A gala to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the arrival of the Vincentians of the Eastern Province in the United States will be held Oct. 10 in the Loews Hotel, Philadelphia.

The Vincentians, also known as the Congregation of the Mission, of which Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., is a member, was founded 400 years ago by St. Vincent de Paul to serve the poor and abandoned. The Vincentians opened their first parish in Philadelphia in 1849, and working from a missionary center there, have continued to spread their mission across the eastern coast of the United States., Alabama and Panama through ministry to the poor and the establishment of parishes.

“Our gala celebrates the history of service of the Vincentians U.S.,” said Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag, CEO of the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal, whose shrine in Philadephia the Vincentians help operate. “Our honorees represent these same values and decades-long legacies of service with local roots and worldwide reach.”

During the gala, awards will be presented to persons and organizations for their service and dedication of the Vincentian mission:

The United in Purpose Award will be given to the Raskob Foundation. Founded in 1945, the Raskob Foundation supports domestic and international projects from institutions and organizations identified with the Catholic Church. The United in Purpose Award is given to an organization that promotes the Catholic faith and initiatives in the United States and around the world, and that most closely aligns with St. Vincent de Paul’s virtue of zeal. 

The Heart of Vincentian Faith and Practice Award will be presented to Vincentian Brother Alfred Smith, who, since 1957, has served the Germantown community through a variety of ministries, most notably Inn Dwelling. Brother Al founded Inn Dwelling in 1981 to restore run-down neighborhoods and break the cycle of poverty. The Heart of Vincentian Faith and Practice Award is given to the person or group who has demonstrated Vincentian values in both their professional and personal lives. 

The Witnesses of Hope Award will be presented to the Daughters of Charity, the religious community established by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. The Daughters of Charity became the first congregation of women religious to minister to the city of Philadelphia in 1814. They currently serve in various schools and organizations in the city as well as in many U.S. parishes, schools, healthcare institutions, social agencies and foreign missions. The Witness of Hope award is given to the person or group whose daily actions follow the words of Pope Francis: “We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love. Be poor among the poor. Include the excluded and preach peace.” 

 For more information about the gala, including tickets and sponsorship packages,  contact Colleen Buckley at 215-532-5783 or cbuckley@cammonline.org.