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									                       A publication of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul ~ Diocesan Council of Austin

December 2006                                                                                  Volume XIV, Number 4
     In This Issue                       The Power of Prayer
Meet Our New Staff ~ Pg.2
President’s Message ~ Pg.3               As people of faith, we all believe that prayer is an important part of our
Power of Prayer cont. ~ Pg.4             intimate relationship with God. We pray for many things, such as a
January Novena News ~ Pg.4               promotion at work, good grades at school, and even to win the lottery,
Spirituality Reflection ~ Pg.5           expecting our requests to be answered, especially if we feel we deserve
Council News ~ Pg.6                      them.
Conference Spotlight ~ Pg.7
Prayer Requests ~ Pg. 7                  We often expect tangible proof for our prayers immediately and are
Spirituality Retreat ~ Pg. 8             disappointed if they seemingly go unanswered, as if God has forgotten
Important Dates ~ Pg. 8                  or not heard us. As children of God, we must remember that He knows
                                         what is best for us and therefore decides what to give, and withhold,
                                         from us. We may not receive tangible proof all the time as a result of
       Our Mission                       our prayers, but we must trust that God has heard us and will bless us
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is
                                         accordingly in His due time.
an international lay organization that
serves persons in need. Organized        In relation to this theme, the Diocesan Council Administrative Office has
locally through its network of parish    been praying a novena each month since December 2005, offering
Conferences, St. Vincent de Paul
helps people, while leading its          different intentions with each novena. During the first month our office
members to grow spiritually through      began the novena of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, offering
service.                                 intentions for the expansion of the Vehicle Donation Program. After the
Founded in France in 1833, the           first week of praying this novena the VDP began negotiations with the
Society has been assisting Central       Dallas and Ft. Worth Councils.
Texans since 1960. Following in the
footsteps of the Society’s founder,
Frédéric Ozanam, and patron St.          In the months following our office continued praying for the successful
Vincent de Paul, members of the          expansion of the Vehicle Program, carrying through March when we
Society have brought the loving
presence of Christ into the homes of     began the novena of St. Joseph. Within the same week of praying the
thousands of individuals and             March novena Dallas responded to our contract negotiations.

Vincentians are collaborators in         A few months later, we began the novena of
every sense of the word, working
side-by-side with ministries,            Corpus Christi in June, praying for the 501c3
agencies, and organizations to           application to be successfully accepted, which
comfort the lonely and abandoned,
shelter the homeless, and feed the
                                         would affect our tax exempt status. We were
hungry. By providing assistance for      joyfully surprised when it was granted a few short
basic needs, the Society of St.
Vincent de Paul has become a safety-
                                         months later in October. This process typically takes a
net in communities, thus becoming        minimum of six months to be completed and is not often
the largest volunteer driven, non-       granted the first time an organization files for tax exemption.
governmental source of assistance
throughout Central Texas.

