SVDP Memphis

Q. How is the society organized?

A. The Council of the United States of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides leadership and support for the growth and health of Society Councils, Conferences, and Special Works throughout the United States. The National Council Office enables Regional, Diocesan, District, and local units to better devote their own resources to serving their communities and seeks to develop and promote innovative strategies that address human needs and social injustices. The U.S. Council facilitates communication and assistance among Society units in the United States and internationally organizes the Society's response to need throughout the world, including assistance to victims of disaster.

The Organizational Chart of the Society is as follows:

Council General (Paris)

142 Countries – 5 Continents – Over 47,400 Conferences
Over 650,000 Members

USA National Council (St. Louis)

62,000 Active Members and 60,000 Associate and Contributing Members
8 Regional Groupings and 13 National Committees

Diocesan Councils

62 Diocesan Councils operate in the U.S. with several District Councils attached to each

District Councils

388 District Councils operate in the U.S.
uniting a number of Conferences in the same city, county or area


4,326 in the U.S.
The Society’s basic unit of organization
(often associated with a Catholic Parish)


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The Society

The primary focus of The Society since 1865 has been the assistance of individuals that call for help. That help may include assistance with utility bills, food baskets, rent or mortgage assistance.  It could also include help paying medical bills and whatever else the person may need to get back on their feet.

In Brief

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul first arrived in Memphis in 1865. The first conference (or group of volunteers) gathered at St. Peter and Paul parish in downtown Memphis. Since then the Society has grown to ten conferences, with hundreds of Vincentians, as the members are called. That number does not include the scores of volunteers that work at the food mission.