St Vincent de Paul Society

St Francis of Assisi Ohariu Parish

The St Francis of Assisi Ohariu Parish is unique insofar as it has three conferences in one parish. The three conferences focus on the mission and vision of the society: 

  • Mission – To live the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope, and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society. 
  • Vision – Vincentians work to provide person to person, practical and effective help to those in need; sharing their burdens and joys; sowing seeds of hope, and promoting human dignity, justice, and self-sufficiency.

The Johnsonville St Vincent de Paul Society continues to help the poor, lonely and sick in our local area.  Over the past year our members provided dozens of one-off food parcels to locals who were financially struggling; weekly distributed leftover bread from Nada Bakery to needy families; provided Christmas hampers to almost 200 people; organised two luncheons after anointing-of-the-sick Masses at Sts Peter and Paul’s Church for over 60 people; and recently provided spring hampers to 20 people.  Our members also regularly visit the elderly at Malvina Major retirement home; help out at the soup kitchen once every two weeks and volunteer at our local Vinnies second had shop once a month. 

If you know of any poor, lonely or sick that need help, or want to get involved, please do not hesitate to contact Justin Shaw on 027 587 8467.

The Onslow St Vincent de Paul Society continues to get support in the form of donations and information that help us in our work. The donations come in various forms – cash, kind (new and used items) and time to assist those in need. In the midst of winter, we received a donation of a large number of new hot water bottles. These were distributed to refugees most in need across Wellington by members of the Society and the in-house full-time social worker employed by the Society. 

During the current year over 200 food parcels were delivered, 120 visits were made and a number of persons to whom transport was provided. Cash grants were made to schools in the area to assist families that otherwise would not have been able to send their children to school camp. Occasionally, we recommend to some families to contact the in-house social worker who deals with issues that need the specialised assistance. 

We continue to seek assistance from members of the parish to let us know the names of persons/families that are in need of assistance, or to get involved.

If you do, please contact Eustie Kamath – 022-3878435 or (04)5509240.

Supporting Resettling Families

Our parish has been supporting refugee families to resettle in Wellington since February 2016.

A dedicated team of parishioners have worked closely with Catholic Social Services and the local Red Cross office to turn a house into a home. What does this mean?

Everything needs to be provided to help these families get started. They come with suitcases only. 

Through the parish’s generosity of donating goods and funds, the team collects and buys everything from towels, bedding, toys, utensils, and microwaves to an ironing board! Our local St Vincent de Paul team provides a great array of pantry items and fresh produce.

We walk into a near-empty house and a couple of hours later, beds are made, the linen cupboard filled and the kitchen ready. Add some toys, books and flowers on the dining table and a new home awaits a family’s arrival.

This pastoral commitment from St Francis of Assisi has meant 20+ families have been supported (well over 90 adults and children) in starting new lives.

Thank you to everyone for your help and prayers. More families are coming (as available housing allows) so there will be further opportunities to turn a house into a welcoming home.

Contact Paul Alsford to get involved: patk1@xtra.co.nz