Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Friday, February 26, 2016

March 6, 2016
Gospel: (Luke 15:1-3,11-32)
Jesus told this parable: "A man had two sons, and the younger said to his father, 'Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need.  So he hired himself tend swine. ...Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger.  I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; make me one of your hired servants."
It is the father in the parable who models for us the mercy of our heavenly Father. The prodigal son is brought to repentance because he was "dying from hunger." There is nothing he does to deserve the response of the father except to repent and to return. What leads us to decide to repent? Like the prodigal son, "changing our minds" is probably precipitated by some specific catalyst-probably not physical hunger, but possible by spiritual hunger.   The penance of Lent can be the external factor that brings us to realize our life is much richer when we turn from our sinful ways and turn to God who gives life.
 (Living Liturgy, p.84)
Vincentian Meditation:
This parable tells us most about the meaning of conversion, and is found in two verbs. The request the younger son makes to his father is this: "Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me." Toward the end of the parable, when the younger son returns home, the request he makes of his father is this: "Father, make me one of your hired servants." Between the "give me" at the beginning and the "make me" at the end lies the story of conversion. There is an altogether different attitude of mind expressed in the "give me my money" and "make me one of your hired servants."  In the story of conversion you will find that the starting point is a selfish demand, and the finishing point is a readiness to be a servant. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.698)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
Have you experienced a conversion from "give me" to "make me your servant?"
Closing Prayer:

As we abandon ourselves to God's will,
-Father, we come to you.
As we allow prayer to change our lives,
-Father, we come to you.
As we move from "give me" to "make me your servant,"
-Father, we come to you.  Amen                    

Please click the link below for information on an estate sale that will be taking place the first week of March.  The property of where this is taking place is one that SVDP inherited from a bequest.

*If your Conference can host one of the training sessions and for ALL RSVP's, 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.

Commissioning of New District Council Presidents

Mary Jane Arcos - St. Joseph District Council
Sister Consuelo  Tovar - Mission District
Mario Soria - St. Edward District Council
  rummage sale
SVDP St. Dominic's Conference is preparing for its semi-annual Rummage Sale on the church's grounds, slated for SATURDAY , MARCH 05, 2016, 09:00 - 03:00 p.m.
Spaces will be made available for $15 each.  Please call Mario Hernandez at (210)
748-2540 to reserve a space(s).
 Variety of booths will be available. All are welcome to come and enjoy a day of shopping or selling!
SVDP St. Dominic's Conference hours of operation are
Tuesday & Fridays, 09:00 a.m.-12 noon.  

Please note that all proceeds go to support the SVDP Conference at St. Dominic's! 
Important Information about CPS Assistnace

CAM encourages agencies to refer clients needing assistance with their CPS Energy bills as funding is available. Criteria for assistance is as follows:

Client must have children under the age of 18 or

Have a family member over 60 years old or

Have a family member with a disability (must show award letter)

Could not have been assisted financially through CAM within the last 12 months.

Client's name must be on the bill or be an authorized individual on the account.

Before sending clients please remind them to bring a photo ID, social security cards for all family members and a current (within the last 30 days) CPS Energy disconnect notice. CAM is located at 110 McCullough, SA, TX. 78215 and is open Monday - Thursday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm and Fridays from 9:00 am to 11:45 am. No appointment is necessary but we do work on a first come first serve basis.

Two Wheelchairs and Folding Walker Available from St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi has 2 wheelchairs and a sturdy walker available.  If your Conference has any Brothers and Sisters who can use these items, please contact the St. Francis of Assisi Conference at 210-492-4600 ext. 217.  Please leave a message if no one answers, and someone will call you back.


Friday, February 26- St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin

If anyone knew rejection, ridicule and disappointment, it was today's saint. But such trials only brought Maria Bertilla Boscardin closer to God and more determined to serve him.

Born in Italy in 1888, the young girl lived in fear of her father, a violent man prone to jealousy and drunkenness. Her schooling was limited so that she could spend more time helping at home and working in the fields. She showed few talents and was often the butt of jokes.

