respond to God's call and fulfill the mission God gives. If we look for "large catches of fish" we will miss God's message. The gospel invites us to look to the simple manifestations of holiness that indicate the presence of God, for example, in the generosity of so many volunteers, in the faithfulness of husbands and wives, in the unselfishness of parish workers, in the uncomplaining suffering of the sick, in the gracious wisdom of the elderly. The " yes" response to our call is to imitate these good behaviors and by so doing we extend God's reign. (Living Liturgy, p.54)

Vincentian Meditation:

The holiness of St. Vincent and of each one of us in the last analysis is a gift of God. The holiness of a saint is a sharing in the holiness of God Himself, and we recognize holiness when we see the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the life of a person. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.316)

Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)

How have you seen the presence of God in the "simple manifestations of holiness" in those around you?

Closing Prayer:

O God, there are those who do not know your presence,
-may our lives be a sign of faith for them.
O God, there are those who live in fear and doubt,
-may our lives be a sign of hope for them.
O God, there are those who do not experience your love,
-may our lives be a sign of love for them.
O God, there are those who are poor and oppressed by others,
-may our lives be a sign of justice for them. Amen.

CPS Utility Assistance Fair

CPS will be holding a Utility Assistance Fair to help community members who are at risk of having their utilities disconnected. The fair is free and open to the public.

Date: Friday, February 5, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Location: SAMMinistries' Transitional Living and Learning Center: 5922 Blanco Road

To apply to receive assistance, your household income must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Income Level. You must have all appropriate documents with you at the fair to apply for assistance. IF ALL DOCUMENTS ARE NOT PRESENTED, ASSISTANCE WILL BE DELAYED.

When  referring our  Brother's and Sister's in need please ensure they are aware to  bring the following  supporting documentation: Please inform our Brothers and  Sister's that this is an open event , and will be first come first served. 

      Disconnection notice/Utility bill (under applicant name or applicant must have access to make changes to account (Aviso de desconeccion)
___Valid ID for everyone in the household 18 and over (Identificacion valida para todos en su hogar de 18 anos y mayores)
___Social Security Cards for everyone in the household (Tarjeta de Seguro Social para todos en el hogar)
___ Birth Certificates for all children (Certificados de nacimiento para todos los ninos)
___Proof of residence for utility assistance: complete Lease signed by both parties, mortgage statement (Prueba de residencia para asistencia de utilidades)
___Proof of applicable income for the last 30 days from appointment date: pay stubs, SSI or  SSI/DI award letter, child support, TANF (Prueba de ingresos eligible de los ultimos 30 Dias desde la cita: talones de cheque, carta de SS o SSI/Di, soporte monetario para los hijos, TANF
___Food Stamp letter (if applicable) Carta de otorgamiento de estampillas de comida, si es applicable 
Please see the income guidelines below:
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*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.

Vincentian's Corner

The SVDP Food Pantry at Prince of Peace Conference had its inspection visit from the SA Food Bank in November.  The SVDP POP Food Pantry scored a perfect 100.  Megan Janzen from the SAFB brought five visitors last week to POP SVDP Food Pantry to observe how the pantry is set-up physically as well as to see the manual and computer record keeping.  The visitors are contemplating setting up a food pantry and Megan used the POP SVDP Food Pantry as an example.  "We are very blessed with wonderful volunteers who are extremely conscientious about their volunteer work but most of all our volunteers are compassionate and are very caring of our brothers and sisters in Christ that come to our pantry."

Friday, January 29 - Servant of God Brother Juniper

"Would to God, my brothers, I had a whole forest of such Junipers," said Francis of this holy friar.
We don't know much about Juniper before he joined the friars in 1210. Francis sent him to establish "places" for the friars in Gualdo Tadino and Viterbo. When St. Clare was dying, Juniper consoled her. He was devoted to the passion of Jesus and was known for his simplicity.

Several stories about Juniper in the Little Flowers of St. Francis illustrate his exasperating generosity. Once Juniper was taking care of a sick man who had a craving to eat pig's feet. This helpful friar went to a nearby field, captured a pig and cut off one foot, and then served this meal to the sick man. The owner of the pig was furious and immediately went to Juniper's superior. When Juniper saw his mistake, he apologized profusely. He also ended up talking this angry man into donating the rest of the pig to the friars!

Another time Juniper had been commanded to quit giving part of his clothing to the half-naked people he met on the road. Desiring to obey his superior, Juniper once told a man in need that he couldn't give the man his tunic, but he wouldn't prevent the man from taking it either. In time, the friars learned not to leave anything lying around, for Juniper would probably give it away.

He died in 1258 and is buried at Ara Coeli Church in Rome.

Saturday, January 30 - St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti

Hyacintha accepted God's standards somewhat late in life. Born of a noble family near Viterbo, she entered a local convent of sisters who followed the Third Order Rule. However, she supplied herself with enough food, clothing and other goods to live a very comfortable life amid these sisters pledged to mortification.

A serious illness required that Hyacintha's confessor bring Holy Communion to her room. Scandalized on seeing how soft a life she had provided for herself, the confessor advised her to live more humbly. Hyacintha disposed of her fine clothes and special foods. She eventually became very penitential in food and clothing; she was ready to do the most humble work in the convent. She developed a special devotion to the sufferings of Christ and by her penances became an inspiration to the sisters in her convent. She was canonized in 1807.

Sunday,January 31 - St. John Bosco

John Bosco's theory of education could well be used in today's schools. It was a preventive system, rejecting corporal punishment and placing students in surroundings removed from the likelihood of committing sin. He advocated frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. He combined catechetical training and fatherly guidance, seeking to unite the spiritual life with one's work, study and play.

