The Voice

of the Conferences and Council, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Diocese of Columbus, Ohio

Programs of the Council and Conferences

Vincentian Links

This is the page for giving information about the six programs of the Diocesan Council. It is also the page for asking for contributions to and volunteers for these programs. Four of the programs are direct ministries to the poor and needy. The fifth and sixth programs offer education and information to Vincentians throughout the diocese..

Our programs are:

St.Lawrence Haven

Mission To provide a free lunch Monday through Friday
Location:200S. Fifth St., Columbus, Ohio 43215 -corner of Fifth and Rich St. next to Holy Cross Church
Hours of operation: Clients go through a serving line from 1 to 3PM.
Eligibility : All are welcome to pass through the line once a day.
Method of operation:

Volunteers place items in a bag for clients. The usual items are unsold food packets from Sanese vending machines and sandwiches brought to the Haven by Vincentians and others. Food is not prepared in the Haven and clients do not eat in the Haven building.

Number served: The amount varies from 300 to 500 per day
Current needs In Summer and Fall of 2009 there is a great need for donation of cheese and lunch meat sandwiches since there has been a decrease in left overs from Sanese and an increase in those needing a lunch.

Contact Manager, Heather Swiger, at 614-241-2569 or email her about donating and volunteering.

October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015 (Vincentian accounting year):
(Data pending)

For further information on St. Lawrence Haven visit their Web Page when it comes back on-line

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Clothing Distribution Center

Special Event: 2017 Vincentian Affordable Toy Store

Congratulations to Heather Swiger for creating and operating the Vincentian Affordable Toy Store!

From Dec. 18 through Dec. 20 the St. Vincent de Paul Clothing Center was converted into an Affordable Toy Store. People, especially Immaculate Conception students, donated new toys costing less than $50. Families with children who had been seeking assistance throughout the year were asked to register to shop in the Vincentian Affordable Toy Store. They were invited to shop in the store at specific times. The toys were priced way below cost. Clients unable to pay even the modest prices were able earn the price with volunteer hours.

78 families registered totaling 250 children. The store served 50 families totaling 150 children. 5 of the families were served free. 1000 gifts were sold at an average gift price of $.75. 20 volunteers assisted.

End Special event announcement.

Mission: Provide clean clothing in good condition without cost to men, women and children.
Location: Rear of J.O.I.N. Building 578 E.Main, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Hours of operation:

  • For clients: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10AM until noon.
  • For donations: Monday through Friday, 10AM until noon.
Method of operation: Clients are escorted by volunteers as they select garments on a quota system, eg. two pair of trousers per man, one jacket per person
Eligibility requirements: No referral needed. Individuals and families are eligible every thirty days. Simply come in..
Current and on going needs
  • Monetary Donations for purchasing items such as socks and underwear which can be made here,

    Or call the Diocesan SVDP office, 614-221-3554,
  • Clothing donations:There is a continuing need for donation of clean clothing in good condition; especially men's shoes and trousers.
  • Volunteers: There is a special need for volunteers to escort clients.
Contact Manager, Heather Swiger, at 614-241-2569 or email her about donating and volunteering.

October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015 (Vincentian accounting year):
(Data pending)

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Saturday Food Program.

Mission Deliver a three day supply of basic food to elderly, disabled, or just very needy people who would be short of food if we didn't pitch in to help them out.

Location :The Diocesan Council has a food pantry in the Clothing Distribution Center, 587 E.Main St. Columbus. This pantry is a storehouse from which food is delivered; clients do not come to it.

Method of operation: Every other Saturday, food baskets are prepared in the pantry area and delivered to clients. Clients are primarily located in the Bottoms and Hilltop areas of Columbus where there is so very much need.

Eligibility requirements: Referral by Catholic Social Services

Current and continuing needs Most of the food is purchased from Mid-Ohio Food Bank with funds from the conferences. So cash contributions from the conferences are needed to keep this program operating.