In 1904 she joined the Sisters of St. Dorothy and was assigned to work in the kitchen, bakery and laundry. After some time Maria received nurses' training and began working in a hospital with children suffering from diphtheria. There the young nun seemed to find her true vocation: nursing very ill and disturbed children. Later, when the hospital was taken over by the military in World War I, Sister Maria Bertilla fearlessly cared for patients amidst the threat of constant air raids and bombings.

She died in 1922 after suffering for many years from a painful tumor. Some of the patients she had nursed many years before were present at her canonization in 1961.

Saturday, February 27 - St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

Born in Italy into a large family and baptized Francis, he lost his mother when he was only four years old. He was educated by the Jesuits and, having been cured twice of serious illnesses, came to believe that God was calling him to the religious life. Young Francis wished to join the Jesuits but was turned down, probably because of his age, not yet 17. Following the death of a sister to cholera, his resolve to enter religious life became even stronger and he was accepted by the Passionists. Upon entering the novitiate he was given the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Ever popular and cheerful, Gabriel quickly was successful in his effort to be faithful in little things. His spirit of prayer, love for the poor, consideration of the feelings of others, exact observance of the Passionist Rule as well as his bodily penances-always subject to the will of his wise superiors- made a deep impression on everyone.

His superiors had great expectations of Gabriel as he prepared for the priesthood, but after only four years of religious life symptoms of tuberculosis appeared. Ever obedient, he patiently bore the painful effects of the disease and the restrictions it required, seeking no special notice. He died peacefully on February 27, 1862, at age 24, having been an example to both young and old.

Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was canonized in 1920.

Sunday, February 28- Blessed Daniel Brottier

Daniel spent most of his life in the trenches-one way or another.

Born in France in 1876, Daniel was ordained in 1899 and began a teaching career. That didn't satisfy him long. He wanted to use his zeal for the gospel far beyond the classroom. He joined the missionary Congregation of the Holy Spirit, which sent him to Senegal, West Africa. After eight years there, his health was suffering. He was forced to return to France, where he helped raise funds for the construction of a new cathedral in Senegal.

At the outbreak of World War I Daniel became a volunteer chaplain and spent four years at the front. He did not shrink from his duties. Indeed, he risked his life time and again in ministering to the suffering and dying. It was miraculous that he did not suffer a single wound during his 52 months in the heart of battle.
After the war he was invited to help establish a project for orphaned and abandoned children in a Paris suburb. He spent the final 13 years of his life there. He died in 1936 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Paris only 48 years later.

Monday, February 29- St. Oswald

The last acts in the life of today's saint make for an amazing story. In truth, they merely underscore the holiness he exhibited throughout his life.

Born into a military family in 10th-century England, Oswald was a nephew of the archbishop of Canterbury, who raised him and played a crucial role in his early education. Oswald continued his studies abroad in France, where he became a Benedictine monk.

Following his appointment as bishop of Worcester, and later as archbishop of York, he founded monasteries and introduced many reforms. He supported-and improved-scholarship at the abbeys he established, inviting leading thinkers in such fields as mathematics and astronomy to share their learnings.

He was widely known for his sanctity, especially his love for the poor. The final winter of his life was spent at the cathedral in Worcester that he so loved. At the start of Lent in February of the year 992, he resumed his usual practice of washing the feet of 12 poor men each day. On Leap Year Day, February 29, he died after kissing the feet of the 12th man and giving a blessing.

The news of Oswald's death brought an outpouring of grief throughout the city.

Tuesday, March 1 - St. David of Wales

David is the patron saint of Wales and perhaps the most famous of British saints. Ironically, we have little reliable information about him.

It is known that he became a priest, engaged in missionary work and founded many monasteries, including his principal abbey in southwestern Wales. Many stories and legends sprang up about David and his Welsh monks. Their austerity was extreme. They worked in silence without the help of animals to till the soil. Their food was limited to bread, vegetables and water.

In about the year 550, David attended a synod where his eloquence impressed his fellow monks to such a degree that he was elected primate of the region. The episcopal see was moved to Mynyw, where he had his monastery (now called St. David's). He ruled his diocese until he had reached a very old age. His last words to his monks and subjects were: "Be joyful, brothers and sisters. Keep your faith, and do the little things that you have seen and heard with me."

