Serving those in need: The Society of St. Vincent de Paul finds face of Christ in others through ministry

Rebecca Venegoni Tower
Right at the edge of the bustling traffic flowing up and down I-55 in South St. Louis is a convent — small in comparison to the massive highway, but mighty in the work that its residents are doing for the Lord. The sisters at St. Agatha Parish convent have been doing this work for years, serving those who need it the most, through the parish’s St. Vincent de Paul Society conference. This is just one example of the work of the 142 parish conferences located in the St. Louis area. Their efforts are at the heart of the Society’s mission, said Zip Rzeppa, executive director of the Society in St. Louis. “We have 2,600 volunteers in the trenches doing 38,000 home visits a year,” he said. “It’s really very similar to how Jesus sent the disciples out two by two — they go two by two into the homes, and they see the face of Christ in the needy and the suffering. It’s about as hands-on as you can get with serving those in need.”

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