Christ and Pope Francis have told us that we must “look into the eyes of the poor”. This interaction is a powerful experience that promotes empathy with their plight. Personal contact gives us the opportunity to show them that we care in a tangible way. Because millions of impoverished people may never become self-sufficient, much of our core good work is in the handout category.
SSVP core good works are based on the traditional Catholic Church Corporal Works of Mercy:
- Feed the hungry;
- Give drink to the thirsty;
- Clothe the naked;
- Harbour the harbourless;
- Visit the sick;
- Ransom the captive;
- Bury the dead.
Most SSVP conferences routinely provide the first five. Prison visits are undertaken by some SSVP conferences and money for funeral costs are also provided by conferences on a case by case basis.
Wherever possible, we use existing parish based facilities, which may be extended or refurbished to make them more suitable. These facilities provide a safe, secure and visible base for volunteers to fulfil their Christian obligation to help the poor. Those in need can visit the centres to receive food, clothing and blankets, and SSVP members use them as a base for their activities.
For those who live too far away from the Parish based facilities, we plan to set up semi-permanent container based kitchens and free clothing stores in poor areas. These facilities have the advantage of being semi-mobile should we need to move them to another more needy location.
Please use the links alongside to find out more about our core work.