St Joseph’s are the first school in the whole of the Nottingham Diocese to have a Mini Vinnies group and we are very pleased to say that over 30 children applied to join. We now have our final 15 children who on the 24th November 2017 were commissioned by the YCDO of the Middlesbrough diocese in front of local members of the SVP and Father Andrew and they can’t wait to get going!
What is Mini Vinnies?
The Society of St Vincent de Paul has been engaging with young people and education since its earliest days. Today the SVP England & Wales is pleased to highlight its continuing strong links with young people, through the development of its new 'Mini Vinnies' programme - a ground-breaking Primary Schools initiative, based on good work done in Australia, piloted in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, and which is seen as having, "the potential to significantly contribute to the future of our Society." As Mini Vinnies, the youngsters have their own 'treasured' Prayer, Pledge and Badge, a dedicated website and a range of bright and colourful documents which guide them in their formative steps - helping and enabling them to become in every sense, young Vincentians - or 'Mini Vinnies'.
‘Mini Vinnies’ is a St Vincent de Paul Group in a Primary School. It is a group of young people aged 7-11 who get together, organise and talk about helping others in need within their school community and beyond. What makes Mini Vinnies such a valuable experience for the children who are part of it, is the change it makes in school communities. Mini Vinnies’ groups usually meet once a week or fortnight during lunchtime.
What happens at a Mini Vinnies’ meeting?
A ‘President’ is elected by the Mini Vinnies to lead the meeting and organise the group. An adult will co-ordinate the group and give help and practical advice. Meetings should be as brief as possible.
· The President opens the meeting with a prayer.
· A short spiritual reading/reflection/piece of music/meditation follows. The Group members could take turns to do this.
· Group members then talk about the Mini Vinnies’ activities they have done since the previous meeting.
· Any future plans are then discussed.
· The President concludes the meeting with a prayer.
SVP Who's Who
Our patron, founders & inspiration.
St. Vincent de Paul (1581 - 1660)
Vincent was born poor and in the beginning he wanted to be rich. This was why he first became a priest!
Later he changed his mind and decided to spend his life helping the sick and mentally-ill, orphans and old people, beggars and the starving, prisoners and galley slaves.
Vincent’s life is a great reminder for us all to find ways to help those around us.
Frédéric Ozanam (1813 - 1853)
The St. Vincent de Paul Society was founded in 1833 by a 19 year old Catholic student called Frédéric Ozanam. In a discussion one day, Frédéric was asked to say what the Catholic Church was doing for the poor in France. Frédéric was embarrassed. He knew in his heart that the Church was doing very little.
So Frédéric and his friends began to meet each week to plan visits and help local people in need. He now realised that Christianity was about actions, not just words. Thus, they formed the world's first SVP group. In 1997 Frédéric Ozanam was beatified by Pope John Paul II in France.
St Vincent de Paul is recognised, both in France and worldwide as the apostle of charity and of the society. It was decided by the Founders to dedicate the society to St Vincent de Paul.
Louise de Marillac (1591 - 1660)
Louise was a wealthy widow who became a close friend and confidante of Vincent. She founded with him the Daughters of Charity.
During Louise's marriage, and especially after the death of her husband, Louise found herself with spare time which she dedicated to helping abandoned children on the streets.
She graduated to visiting the sick men of the chain gangs in their prison hospice (a truly horrible place) and started a house nearby where a number of women cooked food for those who visited the prisoners daily to take with them.
Throughout the country, centres staffed by wives of people in the village were set up to serve the poor. Louise pushed for every village to have its own clinic, school, nurse and teacher. The women who came to do these jobs made up the Daughters of Charity.
Sr Rosalie Rendu (1786 - 1856)
As a novice, Sr Rosalie was a sensitive and nervous person. She would have initially seemed an unlikely woman to spend 50 years of her life helping Paris’s most impoverished.
When, in 1803, she arrived in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Paris, she was horrified by the poverty caused as a result of the civil revolution. She and her sisters distributed relief in the form of clothing, food and linen, and ran a school for children. She also used her energy to pressure the authorities and to involve others in her work.
Through Rosalie’s assistance, Frédéric and his companions made their first contact with the poor. Because Rosalie’s good work had made her a recognised household name, the new group gained an instant respect which they would not have had otherwise.
Rosalie was a very important guide for Frédéric and his friends and was a living example of how we should put our faith into action.