St. David is pictured standing on a mound with a dove on his shoulder. The legend is that once while he was preaching a dove descended to his shoulder and the earth rose to lift him high above the people so that he could be heard. Over 50 churches in South Wales were dedicated to him in pre-Reformation days.

Wednesday, March 2 - St. Agnes of Bohemia

Agnes had no children of her own but was certainly life-giving for all who knew her.

Agnes was the daughter of Queen Constance and King Ottokar I of Bohemia. At the age of three, she was betrothed to the Duke of Silesia, who died three years later. As she grew up, she decided she wanted to enter the religious life.

After declining marriages to King Henry VII of Germany and Henry III of England, Agnes was faced with a proposal from Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor. She appealed to Pope Gregory IX for help. The pope was persuasive; Frederick magnanimously said that he could not be offended if Agnes preferred the King of Heaven to him.

After Agnes built a hospital for the poor and a residence for the friars, she financed the construction of a Poor Clare monastery in Prague. In 1236, she and seven other noblewomen entered this monastery. St. Clare sent five sisters from San Damiano to join them, and wrote Agnes four letters advising her on the beauty of her vocation and her duties as abbess.

Agnes became known for prayer, obedience and mortification. Papal pressure forced her to accept her election as abbess; nevertheless, the title she preferred was "senior sister." Her position did not prevent her from cooking for the other sisters and mending the clothes of lepers. The sisters found her kind but very strict regarding the observance of poverty; she declined her royal brother's offer to set up an endowment for the monastery.

Devotion to Agnes arose soon after her death on March 6, 1282. She was canonized in 1989.

Thursday, March 3 - St. Katharine Drexel

If your father is an international banker and you ride in a private railroad car, you are not likely to be drawn into a life of voluntary poverty. But if your mother opens your home to the poor three days each week and your father spends half an hour each evening in prayer, it is not impossible that you will devote your life to the poor and give away millions of dollars. Katharine Drexel did that.

She was born in Philadelphia in 1858. She had an excellent education and traveled widely. As a rich girl, she had a grand debut into society. But when she nursed her stepmother through a three-year terminal illness, she saw that all the Drexel money could not buy safety from pain or death, and her life took a profound turn.

She had always been interested in the plight of the Indians, having been appalled by what she read in Helen Hunt Jackson's A Century of Dishonor. While on a European tour, she met Pope Leo XIII and asked him to send more missionaries to Wyoming for her friend Bishop James O'Connor. The pope replied, "Why don't you become a missionary?" His answer shocked her into considering new possibilities.

Back home, Katharine visited the Dakotas, met the Sioux leader Red Cloud and began her systematic aid to Indian missions.

She could easily have married. But after much discussion with Bishop O'Connor, she wrote in 1889, "The feast of St. Joseph brought me the grace to give the remainder of my life to the Indians and the Colored." Newspaper headlines screamed "Gives Up Seven Million!"

After three and a half years of training, she and her first band of nuns (Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored) opened a boarding school in Santa Fe. A string of foundations followed. By 1942 she had a system of black Catholic schools in 13 states, plus 40 mission centers and 23 rural schools. Segregationists harassed her work, even burning a school in Pennsylvania. In all, she established 50 missions for Indians in 16 states.

Two saints met when Katharine was advised by Mother Cabrini about the "politics" of getting her Order's Rule approved in Rome. Her crowning achievement was the founding of Xavier University in New Orleans, the first Catholic university in the United States for African Americans.
At 77, she suffered a heart attack and was forced to retire. Apparently her life was over. But now came almost 20 years of quiet, intense prayer from a small room overlooking the sanctuary. Small notebooks and slips of paper record her various prayers, ceaseless aspirations and meditation. She died at 96 and was canonized in 2000.

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. 

Do You Follow Us on Facebook??

Check out our new page on Facebook!!  CLICK HERE FOR OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AND FOLLOW US TODAY!
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.