A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

St. Vincent de Paul’s Feast Day celebration to honor two long-time volunteers, mark its centennial

St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky will be hosting its annual Feast Day Celebration at the Cathedral Basilica in Covington on Saturday, September 23 at 10 a.m.

This year also marks the Centennial anniversary of St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky. The closed event will offer mass at the Cathedral Basilica celebrated by Bishop John C. Iffert.  A brunch for the Vincentian volunteers will follow at Covington Latin School where two will be honored.

Clarence Martin

St. Vincent de Paul was born in Pouy, France, on April 24, 1581, and was ordained a priest on September 23, 1600. Well known as a master organizer, Vincent devoted himself entirely to the alleviation of the suffering of the poor. Vincent died in Paris on September 27, 1660, and was canonized in 1737. Pope Leo XIII declared him the patron saint of all works of charity. To honor St. Vincent, SVdPNKY volunteers, known as Vincentians, and supporters will receive special recognition for their dedication to our neighbors in need.

Every year, a Vincentian is honored with the Norb DeJaco Vincentian Service Award. Clarence Martin of St. Joseph Parish in Cold Spring is this year’s honoree. Clarence has been part of St. Vincent de Paul for more than 30 years. His peers describe him as compassionate, fair, and someone who always gives generously of his time. Clarence is known to deliver groceries, furniture, and other basic needs to those he has served. He has used his handyman skills to help those he visits, even replacing windows.

Bill Schawe

In recognition of St. Vincent de Paul’s Centennial Anniversary, there will also be special recognition of the longest serving Vincentian, Bill Schawe of St. Anthony Parish in Taylor Mill. He started his Vincentian vocation beginning in 1949. For over 30 years, Bill drove the St. Vincent de Paul truck in the wee hours on Thursday mornings to pick up over 250 cases of pizzas to bring back to the SVdPNKY distribution center, so that other Northern Kentucky agencies could give pizzas to those in need. Today, you will find Bill unloading the cases of pizzas from the truck and then loading them into the cars of the other partner agencies.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul by honoring our Vincentians who are committed to loving their neighbors through service,” said Karen Zengel, Executive Director of SVdPNKY. “We value the opportunity to gather and reflect on St. Vincent’s de Paul’s approach to ministry, which we incorporate into everything we do.”

To learn more about St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky, their work to support local neighbors in need, and how you can become a Vincentian, visit svdpnky.org.

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