Becoming a Member
There are two types of Members in the Society of St Vincent de Paul: Active and Associate Members.
Active Members are those who participate regularly in the prayer life, meetings, and person-to-person service of the poor. Active Members are Catholic, and are Members of a Conference.
Men and women who would like to serve, but may not have the time to participate regularly in the meetings and works of the Conference, or are not Catholic, may join as Associate Members.
In honor of the youthfulness of our founders, the Society welcomes Youth and Young Adult members as either Active or Associate Members.
To join the Society, first check to see if there is already a Conference at your parish, and if not, find the nearest District or Diocesan Council. Our online directory may be helpful.
The Rule: Book / Download
New Member Admission Process
Formation and Training
Formation is a process of becoming. As Vincentians, we seek to follow Christ’s teaching in the model of St Vincent and Bl Frédéric. This process includes individual prayer, study, and discernment, but also formal workshops and training sessions.
All new Members attend Ozanam Orientation, a one-day workshop, presented locally, where they are introduced to the Society’s heritage, traditions, organization, spirituality, and works.
The Manual: Book / Download
Walking the Vincentian Pathway
Vincentian Formation: A Foundation Document
Ozanam Orientation Packet
The call to servant leadership is an integral part of the Vincentian vocation for all Members. Leaders, we are brought up to believe, are larger than life, charismatic, inspiring. “That’s not me!” you might think.
But Vincentian servant leaders are not called to command or to rule; we are called to serve in the model given to us by Christ, who said he was among us not to be served, but to serve. As he so memorably washed the feet of the disciples who followed him, Vincentian servant leaders seek to fulfill the will of their fellow Members, as friends and as servants.
Leadership positions in the Society, then, are always to be accepted as service to Christ, the members, and the poor.
Since the beginning of the Society, a Spiritual Advisor has been appointed to help foster spiritual life within the Conferences and Councils. While sometimes a priest or deacon may be available to act in this role, the President typically appoints a Catholic layperson, in the tradition of the first Spiritual Advisor, Emmanuel Bailly.
Not a teacher, but an animator, the Spiritual Advisor leads prayers and reflections at Conference and Council meetings, and encourages other members to share their thoughts and insights so that the group may grow in faith together.
Spiritual Advisor Handbook: Book / Download
Spiritual Advisor Formation and Training Videos
Formation Plans for Conferences and Councils