CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES, ORLEM
Saint Vincent De Paul (SVP)
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a world-wide lay organization founded in Paris, in 1833 by Frederic Ozanam who was a 20 year old student at the Sorbonne University. He forme the first group which was called the ‘Conferences of Charity’ and was later known as St.Vincent de Paul Society. They visited people in their homes and offered spiritual and material support. To-day this practice is known as home visits and it is the main activity of the Society.
The Society was first introduced in India by the French Missionaries at Pondicherry in the year 1852, which was not registered. Officially the Society started in India in 1863 with six Conferences in Bombay.
Structure of the Society: The basic unit of the Society is the Conference functioning at the Parish level. In India we have men, women, mixed, youth & junior conferences as on date. The number of conferences in the nearby areas are grouped together to form Area Councils and Area Councils are generally grouped at Diocesan level to form Central Council. There are totally 76 Central Councils. The National Council animates and co-ordinates the activities in India and reports to the International Confederation in Paris.
The Society stands recognized by the Holy Catholic Church as a Pious Association and is registered with the Catholic Bishop Conference of India (CBCI) as Catholic lay organization. The Spiritual Advisor of National Council is appointed by the CBCI. The Spiritual Advisers of the Central/Area Council are appointed by the respective Bishops. At Conference level one of the Priests of the Parish is the Spiritual Adviser. Thus the Society is entwined with the Parish and our members involve themselves spontaneously in all Church related activities. The mission of the Society is to bear witness to Christ by deepening the faith of its members and to serve the poor in order to uplift them from their miseries. The principal objectives of the Society are alleviation of poverty, provision of medical and educational assistance, disaster relief and self-help projects.
The Conference of Our Lady of Lourdes, Orlem completed 55 years. It has 48 active members and 28 Auxiliary members. They meet every friday at 7pm in the school classroom on the ground floor.
The conference has 34 adopted families which receives ration twice a month and 45 aided families which gets ration once a month, where possible, the medical expenses and children’s educational needs are taken care of. The Conference organized lunch for all the adopted families in January every year. In Mumbai the Society runs a Home for the Aged “Shanti Bhavan” at Kalyan and an AIDS Hospice/Leprosy Home at Trombay- “The Eduljee Framjee Albless Niramay Niketan”.
SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL (SENIOR)
Priest-in-Charge : Fr. Sunil D'souza
President : Sabastian D'Souza
SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL (YOUTH)
The SVP Youth group began in Orlem in 1995. The group today has 25 active, enthusiastic members who meet every single week on Sunday at 10.30 am, where they discuss and plan various ways in which they can reach out most effectively to their adopted families, whom they assist by visitation, education and moral support. Every month the youth also visit various institutions such as orphanages, age homes, homes for the destitute etc. Some of the homes visited are Joanna Buthello's Educational trust, Asha Dhaan (Byculla), the Clergy home, House of Charity (Versova) and others where the youth spend the entire morning, interacting with the residents and also giving them monetary support. Every visit is a new experience enriching, inspiring and motivating them to give off more.
Although visitation remains a fundamental activity of the youth conference, undertaken are other specialized works such as the street lunch on New Year's day and Easter Sunday for those unfortunate living on the streets, the Christmas party for the children of all the adopted families under the SVP Orlem, the "Back to school hamper", where basic school requirements, of the children of the adopted families are met in the new academic year, the Birthday celebration of the children of the adopted families under their care ,celebration of Christmas and Easter where festive goodies are shared with the families.
This year initiated by the youth is the Blood Donors Database,a project to assist all parishioners in times of an emergency. This database will consist of names of parishioners who are willing to donate blood in an emergency. Thus whenever there is an urgent requirement of blood in our Parish, parishioners can get in touch with the SVP youth for donors. You can enroll yourself as a donor by filling out the registration form. The duly filled form has to be handed over to the SVP youth desk or dropped in the SVP box. You can follow the work and activities of the youth on Facebook or you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Priest-in-Charge : Fr. Sunil D'souza
President : Ruth Pereira
Vice President : Christine Fernandes