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Each year, the staff of St Vincent’s Clinic celebrate the feast of St Vincent de Paul on September 27. Mary Aikenhead, foundress of the Sisters of Charity, chose St Vincent as the patron saint of the Sisters of Charity because of his great love for the sick, poor and vulnerable. Like Mary and the Sisters his dedication was to bring hope and healing. I
St Vincent (24 April 1581-27 September 1660) was born in France to a poor farming family. After selling off the family’s oxen to pay for Vincent’s study for the priesthood, his ministry was to continue to come into contact with the immense poverty in France at the time. Wanting to make lives better for the poor, Vincent established hospitals and schools to care for the poor and the vulnerable.
St Vincent also established the congregation of religious sisters known as the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. Their ministry of visiting the poor in their own homes was the model of ministry, that Mary Aikenhead, foundress of the Sisters of Charity had favoured, disheartened by the idea of a religious congregation in enclosure. When the Venerable Mary Aikenhead wished to establish her first hospital, she wanted the very best and up to date medical care for the poor, always pushing the boundaries, she sent three Sisters of Charity to Paris to study the manner of managing hospitals.
It is only fitting that Mary Aikenhead would chose St Vincent de Paul as her patron for health and education as their hearts were aligned always in service of the poor and vulnerable.
Each year staff contribute food items to be distributed to the poor and hungry by the St Vincent de Paul Society. This year, the contributions were given to the people of Minto in Sydney’s south west.
The staff of St Vincent’s Clinic have been exceptionally generous, donating several large boxes to the campaign.
Many thanks to all of the generous staff who contributed to the campaign to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people in our community.