                                                                                             Continued on Page 4
                      “Someone in your neighborhood is being helped by St. Vincent de Paul”
   Board of Directors
President                         Meet the New Kid on the Block!
             Randall Delgado
Vice President                    As many of you know, the Austin Council now has a new
             Mike Pazzaglini      Development & Communications Manager named Regina
Secretary                         Rankowski. She will play a big part in the Society by
             Kenneth Klanika      being “the face” of our organization when in contact with
Treasurers                        the public, especially with potential donors and the media.
   Ray & Jeannine DuPont          Regina will also represent the Society by maintaining
At-Large                          communication between our organization and the Bishop,
                    John Sauer    the pastors, and other Catholic social ministry groups.
Spiritual Advisor
       Sr. Joanne Vasa, DC        Her duties will include fundraising and developing activities that will
                                  further the mission of St. Vincent de Paul, as well as grant writing for
Home Repair Program/Special       the Council. Regina will also work in close collaboration with Executive
Works Coordinator                 Director Heather Tarman and serve as a liaison to local Conference
                      Al Gremp    Presidents and current Society members.
Twinning Chair
              Bob Lindstrom       Regina is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she grew up
Vehicle Donation Program
Coordinator                       as the youngest of seven siblings. She attended several Catholic schools
                    Ronda Motl    in Eastern Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Villanova,
Executive Director                where she earned degrees in Psychology and Modern Languages.
             Heather Tarman
                                  Regina moved to Austin in 1990 and had two children, Austin, who is
5 District Council Presidents     now 15 and Christina, who is now 14. Both Austin and Christina attend
Austin South District             St. Michael’s and St. Theresa’s respectively and thoroughly enjoy living
                  Kate Burgess    in our unique city as much as their mother. Besides raising her children,
Southern District                 Regina enjoys scuba diving, archery, and flying as a private pilot. She
             Barbara Kimbell      and her children attend both the St. Catherine of Siena and St. Theresa
             Cecilia Schmidt      Catholic parishes.
Austin Central District
              Bob Lindstrom
Temple District
                 Patty Miranda    Austin Council Receives Tax Exempt Status
Austin North District
             Mike Pazzaglini      We are pleased to announce that the Austin Diocesan Council has
                                  received a favorable determination for tax exemption from the Internal
        Thrift Stores             Revenue Service (IRS).
     Bryan/College Station
                                  The Austin Council’s tax exempt status has always been granted through
           Temple                 our association with the Roman Catholic Church and more specifically,
        254.773.7591              the Diocese of Austin. To prove tax exempt status in the past, it was
                                  necessary for the Council to show proof of association with the Diocese
Vehicle Donation Program          through the Official Catholic Directory.
       1.888.317.7575             Now, the Society is a “stand alone” organization for tax exemption
                                  purposes; however, we are still closely associated with the Diocese
 Diocesan Council Office          through our mission and organization. The new tax exempt status will
          PO Box 9070             allow the Council to more easily compete for grants and other funds.
       Austin, TX 78766
     Office: 512.251.6995         The Austin Council was blessed to receive a very timely response from
      Fax: 512.252.1117           the IRS, and we received our favorable determination the first time the
             Email:               paperwork was submitted, which is a difficult feat to accomplish.
          Web Page
    http://www.ssvdp.org          Thank you to all who helped in the application process, to include Bob
                                  Lindstrom from the Sacred Heart Elgin Conference, and all who offered
                                  this project as a special prayer intention.
                     “Someone in your neighborhood is being helped by St. Vincent de Paul”
Parish Conferences
 Austin Central District
    Holy Cross~Austin           A Message from the President
  Sacred Heart~Austin
                                Merry Christmas!
   Sacred Heart~Elgin
   Santa Julia~Austin
                                With much of society rejecting Jesus as much as the innkeeper
    St. Austin~Austin
    St. Joseph~Manor            did, it is wonderful to be a part of a ministry that is called to serve
     St. Louis~Austin           Christ through his poor.
St. Mary’s Cathedral~Austin
    St. Theresa ~ Austin        With my term expiring in September of next year, I must say it
                                has been truly joyful serving alongside so many dedicated and
  Austin North District         faithful servants. I am blessed to know you.
   Holy Cross~Bertram
St. Albert the Great~Austin
                                As Vincentians we often feel guilty when we see individuals and
 St. Christopher~Austin
                                families struggling, particularly during this time of year. Some of
St. Elizabeth~Pflugerville
 St. Margaret Mary~Leander      our conferences, with the generous support of their parishes,
St. Mary, Our Lady of the       work to ease these discomforts by providing bedding, blankets,
     Lake~Lago Vista            space heaters, and other much-needed goods. They might also
 St. Thomas More~Austin         bring a bit of joy into a child’s life with a new toy.
 St. William~Round Rock
                                The great gesture here is not the gifts, but the message of
  Austin South District         Christ’s love—the caring and hope that accompanies it. Thank
Queen of Angels~Briarcliff      you for sharing the gift of Christ’s birth with those around you.
 San Francisco Javier~Austin
St. Catherine of Siena~Austin
St. Ignatius/San Jose~Austin
St. John Neumann~Austin
      St. Paul~Austin           Thanks for all you do in His name! Have a
                                very Merry Christmas and a joyful
    Southern District           New Year!
     Santa Cruz~Buda
    St. Anthony~Kyle            Randall Delgado
 St. John the Evangelist        President
 St. John the Evangelist
       ~San Marcos
   St. Mary~Wimberley           Plan to Plan Ahead
St. Mary of the Visitation
        ~Lockhart               Friends of The Society of St. Vincent de Paul who may wish
     Temple District            to consider making the Diocesan Council part of their will or
  Bryan/College Station         estate plans are encouraged to explore the possibilities.
Holy Family~Copperas Cove       Planned giving can offer unique benefits to the donors, as
    Santa Rosa~Andice           well as to the recipient organization, and some options allow
  St. Helen~Georgetown          donors to enjoy tax benefits deriving from such a gift
    St. Joseph~Killeen
   St. Mary’s ~ Brenham
                                For more information on how you can make a gift to the
 The Society of St. Vincent
  de Paul is a Catholic lay     Society of St. Vincent de Paul, contact the Diocesan Council
    organization serving        office at 512.251.6995.
children, the homeless, and
  families throughout the
     Diocese of Austin.

