Because of YOU…There is HOPE


Northern Kentucky

Ozanam Orientation
Where     St. Henry Wehage Hall located at 3813 Dixie Highway; Elsmere, KY 41018
When:       Saturday, April 21, 2018

Time:         8 AM to 3 PM

What:        Ozanam Orientation is a program designed for all Vincentians, not just new members.  If you have not attended in the past, you should attend.

Come – Join us in a spiritually focused day!
Lunch is provided
Cost to you:  Only your time!


  • Expanding your knowledge of The Society
  • Returning to our roots (then and now)
  • Understanding our mission and values
  • Renewing our commitment
  • Developing our spiritual growth
  • Building friendship and fellowship
We are “more than a can of beans.” Come and explore what it really means to be a Vincentian. This orientation is participative learning and sharing from materials provided by National SVdP.
Instructors for this training: Deacon Mike Lyman (St. William), Dennis Coyne (St. Barbara)
Send an email to Deacon Mike Lyman (Ozanam Coordinator)  to confirm your registration.
Please provide the following in your email:
Your Conference
Position – if you are an officer in the Conference, please state your title
RESERVATIONS DUE – April 16, 2018
For more information, contact: Deacon Mike Lyman at 1-859-806-4440 or your conference president.
Council Meeting
for ALL Vincentians
We would like to invite all of you to our next Council Meeting on April 4th at the Life Learning Center at  20 West 18th St in Covington. Life Learning Center will be our featured speaker this month, sharing their innovative approach of helping people learn, secure and sustain a better way of living through education and care support.
To learn more about the Life Learning Center, visit their website at:
The team at the Life Learning Center will offer tours of their facility prior to the meeting from 6:30 until 7:00. The meeting will promptly begin at 7:00 pm.
Light refreshments will be served.
Please join us.
Thank you for all you do!
Society of St. Vincent de Paul Northern KY 2655 Crescent Springs Rd, Covington, KY 41017
Become a Brand Ambassador for St. Vincent de Paul NKY

Our SVdP officers for 2017:

1) President,  Kathy McDonough

2) Vice President,  Elaine Roberts

3)Treasurer,  Patti Merz

4) Conference Secretary,  Diane Pettit


Who We Are:

Our Saint Vincent De Paul Society (SVdP) was started in 2004.  It has grown over time and has added a food pantry which services clients throughout Grant County.  Currently the conference meets every second Wednesday of the month at 7pm in Leveaque Hall.

Officers of the conference are Joyce Lyman, President; Mary Tom Clemons, Vice President; Patti Merz, Treasurer; and Diane Pettit, Secretary.

The mission of SVdP are threefold.  First is the development of spirituality for the SVdP members.  Second is care for those in need through charity and justice.  Third is the development of christian community and friendship for the members.

Council of Northern Kentucky

News from the Group



St. Vincent de Paul Needs Your Help!

    Our food pantry struggles to keep peanut butter, jelly and crackers on the shelves. This high protein convenience food needs no refrigeration or cooking, making it easy for families. Most kids love it, so it’s also a staple for low-income families. However, it is one of the more expensive foods to donate, and so contributions never keep up with demand. If each parishioner or family donated one jar of peanut butter, one jar of jelly and one box of crackers, what a difference we could make! Please leave your gifts on the table in the gathering area.  Your generosity is appreciated. Thanks. “For I was hungry, and you gave me food.” Matthew 23:35

