The St. Raphael Conference has 25 active Vincentians who strive to meet the mission of St. Vincent de Paul Louisville by helping to house, feed, and support those in need with compassion and dignity. “Our key work is providing aid to those in need in our community. That can be aid for rent or utilities, or other emergencies that come up in life,” explains Conference President John Raque.
The St. Raphael Conference takes 15-20 phone calls for aid every week. In addition to this mission, the conference provides volunteers for the Open Hand Kitchen the second Friday of each month and three or four volunteers to the Food Pantry each week.
Each year at Thanksgiving, the Vincentians collect food items from church members. The goal is to create food baskets for 75 families in need each year. Those are distributed on December 17. In past years, the generosity of the parishioners has allowed the Vincentians to create all 75 food baskets and still have food available to donate to four local food pantries: The St. Vincent de Paul Louisville Food Pantry, St. Ignatius’s pantry, Sister Visitor’s pantry, and Highland Community Ministries’ pantry.
“We have been blessed with donations of over 7,000 items each of the last few years, and I anticipate that our parishioners’ generosity will continue,” says Raque. In addition to these meaningful acts of charity, the St. Raphael Conference has begun working on some larger projects. Earlier this year, St. Raphael took the lead in renting a 53-foot trailer and filling it with school desks, tables, chairs, and file cabinets for those in need following the flooding in Eastern Kentucky. This school furniture provided support to the school district in Letcher County.
“We didn’t do this alone,” shares Raque. “We secured a 53’ Ft trailer & secured 106 school desks, 12 files and two refrigerators from Mercy, Trinity, Belarmine & John Paul Academy. We received financial assistance from Epiphany, Holy Trinity, St. Stephen Martyr & the KY Colonels. The Holy Spirit is alive!”
We are grateful for the work of all our conferences, and we thank St. Raphael Conference for their dedication to the works of St. Vincent de Paul.