The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Detroit has more than 3,000 members who are committed to caring for those people who are most vulnerable.
While on his way to Canada, to attend the National Plenary Session, Renato Lima de Oliveira visited Detroit’s Central Council.
Detroit is a central council composed of ten local councils (125 conferences with more than 3,000 members) and is engaged in various social works: 6 thrift stores that sell second-hand merchandise, 30 soup kitchens that serve meals to people in need, various social programs, a Vincentian camp for young people and a program for ex-offenders. The president of the council is Therese Frye; the executive-director is Daniel P. Malone and the vice-president is William.
During his time in Detroit, the International President engaged in the following activities:
He visited a special work of the Council in Pontiac: a soup kitchen for people in need that serves 300 people twice a week. Renato shared a meal with those people who are served by the Society and was able to dialogue with the president of this work, the fellow member, Jane.
Renato met with the bishop of Detroit, Allan Henry Vigneron and also with the auxiliary bishop, Donald Francis Hanchon. At that meeting the International President thanks the bishops for their support in establishing a new Conference in the Cayman Islands.
Visit with the members of the Royal Oaks Council: Renato Lima gave a presentation to 150 members in the Little Flower Basilica. The following day he visited the offices of this council and some of its projects: second-hand thrift shops, a dental clinic. The International President gave another presentation to some technicians in the Society and participated in a meeting of the Rosalie Rendu Conference … he also made some home visits with the members of that conference. At the end of this trip, the International President participated in a reception that was held in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Seminary where he spoke about the work of the International Council and responded to the questions of the participants.
Renato Lima was very pleased with this trip to Detroit and even more pleased with the service that the fellow members are providing to those men and women who are poor and most in need.