Here to Help
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March 9, 2018
Dear Vincentians,
Now that I’ve reached my six-month mark as part of this wonderful family, I wanted to share with you a state of the Society and the plans we are considering as we move forward. I would first like to thank all of you for the warm welcome and the help you’ve offered. Even more importantly, the work you do to serve our neighbors in need, person to person, is unmatched by any other service organization. This very personal service, the caring and the hope you bring with every visit is what sets
St. Vincent de Paul apart from so many others. Some great things have happened over the course of my first six months here:
 As Vincentians, you’ve made over 1,750 home visits, reaching 5,000 individuals and providing over $400,000 in some kind of emergency assistance. When we account for the impact of our stores, we’ve reached 15,000 people in our community, on pace with our reach this time last year.
 We’ve fed over 8,000 people, provided nearly 1000 winter coats, made the holidays happier for 400 families, kept 550 people safe in their homes by helping them with their housing expenses, and kept 1400 individuals healthy and warm by providing utility assistance.
 You’ve supported each other generously without hesitation. Thanks to your generous support, St. Mary has continued to serve inner city Newport and we’ve welcomed St. Henry as a new conference to serve the needs of the Erlanger Elsmere area.
 We chose to eliminate donation pick-up fees, instead requesting donations to offset our transportation cost. With this approach, our donations have increased, with most donors more than happy to provide a monetary donation to offset our costs.
 We’ve implemented improvements to our vouchers, making it easier on our neighbors in need to redeem these vouchers in our stores. Because of your good ideas, we have more improvements to implement in the back half of the year.
 We’ve partnered with the Emergency Cold Shelter, Life Learning Center, Welcome House and Lincoln Grant Scholar House by using monthly in-kind promotions in our stores to provide items they may need and by expanding and formalizing our referral programs with these agencies.
 We’ve been blessed to receive significant volunteer support through our new Sunday Sort program as well as the relationships our assistance office has built with schools and organizations. Our volunteer hours have increased by 33% relative to our first six months last year.
 We’ve kicked off our online sales program in an effort to raise more funds to support our programs. In just six weeks, we’ve raised just over $2,000.
 We also experienced a few development wins with an increase in proceeds distributed to the conferences from this year’s TurkeyFoot Trot and our most successful annual appeal.
Here to Help
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From a financial perspective, the first quarter ended on a high note with the organization enjoying a surplus. However, we experienced a tough month financially in January. The general post-holiday lull we always experience was exacerbated by the cold and icy weather. This combination led to disappointing store sales, setting forth a challenge to meet our objectives for the rest of the year.   All that said, I am confident we can meet this challenge. 

 From a stores perspective, we’ve consulted with SVdP Cincinnati and received some helpful advice in inventory management and merchandising. We will be implementing their recommendations as soon as possible. Specifically, they’ve pointed out that we need to get more items on our racks more quickly. Our increase in volunteer efforts will be part of the solution to put this suggestion to work.
 We have some fun promotions planned to better engage with our customers. During the month of March, we are hosting a customer Easter Egg Hunt every Wednesday in our stores. For early May, we’ve planned a Girls’ Day Out and in late June, we’ll host a Toys for Boys sale.
 We are also very excited about our new development advisory committee. We have many new ideas coming out of our first meeting on ways we can further develop our fundraising efforts. Some are simple changes that can reap dividends. Some will require more careful planning and implementation. We expect the implementation of these ideas will help us generate more fundraising revenue that will help us meet the challenge ahead. Now that I am settled, it’s time to turn our attention to the long term strategy. Over the next couple of months, we will be working together as an Executive Board to discuss our strategic future. These strategic priorities under discussion are:
 Examining our special works programs (Sweet Dreams, Central Food Pantry, Summer Breeze) to ensure we maximize our impact with the resources at hand.
 Mapping out our fundraising strategy beyond our traditional efforts with the help of the development
 Thinking through our physical infrastructure needs to make St. Vincent de Paul a place where our neighbors in need feel comfortable and that our employees want to work.
 Planning the future of our stores and considering new approaches to increase sales to support our programs.
 Partnering with other agencies to leverage our respective strengths to help those in need break the cycle of poverty.
I am very excited about what lies ahead. Moving forward, I plan to stay in touch quarterly to provide a clear vision for what’s ahead for our St. Vincent de Paul. Thank you for your support during my transition. I am blessed.