                 “Someone in your neighborhood is being helped by St. Vincent de Paul”
The Power of Prayer
Continued from Page 1
In that same month of October our office experienced another of God’s many surprising answers to our
prayers. We began praying the novena of the 24 Glory Be’s to the Father, which asks for intercession
from St. Theresa. Four days after we completed this novena, Executive Director Heather Tarman
received a card with a rose embossed on it from one of the families we had been praying for.
Historically, those who pray the novena to St. Theresa oftentimes receive a rose unexpectedly a week
after completing the novena.

As you can imagine, our office has become even more awed by the power of prayer
after experiencing all these wonderful responses to our monthly novenas. We have
come to realize that God may not answer our prayers right when we want Him to or
give us the response we expect, but He does hear us.

Monica Chavarria
SVdP Intern

National Meeting in 2007

                         The 2007 National Meeting Committee is still preparing to bring an
                         amazing group of speakers, topics, and spiritual resources to Austin in
                         2007! We need your help, though. Over the next 10 months, your
                         prayers will be essential for the success of this important Vincentian
                         event. Please join us in praying the Central Texas Vincentian
                         Family Prayer for a successful National Meeting:

Blessed are you, Gracious God, for you have called our VINCENTIAN FAMILY to the ministry of
SERVING OTHERS and SERVING CHRIST, IN THE SIGN OF THE CROSS. Bless our efforts to follow the
inspirations of Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Frédéric Ozanam and Rosalie Rendu as we offer
ourselves in humble service to those in need. Keep us grounded in hope and help us to remember that
we do everything in the name of Jesus Christ, the source and model of all charity. Bless each member
of the Vincentian family in Central Texas, and deepen our faith in the healing power of God’s love. We
make this prayer in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

January Novena Being Offered to St. Vincent de Paul
In January, the Diocesan Council office will offer a novena to our patron, St. Vincent de Paul. The office
staff was somewhat shocked to learn that there are very few, if any, novena prayers written to our
patron, so Student intern Monica Chavarria went about writing this special novena. To our knowledge,
this is the first novena written to St. Vincent de Paul. We thank Monica for her dedication to this effort.

We invite you to help us start our new year in the Society in prayer together, by offering a
novena to St. Vincent de Paul. Please see the insert in the newsletter for this prayer. The office
staff will be praying this novena for the nine weekdays prior to the Annual Spirituality Retreat on
February 3. The dates of the novena are January 22 – 26, and January 29 - February 2.

                “Someone in your neighborhood is being helped by St. Vincent de Paul”
A Reflection on Vincentian Service
“Inspired by gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul leads women and men to join together to
grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to those who are needy and suffering.” During the
holiday season, many people and groups strive to offer “service to those who are needy and suffering.”
Some groups are even inspired by gospel values or religious principles of some kind. So what makes
the Society of St. Vincent de Paul unique during this season of gratitude and giving? Take a few
moments to reflect upon three things that make “Vincentian Service” fundamentally different.

Simple observation of the work of the Society members usually does not reveal the whole picture.
Members extend themselves by GIVING some material good or service, or raising funds to provide
assistance, but there is always more beneath the surface. The Society practices GIVING because it is a
way of revealing the way that God is constantly practicing generosity with us. St. Vincent writes,
“Charity is the cement that unites communities to God and individuals to each other…” The Society is
an instrument of God, bridging the gap between people who have resources and those who do not.

