The Society’s history clearly reveals the hand of God and the zeal of a twenty-year-old name Frederic Ozanam who was a law student at the Sorbonne, in Paris.Frequently, engaged in debates, Frederic was once asked “In the past the Catholic church helped the poor, but what is the church doing now for its poor?”At that very moment, Frederic was deeply moved.After a visit to the tenements in Paris to see first-hand the needs of the poor, Frederic Ozanam, along with 6 companions founded the “Conference of Charity” on April 23, 1833 to serve the needs of the poor.
The name soon changed to The Society of St. Vincent De Paul in honor of the 16th century saint who spent his life serving the poor. The conference was guided by the hand of Sister Rosalie Rendu, of the Daughters of Charity. Sister Rosalie was very close to the poor and understood how to serve our brothers and sisters in need with spiritual guidance and dignity. It’s no small wonder that 200 years earlier, St. Vincent de Paul had founded the Daughters of Charity with St. Louise de Marillac by his side.
Blessed Frederic died on September 8, 1853, on the day of the feast of the birth of the Blessed Mother, to whom he had great devotion. He was 40 years young.
The first Conference in Worcester, MA was St. John Conference, founded in 1879 and aggregated June 9, 1881. The Worcester Diocese was founded in 1950 and the official name was: The Particular Council of The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of the County of Worcester, Inc.
On January 31, 1998, the official new name was changed to: The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the Diocese of Worcester, Inc.
On September 27, 2019, we were officially recognized as a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization by the IRS under the name of Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocesan Council of Worcester, Inc.