• The first organization founded by St. Vincent was The Ladies of Charity in 1617 when he asked for assistance in caring and feeding those who were ill. Seven years later, St. Vincent formed the Vincentian Priests (the Congregation of the Mission) and another seven years later, St. Vincent and St. Louise formed the Daughters of Charity.

  • Their purpose was to assist the poor, neglected, and the suffering.

  • Realizing the great needs of the poor, many responded and founded organizations spreading across Europe and beyond.

  • The first American association was founded right here in St. Louis at St. Vincent's Parish in 1857.

  • The Ladies of Charity is the longest, continuous, volunteer lay organization in the world.

Who Are the Ladies of Charity?

  • They are women, inspired by the life of St. Vincent de Paul, who come together to help meet the needs of the poor.

  • They are:

      • Businesswomen, homemakers, professionals, and retirees; all who are dedicated to helping the poor and the marginalized.

  • Members are not required to be members of St. Vincent's Parish, nor are they required to be Catholic. They just need to care and want to help those less fortunate.

  • Members are not expected to participate in everything we do. We each do what we can.



I love how the organization is an extension of St Vincent’s mission to serve the poor.

Working in our food pantry and serving our guests meals are 2 of my favorite ways to help.

I can come when Its convenient for me and my family. This is an organization that believes many hands make light work and any little bit you give is appreciated.


I see the face of Christ in those I serve.

I love getting to know those I meet, getting to know their name and know about them.

This keeps me coming week after week and has for years.


The social aspect of serving, while helping the community, makes the Ladies of Charity an ideal way to spend my time.

I particularly enjoy Tuesdays where we sort rummage and serve the unhoused community with shoes and clothing items at our clothing window.

The women in the organization and the interactions with the people we serve make being a member of the Ladies of Charity very rewarding.


The Ladies of Charity represent a diverse group of women who respect one another and value and appreciate the talents and contributions of each member.

When joining this organization, I discovered ordinary women with an extraordinary passion to serve others.

I am honored to serve side by side with such selfless and caring individuals.

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