Triumph of the Holy Cross Conference is “Off and Running”

Triumph of the Holy Cross Conference is “Off and Running”

On a Wednesday night in April, I spent one of the most interesting evenings that I have had in a long time.  I had the pleasure of attending the SVdP Conference bi-monthly meeting at The Triumph of The Holy Cross parish.  But the story of this Conference is both a short story as well as a much longer story to be told.   

The short story is the Conference history, which only began this past September when, after repeated attempts to get approval to start a conference, Denise Boring succeeded in her efforts to establish the new group.   She accomplished this through her own diligence but also with help from others within the parish and with consultation and helpful suggestions from Vincentians and leaders from other conferences in the Diocese.   As the Parish outreach representative, a Social Worker in her vocation, and from living in the area, Denise knew there was a tremendous need within their rather large geographic area.   And she knew that many members of the church had a heart for this type of ministry.   Soon, they gathered a strong group of leaders, and the new conference was ‘off and running’!   When the first meeting was held, there were 25 persons present and ready to get started. 

The longer part of this story entails all that the conference has been doing since it began.  That includes: establishing their own furniture warehouse that has swollen with many donations from parishioners as well as other locals; a food pantry which is also well stocked and much needed; a clothing pantry that currently cannot accept any more donations since the time spent sorting and organizing clothing has become overwhelming; and a home goods room that contains various items that are in demand as well.  All the Vincentians help in a variety of ways as each person is allowed and encouraged to find their own niche, whether it is home visits or picking up furniture donations or keeping records, among many other areas of interest.

The Triumph of The Holy Cross Conference sustains itself with donations from church parishioners and from others in the area.   “Others” may include individuals and businesses that, through the conference’s concerted effort to establish a high profile in the community, have learned of the important work SVdP accomplishes in their area.   On the night I attended the Conference meeting, the parish priest showed his support by attending and participating in their discussion.   And, week in and week out, they are sustained spiritually through many avenues.   One way is through their worship at Mass along with the guidance they receive from their Spiritual Director, Deacon Brian.   But they are also uplifted by the friends in need in various ways.   Last but not least, they are buoyed by the friendships they have created with each other that would have never otherwise happened.  They even developed their own conference logo and made t-shirts for Vincentians to wear.

One other very positive outcome of the new Conference is the unity it has helped develop within the parish.    We all know that the Diocese has had to merge numerous churches into new parishes over the last five years and that this has sometimes created boundaries and even friction.   However, since none of the three churches of the parish ever had a SVdP group in their church, this new endeavor was neither claimed (nor disowned) by any of the churches.   All three have come to embrace the SVdP Conference’s work as part of the greater mission that they share within the Church.

As the months ahead portend even more need and work to do, The Triumph of The Holy Cross Conference continues to schedule fundraisers, invest what they can to help funds grow, enhance awareness of their activities within and outside the parish, and share the message of the need to spread the love of Jesus Christ to the least among us.  To say that I ‘spent one of the most interesting evenings’ at their meeting that night is a complete understatement.   It was, in fact, one of the most inspiring evenings I have spent in a long, long time!


Pete Hutchinson