Secondly, while the members of the Society are called to be signs of God’s love for people who ask for
assistance, they are keenly aware that they also have a responsibility to recognize what they RECEIVE
from the people they encounter. Going on home visits offers a unique “view” into the lives of persons
in need, and it also has the capacity to deepen our compassion as we learn more about the
circumstances that create financial dilemmas. St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Frederic Ozanam often
spoke of the importance of sharing bread with the hungry while opening our hearts to be nourished by
the experience. It is not enough to give; we must be open to RECEIVE. Both giver and receiver,
however, are enriched in the exchange.

Finally, it is still not enough to GIVE material or spiritual comfort, and to RECEIVE the faith and hope of
the people served. What is needed to complete the flavor of Vincentian service is personal and
communal PRAYER and REFLECTION. Here, we both give and receive, and God blesses our efforts.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate model of action and contemplation, giving Himself without reserve to the
people of his time, and yet remembering to take quiet time to listen to the Father in
prayer. During this busy holiday season, are we taking the time we need to reflect
prayerfully on our service experiences? Both are essential and indeed, one nourishes
and sustains the other.

As we near the end of another year of responding to God’s call, let us be grateful for
this unique ministry of Vincentian service!

Sr. Joanne Vasa
Spiritual Advisor

Donate That Vehicle!
Did you know that the Vehicle Donation Program accepts most running and non-running
vehicles, including cars, trucks, vans, recreational vehicles, and motorcycles?

To find out more about donating your vehicle to help the Society continue its mission to
minister to those most in need in our community, contact Ronda at 512.912.7575 in Austin
metro, or 1.888.317.7837 outside of Austin (email: svdpcars@sbcglobal.net).

All donors will need to be in possession of the vehicle’s valid negotiable title (from any state), in the
name of the donor. Please call with the title in hand.

                “Someone in your neighborhood is being helped by St. Vincent de Paul”
         Around the Council – News From the Conferences
In Memory
The Austin Council offers our heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Dr. Severo Gomez, who
passed away recently. The following have made memorial contributions to the Council in the name of
Dr. Gomez:
                                       Dr. & Mrs. Royce & Katherine King
                                     Mr. & Mrs. Robert & Sylvia Michalewicz
                                         Mr. & Mrs. Alfred & Betty Peters
                                              Ms. Ana Maria Salinas
We also offer our gratitude to Mr. & Mrs. Bob & Karen Cosentino, who recently made a memorial
donation in honor of Mr. Blase J. Cosentino, and to Ms. Jennie Catalalano who made a memorial
donation in honor of Jonathan Paul Cosentino.

Many Thanks!
             The Society wishes to thank the following persons for their generosity in making donations
             to the Austin Council:
                            John De La Garza                                 Randall Delgado

            The Austin Council also offers a special thanks to our student intern for the past semester,
           Monica Chavarria. Monica has been a joy to have around the office, and was essential to
              the success of many projects, including the newsletter and theFeast Day Celebration.
          Monica is graduating from St. Edward’s University on December 16, and following graduation
           will pursue a career in writing. The Society offers you our thanks for your excellent work
                          during the internship and blessings for success in the future!

Feast Day Celebration is a Success
The Feast Day Celebration of St. Vincent de Paul that occurred on September 23 was an excellent
experience for all involved. The mass was celebrated at St. Theresa’s and was made especially lively
by the persistent thunder and rain that was present. When the mass and the rain concluded, the
Vincentian celebration continued in the hall with fajitas and many desserts.

After dinner an award was given to St. William’s Conference of Round Rock for collecting the most
jeans during the Threads for Hope drive. Other members of the Society were recognized as well for
devoting years of service to our organization and received commemoration pins from the Bishop.
Council President Randy Delgado also presented aggregation documents to the Queen of Angels
Chapel. Over 230 people were present at this celebration, which was a phenomenal turnout compared
to previous years.

