Updated: Jan 7, 2020
Our Conference at St. Matthias Catholic Church has been helping Patricia*, a middle-aged lady who has been bed bound for many years.
Patricia's care giver would usually make it on time to the St. Matthia's food pantry. Unfortunately, there were also times she would miss it. On one occasion, the Society received a call that asked for the food to be delivered to Patricia as the care giver would not be available that week.
Our Vincentians immediately prepared a basket and delivered it to Patricia. During the visit, our Vincentians decided to learn more about Patricia and her needs. They asked Patricia if she was OK and if she needed anything else.
“No, I'm fine. Thank you for asking," responded Patricia.
While visiting Patricia, our Vincentians noticed her file needed some updating. It is customary to update a friend-in-need's file if it is over one year old. While updating her information, our Vincentians noticed the date written on her application. They looked at each other and realized it was her birthday. The Vincentians wished her a happy birthday, completed the file update, and departed.
Over the weekend, the Vincentians discussed how this lady, despite her health issues, displayed such a positive attitude.
The following week after the Home Visit and delivery of the food basket, our Vincentians noticed a birthday cake was donated to the pantry. After serving everyone who came through the pantry that day, they realized the birthday had not been picked by anyone that day.
Remembering Patricia, our Vincentians took this as a sign to do more for their friend-in-need. They picked up the small birthday cake, bagged it, and delivered it to Patricia. They wished her a happy birthday and handed her the cake. Patricia was overjoyed that someone actually remembered her birthday. Our Vincentians recall her smiling and shedding a few tears of joy.
After exchanging hugs, our Vincentians departed knowing they brought happiness to a friend-in-need.
"We're grateful that as Vincentians, we have an opportunity to touch lives with small acts of kindness." - Vincentians at St. Matthias Conference.
About the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP): The Society is a faith-based nonprofit organization helping families living in poverty in the greater Galveston-Houston area since 1871. We are a network of 58 parish-based chapters with over 1,900 Vincentian volunteers actively doing Home Visits every day. Stories are submitted monthly by our Vincentians in the form of short reflections of their encounters. Vincentians endeavor to establish relationships based on trust and friendship. Conscious of their own frailty and weakness, their hearts beat with the heartbeat of the poor. They do not judge those they serve. Rather, they seek to understand them as they would a brother or sister. The Society serves everyone in need regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender, religious belief, or political opinions. *Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.