SVP : St Vincent de Paul

If you’re missing the opportunity to go to church to light a candle and pray for an intention, here is a beautiful alternative .

 

You can now Light a Candle here via this website for any cause of your choice – a loved one, the victims of Covid-19, NHS workers or even yourself.

 

Click the red button below which will take you to the page, simply click the button as directed and a flickering candle will appear on the page for your chosen intention. Gradually, over time, it will burn down, just like a real candle, and when it finally goes out you can light a new candle if you wish.

 

You can light as many candles as you like, and each time you light one you will be invited to make an optional donation which will go towards supporting the SVP’s work to help people in need. It’s up to you whether you make a donation or not and how much you give, but rest assured the money will go to a worthwhile cause.

 

There is a long tradition in the Christian faith of people lighting candles to symbolise the light of Christ. Lighted candles are reflections of our emotional self and help to illuminate our hearts when we feel burdened.

 

During the current coronavirus crisis many Christians are missing the opportunity to find peace and serenity in church, praying for their chosen intention and lighting a candle to symbolise that prayer. But now they can find a small place of spiritual calm on the SVP website.

 

Click the red button below

Responding in Vincentian spirit

 

The SVP was born during a pandemic. During the 1830s cholera swept through North America and Europe, while Paris faced a rebellion on the back of the June Uprising. Masses of people, poor sanitation and great poverty combined to create a perfect climate for infection to spread.

 

As the Society and its members grew, Frédéric would later reflect on a moment of his own isolation, on a more care-free time, “Where are our evening walks, our castles in the air, our student follies? Here the present vacation does not at all resemble those which are passed. The fear of cholera froze those spirits on our arrival. We remained rude and isolated; no friendly dinners, no country parties.”

 

The desire to help people suffering in a pandemic is hardwired in our DNA; while it could be said that humanity has never faced a threat quite like this before, equally the world has never been better motivated and inspired to respond. This is true of the SVP. We have always helped; helping those most in need. Almost two hundred years after Blessed Frédéric’s first act of charity to deliver firewood to a widow whose husband had passed away from cholera, members continue to help the people around them who are struggling in difficult and challenging times.

 

SVP co-patron, St Louise de Marillac, in writing to her sisters said “I believe His goodness gave you the grace not to be bored with nothing to do, since it does not matter that we are not doing something. It is enough that God knows that we are all ready to work whenever He wishes.”

 

Isolation does not have to be isolating. While it is possible that we have felt that we have nothing to do, we needn’t. Our desire to help must burn brighter now than it ever has. It is enough that God knows that we are ready to help whenever He wishes, safely, responsibly, creatively, and in Vincentian spirit

 

How you can help

 

Window cleaning: Many members are offering to wash the closed downstairs windows of beneficiaries’ houses, while also having a chat through the glass. For someone who has been confined to their house for a long time, it is a wonderful act to freshen their view of the world

 

A little gardening: Some green-fingered members have offered to spruce up the neglected gardens of people confined indoors. If this is something you would like to offer remember to bring your own tools and tidy up behind you. You could even bring your own flask of tea so that could share a tea break at an appropriate distance. Make sure to only spruce where you have outdoor access and do not enter someone’s home to reach a garden. If you are borrowing a lawn mower, remember to disinfect before and after use.

 

Little extras: When we drop deliveries what else could we add? Colouring books, cross words, or knitting? Even a dreaded Mills and Boon might be welcome. Hand-made gifts from children are an option; as well as keeping the kids busy you could give the gift of homemade cards, paintings and crafts. Our members and volunteers the world over have thrown themselves headlong into baking and cooking, how lovely it would be to receive the parcel you need desperately with a thoughtful and delicious treat!

 

Dog walking: Many people are unable to walk their pets and they might need a helping hand to exercise their dogs, however there are a few safety aspects to consider. Many services have suggested disinfecting the lead that you take from someone. Our advice would be to buy your own lead to clip to someone’s dog. Dogs have proven to be a very low risk for transmission so you may consider offering this service.

 

Leafleting: Last week we heard a story of someone receiving a bingo card through the letterbox, with a note on the back saying "10am Tuesday." At 10am that Tuesday a sound system was set up in the middle of the cul-de-sac and numbers began to be called out. Everybody played bingo together from the comfort of their doorstep!

 

Second-hand shares: Some members have gifted beneficiaries with radios, music players and second-hand iPads installed with audio books, films and music. Many of us have been forced to become much more technologically literate, so please help share these skills if you have them. People can still stream Mass, they can still see people face-to-face, they can still reach out across the world, they may just need the tools to do so.

 

Coronavirus

 

Jesus Christ, you travelled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick where made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the corona virus, that we may experience your healing love.

 

Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.

 

Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbours from helping one another.

 

Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

 

We ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen

 

 

The SVP Lymington has decided to suspend ALL S.V.P. activities until further notice.  This will include (in no special order!)

 

1. Cancelling SVP meetings forthwith.  .

 

2. All future coffee morning fund raisers are ceased.

 

3. All visits to nursing homes has been suspended unless directed by the companys otherwise.  Please phone ahead if you normally visit in private homes.  Spend time on the telephone with your beneficiaries if possible.

 

4. I have heard today from Louise Piper (Faith in Action training) and she has cancelled next Saturday's (21st March) training session.  She hopes this can be re-booked at a later date.

 

 

Hands & Feet Corner

“Lord – help me to recognise the ‘Onesimus’ in my life. Who is that person that has fallen through the cracks of society? Who is that vulnerable person that I could help?”

Dear Lord – Show us how we can become your hands and your feet today. Give us the grace to listen and not just hear; to seek out and not just see. Guide us to find those who need our help.

 

The New Forest South SVP Conference meets on

the 3rd Monday in the month

at 7.30pm at Joseph’s place,

which is the building opposite the main entrance to

Our Lady of Mercy & St Joseph Catholic church,

132 High Street, Lymington SO41 9AQ