We would like to thank Bishop Gregory Aymond, Father Bill Brooks, and Father Brian Eilers for hosting
the beautiful mass and participating in the celebration ceremony afterwards. A big thanks goes out to
the Ladies of Charity for the wonderful desserts we enjoyed, and also to the Daughters of Charity for
attending. You all helped make the Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul a great success and a celebration
to remember.
               “Someone in your neighborhood is being helped by St. Vincent de Paul”
Conference Spotlight
Featured Conference: St. Mary Cathedral, Austin
Conference President: Ken Craig
Conference Was Established: Began serving unofficially in 1965,
reorganized in 1993, aggregated in 1995
Current Number of Members: 20 active, 15 associate and contributing
Pastor: Fr. Bud Roland
Spiritual Advisor: Sr. Mary William Sullivan, D.C.

Services & Special Works Provided by the Conference to the Community: The Conference
of St. Mary’s Cathedral participates in Austin Area Interfaith Ministries (AAIM) Downtown Cluster
of Churches and its activities.

A Memorable Story from the St. Thomas More Conference: In 1993 the Conference
reorganized and began its new life with parishioner Albert Garcia, Sr. Mary William, and a shoebox
out of a corner of the Cathedral office. With the blessings of providence and the support of the
Cathedral parishioners and clergy, the Conference now serves with over $105,000 in direct
financial aid and nearly $10,000 in in-kind aid a year out of an office in the former convent chapel.
More importantly, it has grown into a strong community of faith dedicated to the principles of its
founder and patron, and through loving service it is able to share that spiritual blessing with our
sisters and brothers across the Austin area.

Please Join Us in Prayer For…
We offer our petitions to the Lord for….
A successful and timely completion of the Austin Council’s FY 2006 annual report and audit
The continued professional success of the exiting SVdP Intern Monica Chavarria
The continued success Vehicle Donation Program
Success in grants and development projects in 2007
The National Meeting in Austin in 2007

Billie Sturdevant, mother of Barbara Pazzaglini
Alice Lambert, St. Paul’s Conference
Matthew Motl

Rest in Peace…
Joe Carillo, father of Robert Carillo (St. Paul’s Conference)
Leroy Doskocil, brother-in-law of Paul Kleypas (SVdP Austin Thrift Store Manager)
Severo Gomez, brother of Ed Gomez
Linda Hassel, wife of Ralph Hassel (South Central Regional Chairman)
Willard Rapp, father of Cecilia Schmidt (Southern District Co-President)

We offer our thanksgiving to the Lord for…
A successful thanksgiving food drive at the St. Thomas More Parish
The Austin Council being granted tax-exempt status
The success of the SETON September food drive

                “Someone in your neighborhood is being helped by St. Vincent de Paul”
Mark Your Calendars!
We are holding our annual spirituality retreat at the St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Austin on February
17th, 2007. Please come to prepare for the Lenten season with your Vincentian brothers & sisters.

Sister Joanne Vasa will lead this event, which will last about half the day.

The theme of this retreat will reflect the Bishop’s call to reflect on “The Word.” Jesus, the true Word of
God, is present in our lives and in our service. When we visit with the poor and see the face of Christ,
we see the living Word of God. Likewise, the food and assistance we bring to the poor in the name of
Christ is indeed the Word in action. We look forward to seeing you all at the retreat to further
elaborate on this topic.

Anyone who plans on attending will need to bring their bibles and a willingness to
reconnect with the Holy Spirit. The retreat will be from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Registration forms will be distributed to Conference Presidents during the month of

We hope to see you there!

Save the Dates!

          Date(s)                          Event                                 Location
       Jan. 23 – Feb. 2                SVdP Novena
          February 3              Annual Spirituality Retreat         St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Austin
         February 12              Diocesan Council Meeting             Diocesan Council Office, Austin
            April 9               Diocesan Council Meeting             Diocesan Council Office, Austin
         April 25 – 29                Midyear Meeting                           St. Louis, MO
       Aug. 29 – Sept. 1           National Meeting 2007                Austin, TX – Downtown Hilton

Let Us Know…
Is there news happening in your Conference or Council? If so, we want to know! We
want to include information about your Conference or Council and its membership,
such as births (child, grandchild, etc), marriages, anniversaries, retirements, awards,
and special honors, as well as condolences and special prayer requests.

If you would like to submit information to the newsletter, please email the details to
Heather at svdpaustincouncil@sbcglobal.net.

                 “Someone in your neighborhood is being helped by St. Vincent de Paul”

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