We now have over 25% of the Canadian population who have received at least one dose of a vaccine; you can track the progress at COVID-19 vaccination in Canada.

I was fortunate to receive my first dose, Pfizer-BioNTech, on Wednesday, April 14.

But we are far from having sufficient vaccinations to relax and ease restrictions, especially with the variants being more contagious and virulent, which explains several new Public Health restrictions being applied across the country.

As we have been stating since the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, precaution and prevention have been a focal point to protect persons in need whom we serve, our volunteers and our staff. Besides vaccinations, following Public Health recommendations have been key:

  • practice physical distancing, 2-metres (six feet);
  • wear a mask, indoors or when maintaining physical distancing is difficult;
  • wash your hands often and well;
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.

In some provinces, food bank volunteers and staff have now been included in the priority list for vaccination. Check with your local Public Health authorities, as eligibility changes continuously.

To encourage Canadians to get vaccinated, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) published on March 11, 2021:

  1. Catholics are invited to be vaccinated, both in keeping with the dictates of their conscience and in contributing to the common good by promoting the health and safety of others.
  2. The CCCB Note of 9 March 2021 simply restates the position outlined by the Holy See in its Note of December 21, 2020 regarding the use of vaccines.
  3. All COVID-19 vaccines that are medically approved by the relevant health authorities may be licitly received by Catholics.

You can read additional information on Vaccines for COVID-19.

Richard Pommainville
Executive Director


Like so many other organizations registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the SSVP in Quebec and its members have always relied on the donations of Quebecers and other Canadians, legal entities and/or individuals, to carry out their charitable activities. Unfortunately, the crisis caused by COVID-19 has put many families in a difficult financial situation, to the point that the impact was felt immediately and continues to be felt in our fundraising campaigns. The crisis has also affected our ability as a charitable organization to conduct person-to-person fundraising activities, which are the foundation of our fundraising strategy. Faced with this harsh reality, the SSVP Quebec Regional Council was fortunate to receive double support, financial and technical, from the Fédération des caisses Desjardins and La Ruche Québec, a crowdfunding platform, in the organization of the 2020 edition of its guignolée, an annual Christmas food drive. For four weeks, messages soliciting the generosity of Quebecers were relayed and the response was phenomenal.

Close to $500,000 was raised and redistributed to the 19 conferences and councils that participated in the campaign. This funding allowed them, in turn, to meet the food needs of thousands of people struggling with the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, particularly seniors, whose dietary needs were adversely affected by the measures put in place to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

However, it should be noted that the unknown in this process was the volume of work that the regional council would have to manage in order to issue tax receipts to the 3,000 Quebecers who, in an unprecedented surge of generosity, had responded favourably to our campaign. Thanks to his computer skills, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Michel Olivier, professionally managed this aspect of the work. All the receipts were produced and sent to the donors during the income declaration period set by law. This experience led us to plan to provide the regional council with the material and equipment needed for future large-scale campaigns.

Coordinator, SSVP Quebec Regional Council


National Council of Canada is putting a call out for members interested in serving on the new National Fund Development Committee. The objective of the National Fund Development Committee is to identify, solicit, and steward fund development initiatives at the National level to assist with communications and fundraising initiatives at the multiple levels of the Society in Canada.

This Committee was created after hearing from members across Canada that we need to identify different fund development opportunities and identify initiatives to support our Mission. This is an exciting opportunity to participate in the growth and wellness of the Society, and we look for your expertise in this endeavor.

If you are interested and have the following skillset, please contact National at by May 31 at latest.

  • Fund development expertise and experience
  • Fund development communication strategies
  • Donor engagement and stewardship expertise
  • Knowledge in identifying foundations and government programs, and skills in proposal and grant writing

Thank you for your interest in serving as a member of this Committee.

Linda Dollard, Chair
National Fund Development Committee



This project entailed the construction of 19 bathrooms in the rural community of El Tule, Chinandega Department, Nicaragua. It was planned and executed by a local community organization, FUNDACCO, in collaboration with the National Council of Nicaragua. FUNDACCO is linked to Roots of Change, a Catholic charity from Alberta.



We invite you to view a series of photos and texts by Therese Steiner of the North of 60 project. Therese visited Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic in the Northwest Territories. She describes the life in these communities, the arrival of sea containers sent by the SSVP, and the distribution of the food and material received. She introduces us to the Vincentians and other volunteers in this region who make sure that everything is well distributed... by snowmobile and toboggan!


My Dear Vincentian Friends,

The National Council of Canada invites you to join a Society of Saint Vincent de Paul cross-Canada National Retreat.

Theme: “We Are Called”

Presenter: Rev Ain Leetma, Pastor of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Vancouver

Date: May 8, 2021

10h00 am (Pacific)
11h00 am (Mountain)
12h00 pm (Central)
1h00 pm (Eastern)
2h00 pm (Atlantic)
2h30 pm (Newfoundland)

This two-hour virtual gathering is open to all Vincentians, with time allowed after the retreat for further sharing and discussion. Even though a virtual gathering is not ideal for a retreat, it does provide an opportunity to connect from coast to coast. This will also be a foundation for further cross-nation retreats, meetings and ceremonies of this nature.

We are looking forward to sharing with you; it will be so good to see you all, even via Zoom.


Thank you all. May God bless us all and the persons in need we serve.

John Carey
Chair, National Spirituality Committee


Q: Is it appropriate for a parish priest to ask a conference for funds to pay parish expenses during this COVID-19 pandemic?




A: The Rule is very specific. The resources of the Society must be used by our members for their works of charity and not given to other organizations, no matter how good the cause and even during these unprecedented COVID-19 times. This includes the local parish.

However, some conferences pay the parish a monthly stipend or fee for the use of the parish facilities, such as meeting space, pantry space, utilities, etc. Those are valid expenditures that do not fall into the category of donations to outside organizations.

Q: Section 1 of the Rule (2.6) indicates that non-Catholics can serve as officers (secretary or treasurer); under what circumstances is that applicable?


A: In section 4 of the Rule, under 6.5 (PRESERVING THE CATHOLIC CREDO AND ETHOS), we can read “The president, vice-president and spiritual advisor should, therefore, be Roman Catholic.” When necessary, other members can be entrusted with special duties. It is possible to name a secretary and treasurer who are not members of the Society. However, in such cases, those persons are appointed by the president because of their expertise and can take part in the deliberations in a meeting but do not have voting rights.


We are always looking for Vincentian testimonials and conference/council activity stories. Send your stories to share with Vincentians across Canada to

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