Make contributions to the Diocesan Council office: 197 E. Gay St. Columbus, OH, 43215

For more information contact Chris and Robin McMillen who direct the Saturday Morning Food program

October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015 (Vincentian accounting year):
(Data pending)

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The Funeral Fund

Mission One of the corporeal works of mercy is "Bury the Dead." In our society burying the dead is expensive In our Diocese many people die leaving absolutely nothing. We provide partial funding of funeral and burial costs for indigents whose family and friends cannot afford any arrangements approaching a dignified treatment of the remains.

Location The fund is administered by St. Andrew St. Vincent de Paul Conference

Eligibility requirements: Referrals are required. Most of the referrals come from J.O.I.N. athough a few come from Vincentian conferences. Almost all referrals concern deaths in Central Ohio. But a few referrals are made by conferences outside Central Ohio. The City of Columbus pays a funeral home $750.00 to dispose of a body by cremation or transport to a medical school. However, except for some legal paperwork, the $750.00 pays for nothing more than a disposal as pitiless as the disposal of an animal corpse.

Method of operation: J.O.I.N. collaborates with funeral homes in Columbus's Inner City to have very simple arrangements which are a bit more than the mere disposal of the remains for which the city will pay:an urn for the family and perhaps a brief service. The funeral homes have been generous in providing these very simple arrangements which cost between $900.00 and $1000.00. J.O.I.N. works with families, friends and charities to gather funds for these more respectful arrangements. The Vincentian contribution, through J.O.I.N., is $100.00 but occasionally $200.00 when the referral comes through a Vincent de Paul conference

Current and continuing needs: The fund is in need of donations to continue this service.

Please send donations to:
Kathy Jones,
Treasurer St. Vincent de Paul Funeral Fund
1297 Slade Avenue
Columbus OH 43235

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Ozanam Training


  • Conduct Ozanam Orientation Days to train, and refresh, conference members on Vincentian history, spirituality and practice,
  • Conduct sessions training facilitators for Ozanam Orientation Days

At the 2011 National meeting a resolution was passed that all new Vincentians should attend an Ozanam Orientation and all Vincentians should revitalize their vocations by attending a session every two or three years.

A typical session is on Saturday. The day begin with Mass at 8:30 a.m., continental breakfast and lunch are included. All attendees will receive a certificate at the conclusion of the training. The program ends by 3:00 p.m.

Locations and schedules: Both kinds of sessions are conducted in locations throughout the Diocese at times announced through the Conferences, the VOICE and now this Web Site.

Schedule for 2018 sessions is being planned.
You may direct any questions to Maureen Meck at 614-436-6913, Warren Wright 614-638-0523 or Pat Summers 614-221-3554.

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  • Provide communication between conferences and Diocesan Council
  • Present information about what Vincentians now do throughout the Diocese to help the poor and needy
  • Present information about unmet needs of the poor
  • Present information about resources for helping the poor and needy
  • Facilate learning about Vincentian history, spirituality and practices

The newsletter is published quarterly: Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. As of October 2013, The VOICE is delivered only as an email attachment.

Send information for the newsletter to its editor: Charles F. Kielkopf, email .

Recent copies of the VOICE may be down loaded here.

January 2010 VOICE
April 2010 VOICE
July 2010 VOICE
October 2010 VOICE
January 2011 VOICE
April 2011 VOICE
July 2011 VOICE
October 2011 VOICE
January 2012 VOICE
April 2012 VOICE
July 2012 VOICE
October 2012 VOICE
January 2013 VOICE
April 2013 VOICE
July 2013 VOICE
October 2013 VOICE
January 2014 VOICE
April 2014 VOICE
July 2014 VOICE
Fall 2014 VOICE Restropective issue on Bill Spark's six years as Diocesan Council President
Winter 2015 VOICE
Spring 2015 VOICE
Summer 2015 VOICE
Fall 2015 VOICE
Winter 2016 VOICE
Spring 2016 VOICE
Summer 2016 VOICE Includes program of 2016 National Assembly
Fall 2016 VOICE
Winter 2017 VOICE
Spring 2017 VOICE with Warren Wright's article on 400th Vincentian anniversary.
Summer 2017 VOICE .
Fall 2017 VOICE
Winter 2018 Voice
Spring 2018 Voice
Summer 2018 Voice

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Non-vincentian Links