Serving St. Louis for 175 Years
For the people of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in St. Louis, service to the poor and vulnerable is not just a line in their mission statement – it is a way of life. For more than 175 years, the parish community has had a strong, dynamic presence in South St. Louis City, extending Christ’s mercy to people in need.
“Our door is always open,” explains Fr. Ed Murphy, C.M., pastor. “We feed people every single day. If you are hungry or homeless, we are here to care for you – regardless of your circumstances. Our job is not to judge people, our job is to feed them.”
The parish draws people – Catholics and non-Catholics alike – from throughout the region to join together in prayer and service. Volunteers are encouraged to learn about and practice Vincentian spirituality, connecting acts of charity and mercy to an ever-growing love for Jesus.
“Our volunteers play a critical role in our outreach efforts,” says Laura Garett, development director. “They get to know those we serve on a personal level – forming relationships and offering love and support. This is Christianity in action.”
As the parish celebrates its 175th anniversary, members are more dedicated than ever to sustaining and growing core ministries. At a recent fundraiser, the parish raised more than $100,000 to provide expanded tutoring services for at-risk youth.
“We go back again and again to the original message of Jesus – serve the least among you. As long as we focus on this simple message, our ministry will continue to grow.”
– Fr. Ed Murphy, C.M., St. Vincent De Paul Parish, St. Louis
“We see the needs of those we serve continue to grow every day,” Laura explains. “Without the increased support of donors and volunteers, we would not be able to meet the demand for our services.”
Looking ahead, Fr. Murphy has encouraged the parish to remain intensely focused on what is at the heart of the Christian life – seeing Jesus in the poor and vulnerable.
“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” Fr. Murphy says. “We go back again and again to the original message of Jesus – serve the least among you. As long as we focus on this simple message, our ministry will continue to grow.”