Society of St. Vincent de Paul


Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) is one of the world's largest charitable organizations. The primary role of the organization is the spiritual development of its members.  It offers person-to-person service to those in need in 150 countries on five continents. The U.S. headquarters are located in St. Louis, MO, and the United States' membership totals more than 160,000.

SVDP - St. Hugo Conference:

St. Hugo Vincentians respond to the call from our neighbors requesting financial assistance.  We daily return calls to our help line (248-283-2204) from neighbors who need help with a wide range of needs, such as rent, medical bills, car repairs and overdue utility bills.  When a call is received from someone within our parish boundaries, we make a home visit to the requesting neighbor so we can better assess the full scope of their needs.  If a call comes in from outside our parish boundaries, we refer the caller to their local SVDP conference, since most Catholic parishes in our area also have SVDP Conferences.

Part of our mission at St. Hugo’s is to render aid to the homeless.  As a parish community, St. Hugo assists the South Oakland Shelter by coming together for a week each year to provide meals, transportation and shelter for the homeless.  The St. Hugo SVDP Conference works together with the parish to organize this annual ministry.

Click here to learn more about SOS at St. Hugo.


Mission Statement

Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, and patron, St. Vincent de Paul.

As a reflection of the whole family of God, Members, who are known as Vincentians, are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level.  Vincentians are united in an international society of charity by their spirit of poverty, humility and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection, mutually supportive gatherings and adherence to a basic Rule.

Organized locally, Vincentians witness God’s love by embracing all works of charity and justice.  The Society collaborates with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction in those served because, in them, Vincentians see the face of Christ. 

As members of SVDP, we put our faith into action.  The Vincentian vocation is the intimate desire to participate personally and directly in helping the needy by person-to-person contact and by the gift of one’s heart and friendship, doing so within the communal spirit of a Conference of lay persons each inspired by the same vocation…the call of personal service to those in need.












Society of St. Vincent de Paul Beginnings

Who would think that the discourse of a 20-year-old college student and his friends would be the spark that ignited the world in service to the poor? Yet God had a plan ...

In 1833, Frédéric Ozanam, a young Sorbonne student, often met regularly with his fellow Catholic students to discuss the issues of the day in Paris France. At one of their public meetings, a challenger admitted that the Catholic Church, at one time, had been a great source of good, but asked, "What is your Church doing now?... Show us your works and we will believe you." Unable to respond, Frédéric and his friends conceded. Yet, this question weighed heavily upon Frédéric.

Very shortly afterwards, Frédéric and six friends were inspired to create the Conference of Charity, with the purpose of serving the poor of Paris. These young founders decided that no act of charity would be foreign to their organization. For people in need, the Conference members provided food, clothing, shelter and financial and spiritual assistance as well as tutoring programs and libraries.

Under the guidance of Sr. Rosalie Rendu, a Daughter of Charity who was often seen caring for the poor in the streets of Paris, Frédéric impressed upon the Conference members the need and importance of offering the kindness, respect and compassion of God to the people they visited. In his view, this was as important as the food or clothing they brought with them.

Frédéric chose the 17th-century priest St. Vincent de Paul, known as the Apostle of Charity, as patron of the Conference. Subsequently, the Conference of Charity was renamed the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Frédéric's faith was very important to him and it guided him throughout his life. He was known to be a very humble and compassionate man. These traits enabled him to successfully assist many people in need and laid the foundation for the Society to spread throughout the world. As the Society grew, its members established volunteer groups in parishes. These groups became known as Conferences. The Society started in the United States in 1845 in St. Louis, Missouri.



The St. Hugo SVDP Conference meets on the first and third Tuesday evenings of each month at 7 PM in the Parish Library. Look to the Parish Calendar posted in the bulletin OR call the Parish Office to confirm.

SVDP Officers

Interim President: Suzanne Johnson

Vice President: Mike Ernat

Treasurer: Audrey Eagle

Secretary: Sue Draper

Contact: 248-283-2204



If you need assistance, please call the SVDP help line at 248-283-2204. Leave a message with a time when we can call you back.  We promise to return your call within 24 hours.

** Please take note:  when we call you, caller ID will show an unidentified caller. **

Donate Your Vehicle to Help Our Neighbors in Need

St. Vincent de Paul’s national vehicle donation program consistently provides the highest possible return for vehicle donations, an average of nearly 80 percent for each vehicle. Thank you for choosing to donate your car to help us help our neighbors in need!


Call 800-322-8284 or visit to get started on your donation today!