“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” (1 Peter 3:8).
In 2001 the American Chronic Pain Association established Pain Awareness Month each September, one of the results coming out of their Pain Awareness Campaign. Pain Awareness Month is a time when several different organizations aim to draw attention to the difficulties that so many face regarding pain and pain management. These organizations work to create a better understanding of the seriousness of chronic pain among medical professionals, the business community, government officials, those who are afflicted by chronic pain and their families, as well as the general public.
The American Chronic Pain Association also founded Partners for Understanding Pain, a group whose mission it is to promote understanding and support to help individuals suffering from chronic, acute and cancer pain to lead better lives. Many people do not realize just how prevalent pain is, and the American Chronic Pain Association works hard to build awareness each September.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul works to ease the pain of those in the community all year round. Unfortunately there are so many suffering from many different types of pain, but the St. Vincent de Paul Society members are there, looking to ease the pain.
They help those afflicted by physical pain, such as the pain of hunger from starvation, or the pain from freezing due to a lack of shelter. The rumble of an empty stomach, day after day, is a pain that no one should have to experience. The St. Vincent de Paul Society helps provide meals to those who are starving. They also help find shelter for the homeless, who might otherwise be forced to sleep on a cold, hard sidewalk, freezing in the depths of winter.
Many of our neighbors are suffering from pain of a different sort, emotional pain. This pain can be harder to detect among others. So many people suffer in silence. The St. Vincent de Paul Society seeks to find ways to heal the emotional pain, by personal visits to those who need someone to whom they can open up. They also visit those in prison to give them a chance to talk about their difficulties, perhaps giving them a glimmer of hope that things will improve.
Some of our fellow community members are suffering from financial pain. There are those who struggle to make ends meet, worrying about whether they will be able to pay the rent, the electric or gas bills, or pay for food or medicine. The members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul work to help those who need just a little bit to cover the necessities, or help them find a job, or get a ride to work or to a job interview.
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Philadelphia has many ways, customized to each local community, for you to transform the lives of your neighbors as well as your own life. Like that of its founder, blessed Frédéric Ozanam, the vision of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul “is to embrace the world in a network of charity.”