MASSENA — Starting Thursday, St. Vincent de Paul in Massena will no longer be St. Vincent de Paul, but its mission will remain the same.
The organization is undergoing a name and brand change and will become St. Peter’s Outreach Ministry.
“Our mission and what we do will stay the same,” said Kitty Samuels, who will serve as a St. Peter’s Parish board member on the new organization’s board of directors that will also include the Rev. Mark Reilly, Deacon Thomas Proulx, St. Peter’s Parish trustees and a St. Vincent de Paul member.
She said the organization had a couple of choices — “Either continue to affiliate internationally and pay dues or affiliate locally. St. Vincent de Paul is an international organization. Our mission is local, so we chose to affiliate locally.”
As an international organization, it fell under the direction of Diocese of Ogdensburg bishop, Terry R. LaValley. As St. Peter’s Outreach Ministry, it will fall under St. Peter’s Parish.
“Everything will continue. All of our programs will remain the same,” Ms. Samuels said. “Everything we do, the missions needed in our area, will remain the same. Our ministry is ecumenical. We don’t discriminate. The name change is purely administrative.”
Among the services offered by St. Vincent de Paul is emergency food calls within the Massena Central School District or parish boundaries. They also hold a food distribution for St. Lawrence County residents every 30 days.
“That won’t change,” she said. “They’ll work with the Food Bank of Central New York.”
St. Vincent de Paul also oversees the Gabriel’s Helping Hands Program, also known as the Gabriel Project. The program provides diapers, formula, cribs and baby clothing for pregnant and new mothers. It’s open to mothers, fathers, grandparents or caretakers of an infant and/or children up to 3 years old.
The organization also staffs a thrift store and offers a Christmas program.
“This year’s Christmas program will be drive-through,” Ms. Samuels said. “We’re still working out the details.”
The organization’s phone number will remain the same, 315-769-1200.