Council of Northern Kentucky
   “Believe in a Brighter Tomorrow

2017 National SVdP Meeting – Tampa
August 30 – September 2, 2017
Highlights/Summary Report to NKY Vincentians
Theme – Welcoming the Stranger The Vincentian Way
Deacon Mike Lyman represented Mid East Region as the Spiritual Advisor and Dennis Coyne represented NKY as the Council representative.
One of the benefits of the national meeting is the opportunity to learn from others and share with them.  Through friendship, we come to know one another and to grow in our appreciation for the awesome work God does through SVdP, and for Vincentians.  As we reflected on what transpired, we concluded, based on our discussions with other Vincentians that the NKY Council and conferences are doing very well. We learned that many Councils and Conferences are struggling and many are thriving.  We believe that we are in a “good place” as we continue to grow based upon your hard work over the last seven years.
A legitimate question that may come to mind for you – are the annual meetings worth it?  From a National perspective, are the meetings worth it?  Bringing 700 plus Vincentians from across the country to 1 city is costly.  The meetings are usually over the Labor Day weekend when normal business meetings are not scheduled at hotels.  This provides a cost savings to SVdP.  The annual meeting combines numerous events over the course of four days that covered spirituality, prayer, liturgy, training, Executive Directors meeting, Stores issues, vendor displays, the regional meeting, and the usual national business meeting.  This is perhaps the one time a year that national SVdP also has a chance to hear directly from the ‘Vincentians on the ground’ – those in the local conferences – what their issues and concerns are.  The opportunity for friendship and the sharing of ideas is perhaps the greatest value that comes from the meeting consistently.  But there are also gems that come out and you never know when or where they come from.  Our CMS system is a perfect example.  It came from the Atlanta national meeting and now sees more and more conferences adopting it.  The fact we ‘got in early’ has allowed us to also have some influence on the construct of the system.  Allsup – which we will share more about shortly – might be this year’s gem for us.

Major Presentations

– As you read in the various emails from National, several of the major events were “live streamed” over the internet for viewers at home.  Those videos will be uploaded to Youtube or another service within the next few weeks.  We will notify you when that occurs.  Our current president, Sheila Gilbert, provided an interesting background on how the Society in the U.S. developed over the last 20 to 30 years.  Fr. Robert Maloney CM, former superior general, provided an excellent presentation on the gifts of Hope.  These were just two of the four “live streamed” events.  The Meetings concluded with a Saturdayevening banquet at which Ralph Middlecamp – our new National President effective on October 1st – was introduced and laid out some thoughts on his vision for the future.
Workshops – About 40 presented valuable information to assist us in our daily Vincentian work.  One example – “Project Empower” by Allsup assists people applying for SSDI disability with the Social Security Administration.  We all know how lengthy and cumbersome the process can be.  We brought back a number of the toolkits from the workshop.  However, just about all the information you need is on their joint web site with SVdP.  Click on this URL address is (click the SVdP “link” on this page that says “Welcome St. Vincent de Paul Visitors”.  About 38 million Americans live with severe disabilities, and they are more likely to experience persistent poverty and unemployment. SSDI is often a lifeline for former workers, providing a monthly income and access to Medicare. SSDI benefits keep 3 million Americans out of poverty and reduce the depth of poverty for another 1.9 million people.
Allsup is a resource for Vincentians seeking to help friends-in-need with disabilities. Connecting them with Allsup increases their chances of avoiding the backlog and of being approved at the initial application level by 50%. Receiving benefits quickly helps avoid the negative consequences of little or no income for an extended amount of time.  Project Empower provides immediate assistance to individuals who need to determine their eligibility for SSDI and return to work benefits, and helps eligible individuals complete the  application process.  We recommend that you review the data on the web site to assist those in need.  This process allows those with disabilities to find competent help without an attorney who may or may not know all the ins and outs of the Social Security process.  No fees are paid until the award is granted by Social Security.  Allsup obtains the medical records without any payment from the individual.  Fees for payment are set by the Security Administration. Note: we do not expect nor want Vincentians to assist a person in this process. There are privacy issues, etc. especially about protecting a person’s Social Security Number that could put a Vincentian and the Society at risk. This is about providing resources that a person can use just as we do for other sources from our Resource Sheet.

