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The Society of St. Vincent de Paul began in Paris, France, in 1833, when a young law student at the Sorbonne, Frederic Ozanam, was challenged during a debate to demonstrate what he and his fellow Catholic students were personally doing to help the poor in Paris. Ozanam’s reaction was immediate.

Within weeks, Ozanam, at 20 years of age, formed the first “Conference of Charity.” Alongside six of his peers, the conference financed their works of charity, which was contributed from self-sacrificial

methods and friend endowments. They visited the poor in their homes, providing them with needed aid and assistance. At the prompting of Monsieur Emmanuel Daily and Sister Rosalie Rendu, superior of a convent of the Daughters of Charity, Ozanam soon placed the conference under the patronage of St. Vincent de Paul, who had spent his life in the 16th century France serving the poor.

The original group of seven grew to 600, numbering more than 2,000 members in 15 other communities.


The Plymouth Conference has been active in the community since 1961—over 50 years of service! 36 members and more than 100 volunteers work together to make a difference.

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