Saint Vincent de Paul Society

2901 East Trent Avenue
Spokane, Washington 99202
535-2491, 534-2824

"Help us to help others"

March 1st


Knights of Columbus Hall
302 E. Boone, Spokane
9am - 1pm
Cost: Donation of your choice

Our Stores

What you can find at our stores:

*Linens, bedding and quilts
*Dishes, pots & pans, glassware
and miscellaneous kitchenware items
*Books, artwork, and records


These items are needed and accepted by our store:

*linens, blankets and quilts
*dishes, pots & pans, and other kitchen items
*donations of food

How to donate:

St. Vincent's will pick up donations from your home or you can drop off donations at either of our stores. Please call 535-2491 for more information.

Social Services offered:

*clothing, linens and quilts
*utility assistance
*rental assistance
*emergency transportation assistance
*Holiday food baskets

Hours: Monday through Friday
9:30-12:00, 1:00-3:30

Current News

Jan./Feb. 1998



It is such an innocent question.

"How are you?"

Rarely are we prepared to listen patiently to its answer.

I have asked it often enough to have become aware that I do not actually want to hear the origin, progress, therapy and medication of someone's aches and pains.

Now that I am beginning to feel some of my own, and sometimes not disguising them well, I have decided I will not answer the question in the way that is so easy to do, with a chapter-and-verse description of whatever is not right, nor normal, nor positive -- often accompanied by a subtle violin tone.

The expression I have come up with -- while reflecting honestly the substance but not belaboring the details - is this: I'm fine, but experiencing "the previews of coming attractions"!

I hope I can get by with that. It does say it all, without saying all of it. I'11 save the rest for the doctor. I believe that the more appropriate and infinitely more helpful and challenging question would be: "How are you coping with aches and pains ... with your set-back ... with your condition?" Sooner or later, we all must face up to our individual frailties and fragilities of health and well-being, but ultimately what has lasting significance for us, and for all those who love us and care for us, is how we cope with our pains and our mortality.

It would be a great healing of the spirit if we could cope so well and realistically that in the process we become "wounded healers".

It is possible: the promise is: "I will be with you!" (Matt 28,20).

- Tony Lehmann, S.J.

Spiritual Advisor


Bring Your Appetites!

It's time for a St. Vincent de Paul breakfast! One and all are cordially invited to join us at the Knights of Columbus hall on East Boone on Sunday, March 1st from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is a donation of your choice. We will also celebrate a Vincentian Mass of the Four Intentions at 8:30 at St. Aloysius to induct and welcome the newest Vincentians from St. Aloysius and other conferences. We'll see you there! Bring a friend!




Most of the cases of need that present themselves to us are fairly cut and dried, but every now and then, a caseworker from another agency calls with a family in need that is especially heart-rending, or they come walking into our offices with a situation that demands attention. Here are a few examples of out-of-the-ordinary cases we've assisted with in the past year:

* We purchased a new alternator for a single mother trying to get off welfare and to a job. Single Parent Outreach Connection supplied the labor.

* We paid union dues for a single father of four children so that he could take a well-paying job in Portland and get off unemployment.

* We purchased a new drive line for a couple who got stranded on their way from Colorado to Portland, working with a Pentecostal church that lodged them.

* We paid for a month of storage for a woman who had all of her appliances in a storage unit. She'd been evicted from one residence. Then, a few months later, she needed rent help when her mentally ill husband moved back in and committed suicide.

* We kept phone service on for a woman who had fled a domestic violence situation - in fact, she came into our offices very beat up - and she needed to be able to call 911 if her abuser found her.

* We purchased a part to repair a dryer for a single mother. Volunteer Chore through Catholic Family Services provided the labor. Later in the year, we helped to pay a mover to relocate her elsewhere in the county through Spokane County Supportive Living to get her away from a stalking ex-husband.

* We provided rental assistance for a family with four children who had just moved to Spokane to seek care for their youngest, who was dying. We coordinated additional funds from several other agencies and churches. The father is a veteran, a survivor of the barracks truck bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, in the 80s.

We coordinated over $400 in assistance from several agencies and churches to keep the power on for a family of five whose middle child suffers from a rare brain cancer.


A thank you from a single mother of three children in St. Francis Xavier conference:

"To the volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul--

Thank you so much for dedicating your time, money and energy to help people like us. I know that the dear Lord saves a special place for people such as you. You helped us get back onto our feet when we were desperate for help - and to us it will not ever be forgotten. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! Keep up the great work!"

Above, one of our Mormon missionary volunteers attempts a new record for number of empty banana boxes stacked and carried. Four or five of these young men volunteer reliably every Wednesday morning at the food bank and are indispensable.