Encouraged during his youth to become a priest so he could work with young boys, John was ordained in 1841. His service to young people started when he met a poor orphan and instructed him in preparation for receiving Holy Communion. He then gathered young apprentices and taught them catechism.

After serving as chaplain in a hospice for working girls, John opened the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales for boys. Several wealthy and powerful patrons contributed money, enabling him to provide two workshops for the boys, shoemaking and tailoring.

By 1856, the institution had grown to 150 boys and had added a printing press for publication of religious and catechetical pamphlets. His interest in vocational education and publishing justify him as patron of young apprentices and Catholic publishers.

John's preaching fame spread and by 1850 he had trained his own helpers because of difficulties in retaining young priests. In 1854 he and his followers informally banded together, inspired by St. Francis de Sales [January 24].

With Pope Pius IX's encouragement, John gathered 17 men and founded the Salesians in 1859. Their activity concentrated on education and mission work. Later, he organized a group of Salesian Sisters to assist girls.

Monday, February 1- St. Ansgar

The "apostle of the north" (Scandinavia) had enough frustrations to become a saint-and he did. He became a Benedictine at Corbie, France, where he had been educated. Three years later, when the king of Denmark became a convert, Ansgar went to that country for three years of missionary work, without noticeable success. Sweden asked for Christian missionaries, and he went there, suffering capture by pirates and other hardships on the way. Fewer than two years later, he was recalled, to become abbot of New Corbie (Corvey) and bishop of Hamburg. The pope made him legate for the Scandinavian missions. Funds for the northern apostolate stopped with Emperor Louis's death. After 13 years' work in Hamburg, Ansgar saw it burned to the ground by invading Northmen; Sweden and Denmark returned to paganism.

He directed new apostolic activities in the North, traveling to Denmark and being instrumental in the conversion of another king. By the strange device of casting lots, the king of Sweden allowed the Christian missionaries to return.

Ansgar's biographers remark that he was an extraordinary preacher, a humble and ascetical priest. He was devoted to the poor and the sick, imitating the Lord in washing their feet and waiting on them at table. He died peacefully at Bremen, Germany, without achieving his wish to be a martyr.
Sweden became pagan again after his death, and remained so until the coming of missionaries two centuries later.

Tuesday, February 2 - Presentation of the Lord

At the end of the fourth century, a woman named Etheria made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Her journal, discovered in 1887, gives an unprecedented glimpse of liturgical life there. Among the celebrations she describes is the Epiphany (January 6), the observance of Christ's birth, and the gala procession in honor of his Presentation in the Temple 40 days later-February 15. (Under the Mosaic Law, a woman was ritually "unclean" for 40 days after childbirth, when she was to present herself to the priests and offer sacrifice-her "purification." Contact with anyone who had brushed against mystery-birth or death-excluded a person from Jewish worship.) This feast emphasizes Jesus' first appearance in the Temple more than Mary's purification.

The observance spread throughout the Western Church in the fifth and sixth centuries. Because the Church in the West celebrated Jesus' birth on December 25, the Presentation was moved to February 2, 40 days after Christmas.

At the beginning of the eighth century, Pope Sergius inaugurated a candlelight procession; at the end of the same century the blessing and distribution of candles which continues to this day became part of the celebration, giving the feast its popular name: Candlemas.

Wednesday, February 3 - St. Blaise

We know more about the devotion to St. Blaise by Christians around the world than we know about the saint himself. His feast is observed as a holy day in some Eastern Churches. In 1222, the Council of Oxford prohibited servile labor in England on Blase's feast day. The Germans and Slavs hold him in special honor, and for decades many United States Catholics have sought the annual St. Blaise blessing for their throats.

We know that Bishop Blaise was martyred in his episcopal city of Sebastea, Armenia, in 316. The legendary Acts of St. Blase were written 400 years later. According to them Blase was a good bishop, working hard to encourage the spiritual and physical health of his people. Although the Edict of Toleration (311), granting freedom of worship in the Roman Empire, was already five years old, persecution still raged in Armenia. Blaise was apparently forced to flee to the back country. There he lived as a hermit in solitude and prayer, but he made friends with the wild animals. One day a group of hunters seeking wild animals for the amphitheater stumbled upon Blaise's cave. They were first surprised and then frightened. The bishop was kneeling in prayer surrounded by patiently waiting wolves, lions and bears.

The legend has it that as the hunters hauled Blaise off to prison, a mother came with her young son who had a fish bone lodged in his throat. At Blaise's command the child was able to cough up the bone.

Agricolaus, governor of Cappadocia, tried to persuade Blase to sacrifice to pagan idols. The first time Blaise refused, he was beaten. The next time he was suspended from a tree and his flesh torn with iron combs or rakes. (English wool combers, who used similar iron combs, took Blaise as their patron. They could easily appreciate the agony the saint underwent.) Finally, he was beheaded.

Thursday, February 4 - St. Joseph of Leonissa

Joseph avoided the safe compromises by which people sometimes undercut the gospel. Born at Leonissa in the Kingdom of Naples, Joseph joined the Capuchins in his hometown in 1573. Denying himself hearty meals and comfortable quarters, he prepared for ordination and a life of preaching.

In 1587 he went to Constantinople to take care of the Christian galley slaves working under Turkish masters. Imprisoned for this work, he was warned not to resume it on his release. He did and was again imprisoned and then condemned to death. Miraculously freed, he returned to Italy where he preached to the poor and reconciled feuding families as well as warring cities which had been at odds for years. He was canonized in 1746.

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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Please pray for Sister from St. Brigid Conference, Nell Sharrock.  She has been a Vincentian for many years.  She has provided service in many of the offices in the Conference and Council Office.She is currently in Hospice at home.  We thank you for all of your prayers. 

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.