The St. Vincent De Paul Society Building, situated at 146 Waterloo Street in Saint John, is recognized as a Local Historic Place for serving as the headquarters of the charitable St. Vincent De Paul Society for over a century.
Established in 1833 by Frederick Ozanam, a 20-year-old student in Paris, the society drew inspiration from the 17th-century French Saint, Vincent De Paul. In 1905, the St. Vincent de Paul Society set up its base in this building in Saint John and has since been dedicated to assisting the impoverished, underprivileged, and needy in the central Saint John area for more than 100 years.
According to a 1967 report, the society helped between 300 and 400 families annually, distributed 9,000 used clothing items, and provided 65 Christmas dinners. Society members collect donated clothing, sort it, and distribute it to those in need. In 1967, the local family service society gained corporate status.
With approximately 800,000 members across 140 countries, the St. Vincent de Paul Society operates through “conferences.” These conferences may be affiliated with churches, schools, community centers, or hospitals, and consist of Catholic volunteers dedicated to serving the poor while fostering their own Christian growth. Some conferences function independently, without any local council affiliation, and are not included in statistical counts. The society welcomes non-Catholic members and offers assistance to everyone, regardless of their personal beliefs.
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