St. Vincent de Paul Society retools as tough times loom

A daylong orientation and formation session last Saturday at St. Ann’s Parish in Peoria gave about 30 Vincentians a chance to meet the new leadership team of the Peoria Diocesan Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

The orientation session for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, known internationally for its outreach to the poor, was the first formal activity held at the new St. Ann’s Parish Hall since its Jan. 10 dedication by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC.

“It is a great joy to know that really the official opening of our parish hall is to a meeting on social justice,” said Father Terry Cassidy, St. Ann’s pastor.

Deacon Cenek is one of the five new leaders of the Peoria Diocesan Council, which had been without officers for three years.

Now serving a three-year term as president is Emiel Michelet of Holy Family Parish in Peoria. Assisting him as vice president is Marvin Schneider, also of Holy Family Parish.

In addition, Chris Teuerle of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Morton is the council’s treasurer, and Willa Gibbemeyer of Corpus Christi Parish in Galesburg is secretary.

Bishop Jenky has appointed Deacon Cenek of St. Ann’s Parish as the council’s spiritual adviser.

The orientation and formation session was presented by a three-man formation team representing the society’s North Central Region, encompassing a large part of the Midwest.

The session’s agenda included a review of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s mission, identity and history, an explanation of the society’s rule and organization, and presentations on the society’s activities, with a special emphasis on member accountability and the importance of home visits.

Those interested in exploring the possibility of establishing a parish conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society are invited to call Michelet at (309) 713-0116.

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