Walla Walla Conference president Al Torretta sends these reports of activities in their area. "At Thanksgiving time, we along with one of the other charitable organizations in our town and about nine churches contributed food and presented a complete and traditional Thanksgiving dinner for over 700 people. The dinner was delicious and all those who helped to prepare the meal and serve it were very enthusiastic about the whole effort that we put forth. I feel that this was a very successful ecumenical event. This year (at Christmas) we decided to give out gift certificates to be exchanged at one of our local supermarkets for food... In this endeavor, we served 386 families, totaling 1,355 people. This was 92 more families than last year. We did all this with 28 of our members and several of our non-Vincentian volunteers. I feel this was a very successful project in our continuing effort to served the poor and needy of our area."


The Pope Talks About Ozanam

Excerpts from Pope John Paul n's homily at the beatification of St. Vincent de Paul founder Frederic Ozanam, August 22, 1997:

Speaking about the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Holy Father says "Who is my neighbor? The neighbor is every human being without exception. It is not necessary to ask his nationality, or to which social or religious group he belongs. If he is in need, he must be helped. This is what is required by the first and greatest divine Law, the law of love of God and neighbor. Faithful to this commandment of the Lord, Frederic Ozanam believed in love, the love of God for every individual. He felt himself called to love, giving~ the example ofa great love for God and others. He went to all those who needed to be loved more than others, those to whom the love of God could not be revealed effectively except through the love of' another person. There Ozanam discovered his vocation, the path to which Christ called him. He found his road to sanctity. And he followed it with determination.

"I affectionately greet the members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society who have come from across the world for the Beatification of their principal founder, as well as those representing the great spiritual family of St. Vincent. The connection with the Vincentians was close from the beginning of the Society, since it was a Daughter of Charity, Sr. Rosalie Rendu, who guided the young Frederic Ozanam and his companions to the poor of the Mouffetard neighborhood of Paris. Dear disciples of St. Vincent de Paul, I encourage you to join forces so that the poor, as he who inspired you always wished, may be loved and better served, and that Jesus Christ be honored in their person.

Frederic Ozenam loved everyone who was deprived. From his youth, he became he became aware that it was not enough to speak about charity and the mission of the Church in the world: rather what was needed was an effective commitment of Christians in the service of the poor. He had the same intuition as St. Vincent: "Let us love God, my Brothers, let us love God, but let it be through the work of our hands, let it be by the sweat of our brow" (St. Vincent de Paul, XI, 40).

"From then on, the love of those in extreme need, of those with no one to care for them, became the center of Frederic Ozeman's life and concerns. Speaking of these men and women, he writes, 'We must fall at their feet and say to them, like the Apostle: "Tu es Dominus meus." You are our masters and we are your servants; you are for us the sacred images of God whom we do not see and, not knowing how to love him in another way, we love him through you.'"

We'll have more of Pope John Paul's homily in the next edition of the Vincentian News.


A Prayer for Those Who Have Too Much

To my brothers and sisters in developing countries:

While I was deciding which oat bran cereal to eat this morning, you were searching the ground for leftover grains from the passing wheat truck.

While I was jogging at the health center, you were working in the wealthy landowner's fields under a scorching sun.

While I was choosing between diet and regular soda, your parched lips were yearning for the touch of water.

While I complained about the poor service in the gourmet restaurant, you were gratefully receiving a bowl of rice.

While I poured my "fresh and better" detergent in the washing machine, you stood in the river with your bundle of clothes.

While I watched the evening news on my wide screen television set, you were being terrorized and taunted by a dictatorship government.

While I read the newspaper and drank my cup of steaming coffee, you walked the dusty, hot miles to the tiny, crowded schoolroom to try to learn how to read.

While I scanned the ads for a bargain on an extra piece of clothing, you woke up and put on the same shirt and pants that you have worn for many months.

While I built a 14 room house for the three of us, your family of 10 found shelter in a one-room hut.

While I went to church last Sunday and felt more than slightly bored, you looked out upon the earth and those around you and felt gratitude to God for being alive for one more day.

My brothers and sisters, forgive me for my arrogance and indifference. Forgive me for my greed of always wanting newer, bigger and better things. Forgive me for not doing my part to change the unjust systems that keep you suffering and impoverished. I offer you my promise to become more aware of your situation and to change my lifestyle as I work for transformation of our world.



The Washington Association of Churches asks us to call our legislators and register our opinion on measures that directly affect the poor in our state. Call 1-800-562-6000 from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. Monday through Friday and 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. on Saturday and make your voice heard on these issues!!:

* Children's Health Insurance Program - support Gov. Locke's $1.5 million in the budget to fund the expansion of health insurance to an estimated 10,000 uninsured children.

* Homeless Children - oppose any legislation that would overturn the recent state Supreme Court ruling requiring the Dept. of Social and Human Services to develop a plan for the protection and care of homeless children.

* Farmworker Housing - support a proposed $2million to assist in providing adequate housing for 4 farmworkers (Senate Bill 6168 and House Bill 2494). These folks grow our food!


Servite Sr. Joyce Rupp


Thank you, Al, for passing along the news. Please share with us anything newsworthy happening in your conference. We want to know!

This page maintained Scott Cooper, Saint Vincent de Paul Society.