SVP President Visits Roscrea
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The National President of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Mr. Geoff Meagher, recently visited Roscrea’s St. Cronan’s conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society
The National President of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Mr. Geoff Meagher, recently visited Roscrea’s St. Cronan’s conference of the Society. He expressed his admiration and gratitude for the work being done by the Roscrea Conference under the presidency of Ms. Patricia Gleeson. Mr. Meagher praised the vision of the conference in developing a shop in Church Street by which Roscrea people can purchase quality goods at reasonable prices and thus, in doing so, support those who may find themselves in need in the community of Roscrea and District and which needs the Roscrea SVP seek to serve.
Front Barry Tobin ( Regional Vice Pres)Geoff Meayler (
National Pres) Patricia Gleeson (Conference Pres) Phil O Meara Dena O Meara
Liam Shanahan( Conference V pres) Conty Cunningham, Fr Tom
Corbett, Seamus Deeley
Mr. Meagher reminded members of the origins of the society, the vision of its founder and the relevance of that vision to-day. The Society of the St. Vincent de Paul which is now active in 130 countries throughout the world with one million members was founded by a young law student in Paris in 1833 called Frederick Ozanam. Frederick who was to become a Doctor of Law and a University Professor, was to see the society which he founded grow rapidly, before he died at the early age of forty years. Frederick, who saw Christ in the poor and needy, insisted that the members of SVP must visit those in need, thus going to where they were and providing what material help they could. However, his members were also to befriend those they visited and do what they could to satisfy their deeper needs. Ozanam, who was beatified in 1997 also insisted, that his members would seek, as he did, to identify the underlying causes of poverty and would have the courage to challenge such causes and bring about societal change. Mr. Geoff Meagher reminded the Roscrea members that unfortunately, many of the needs which Frederick Ozanam encountered are still with us to-day, two hundred years after his birth in 1813. Many of the underlying causes of people’s poverty which he faced are, he said, also unfortunately, prevalent to-day.
The National SVP President said that he was inspired by the manner in which the members of St. Cronan’s conference visited those in need, and he noted the compassion, care and empathy, which they brought with them, together with an inclusive and non judgemental approach. He also praised their willingness to tackle, in so for as they could, the underlying causes of poverty and their liaison and sometimes partnership approach with other organizations and agencies in trying to make a real difference to people’s lives. In particular he acknowledged with gratitude the enormous assistance given by NTLP and in particular NTLP’s Mary Spillane and her team of workers, who working on individual projects in partnership with SVP, have transformed the living conditions of very many people and brought brightness into their lives.
Mr. Meagher insists that people must be vigilant and exercise their rights and duties as citizens. He says that “our lives are now being controlled and managed by an increasingly smaller number of people and this”, he stated, “cannot be good for democracy”. He reiterated the SVP’s call, of last February, for a national debate on social justice and in that context he said that the SVP should encourage young people to be part of that debate as they have so much to offer. He also encouraged youth conferences in secondary schools.
Mr. Meagher referred to SVP’s call for people to make their voices heard prior to budget 2014 and to support SVP’s message to government “that further cuts to the budgets of government departments which impact negatively on the services needed by individuals, families and communities in Ireland are unacceptable.”
Mr. Meagher acknowledged Roscrea’s vision in their scheduled opening of an SVP shop which it is hoped will provide the funding necessary to finance a large proportion of the Roscrea’s conference on-going Revenue requirements in meeting the needs of the local community. It is expected to have the shop opened in November. The Roscrea conference is thankful for the good quantities and quality of clothes they have already received and would welcome more good quality clothes. They are also grateful to the number of people who have already volunteered and would welcome more enquiries in that regard. Their contact telephone number is (087)9835787.
St. Cronan’s Conference would welcome enquiries also from those who would wish to become members of the conference, especially from younger people. The existing conference members would also do everything possible to encourage and support a youth conference of 2nd level students. SVP are most anxious to create and develop an awareness of social justice among the young. In this regard they would give every assistance to schools wishing to initiate social justice awareness programmes. As a young student Frederick Ozanam commenced his journey of social justice awareness through debate which sparked him and his colleagues into practical action and thus we have, to-day, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.