Another workshop session (actually covered two sessions) was specifically targeted toward Invitation for Renewal alumni.  Invitation for Renewal is a national program designed for Vincentian leaders and is hosted two to three times a year in St. Louis (used to be in Indianapolis).  It is a three day retreat facilitated by a national team.  Think of it as Ozanam Orientation on steroids.  This year marks the 15th anniversary of the beginning of this program.  This session allowed the alumni to reconnect and share in a deeper exploration of Spiritual Leadership, which was the focus of a retreat for the entire conference earlier Friday morning.

That retreat and the Invitation for Renewal session was facilitated by Dr. Leonard Doohan from Gonzaga University.

Invitation for Renewal

is an exceptional program which any of our leaders or potential leaders are welcome to attend.  If you have an interest, let Dennis, Deacon Mike, or Karen Zengel know and we will get you more information.
Resource Tables – Vendors of all shapes and sizes come to this meeting to present their goods and services and interact with local conferences and councils.  It allows you to see first-hand what is available to assist us in our ministry.  It also provides the opportunity for local Vincentians to interact with and ask questions of the ‘experts’ in these services.  Dennis used the opportunity to interact in a very productive way with our CMS primary contacts as well.
Liturgy – One of the true graces of the national meeting is the deep reverence and spirituality which is present throughout in the form of the liturgies and prayerful opportunities available. A large ballroom is traditionally set aside to serve for the week as the sanctuary / chapel for all these events.  It provides a sacred space and a wonderful setting for both these events as well as quiet and prayerful meditation space.  The Liturgy of the Mass was celebrated on a daily basis.  Additionally, each day started with Morning Prayer and the rosary.  Each day concluded with Vespers (Evening Prayer) and Eucharistic Adoration.  Confessors were also available on Wednesday for those wishing to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Meetings – A variety of both planned and ad-hoc meetings take place over the course of the meeting.  Groups such as the store operations, executive directors and others have the opportunity to come together to discuss common challenges and share solutions.  National committees such as Spirituality, Formation, and Extension also have time to meet to discuss current initiatives.  And working committees take the opportunity to do important work.  Deacon Mike is part of a committee of seven that has been working to review and revise the Spiritual Advisor Handbook and associated face materials.  This gathering allowed this group to meet face to in a productive way to move forward their work.  This is targeted to be completed and presented to National SVdP at the mid-year meeting next April.  Also had discussion around improvement of training for Spiritual Advisors.
National Business Meeting
  1. Primarily covered the income and expenses for the past year.  Income is up substantially – the Society is in a good position.  Expenses are under control.
  2. The Haiti Scholarship program for students is going well.
  3. Special SVdP programs with EWTN will be broadcast this coming January
  4. Environmental Stewardship and Ecological Conversion position statement of National SVdP, SVdP Canada, and SVdP Mexico was presented for approval.  Decision was made to defer the vote for the March 2018 Mid-Year meeting.  The 10 page document was sent to our District Presidents and Conference Presidents for review and recommendation for the National vote next March.  District Presidents will seek input from the Conferences.
  5. Clarence Gilyard, an actor, will work with National to promote “story telling” to advance the mission of the Society.  He is with the College of Fine Arts, Department of Film, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Regional Meeting
  1. Training and formation issues for the region were discussed.       a. Looking to train more formators and presenters throughout the region
  2. New Vice President was introduced – Bill Blazier from Detroit.  He is the former ED from Detroit.  He will replace current Vice President – Dick Reimbold.
  3. Mike Lyman will continue as the Region Spiritual Advisor
  4. Disaster relief discussion took place
  5. Mideast regional mid-year meeting will be in Owensboro, KY next April/May.
  6. Need for continued extension (addition of conferences) was discussed.
As you can tell, it was a full week, but a good week.  If you have questions or would like to know more about the national assembly meeting, feel free to reach out to Dennis or Deacon Mike.  There will also be a report on the meeting at the next Council meeting the first Wednesday in October.  Next year’s National Assembly Meeting is set to happen in San Diego the last week of August / first week of September in 2018.
Respectfully Submitted,
Dennis Coyne and Deacon Mike Lyman
We must love our neighbor as being made
in the image of God and as an object of His love.”
Vincent de Paul