The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a worldwide Catholic organization of laypersons whose members strive to live their faith by serving the less fortunate with love and dignity, without judgement or discrimination. As a way to help people escape the cycle of poverty, volunteers lend assistance to those lacking the basic necessities of life, offering a hand up rather than a handout.
To live the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope, and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society.
- We bind ourselves spiritually by our service to the needy and suffering in our community.
- We practice humility, patience, and kindness towards volunteers, staff and those we serve.
- We serve anyone who comes to us for help, regardless of ethnicity, age, creed, or income level.
- We remember, as Vincentians, that God is present in everyone who asks for our help.
Board of Directors
First Vice President
Second Vice President
North, NE Portland District
SE Portland District Representative
East Portland District Representative
WA County District Representative
Clackamas County Representative
Father Rick Paperini, St. Philip Neri
Representative Steve Spitulski
Portland Council Leadership
Executive Administrative Assistant
Emergency Services Manager
The Society is open to all who wish to live their faith by loving and serving their neighbor. It has always been a grass roots organization using volunteers organized by local Catholic parishes who provide service to their community. These small geographically located groups are called Conferences. With a staff of 10, and a volunteer Board of 11, the Portland Council and 48 Conferences serve Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Clatsop and Columbia counties through a network of 1,700 volunteers from 48 Conferences.
The Conference is the basic and essential grouping of St. Vincent de Paul. Each Conference, because of its Vincentian commitment, engages regularly in the person-to-person service of those in need. The persons to be helped and the works to be performed are determined by the Conference itself. Conference services are provided without monetary compensation to the members. Help is not limited to material need and includes all activities that strengthen and nurture the human spirit.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society was established in 1833 by a young college student, Frederic Ozanam. Challenged to put his faith into action, Ozanam created the Society and named it after Vincent de Paul, a saint noted for his work with the poor. The St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVDP) began in the United States in St. Louis, Missouri in 1845 and has since spread to every state in the union.
The St. Vincent de Paul – Portland Council was established in 1869. The Council was founded in the spirit of justice and charity, helping not only those individual and families living in poverty but seeking to eliminate the root causes of poverty. The Council’s first major contribution to the community was the donation of both land and money to the Sisters of Providence for the building of the first St. Vincent Hospital in 1871.
In October of 2019 we will proudly celebrate our 150th Anniversary and history of service and support to those in need.