St. V Joins One Water Partnership

Through this program by Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake (IPC), St. V will join with other congregations in the Jones Falls Watershed to help protect our waterways and delve more deeply into our work of caring for creation. In this two-year partnership, we will plan and take part in various environmentally and spiritually focused activities.

As one of the 15 congregations invited to join, St. V will participate in a visioning session with IPC. We will commit to a covenant to care for watershed, create a “green ministry,” implement at least one environmental physical project and three educational, spiritual or other actions related to conserving our planet.

Joining comes with a grant, which we will use to help launch a green ministry here at St. V. To be on an email list for the forming green ministry, email Laureen Brunelli at

Spiritual Nature Walks

The first group event will be a series nature walks in city parks to learn about what’s happening to our local watershed and the web of life that depends on. Join other St. V members for the first one is Sat. March 25 10 AM @ Druid Hill Par­kSuitable for all ages and fitness levels. To RSVP to the walk click here.

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Sign Up for St. V’s Weekly Newsletter

St. Vincent has launched a new e-newsletter. Weekly issues feature news about St. Vincent, communications from staff, events at the parish, a reflection or prayer, and the readings for the upcoming Sunday. This does not replace our parish email tree, which is where you will find prayer requests and other information submitted by parishioners.

In our most recent issue, you’ll find pictures of Fr. Ray Chase, who was named St. V’s pastor, as well as a message from him.  If you wish to receive This Week @ St. Vincent, use this subscription link to sign up.

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St. Vincent’s 14th Pastor Named

Dear St. V’s Community,

This afternoon, I met with Fr. Ray Chase in his office at the Catholic Center. He is to be appointed as Pastor of St. Vincent’s effective April 1.  I received the news on Monday evening, then spoke with Fr. Ray several times by phone. We spent a couple of good hours talking – and listening – today. Each had plenty of questions for the other.

Fr. Ray has worked in a variety of ministries, with an emphasis on providing pastoral care to vulnerable people of all ages. Currently he serves as a Chaplain at Catholic Charities’ St. Elizabeth nursing care community. He also works in mission integration and as staff Chaplain for Catholic Charities. And he has been an assisting priest at St. Charles Borromeo church in Pikesville for many years. He will continue in his work part-time with Catholic Charities.

Once he begins as Pastor, Fr. Ray told me, his most important early tasks at St. Vincent’s will be to listen, learn and watch. He looks forward to becoming a part of our community, and to discovering how we live out our mission. As he does, let us thank him, pray for him, and welcome him.

Peace and love,
Colleen McCahill
Pastoral Associate

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Lent Begins!

Join us this Lent for the many services and program that we offer as well as for Sunday Mass. This year we are exploring the call to do God’s work.

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St. Vincent’s Bulletin

Each month, St. V produces a monthly issue (pictured) that features at least one longer article as well as general information about the parish. Weekly a one-page insert focuses on news and information for the current week.

Deadline for Submissions: Weekly issue is Wednesdays by 10 PM; monthly bulletin is the third Sunday of the month.

Bulletin for the Season of Lent

St. This Week 3/12/2017

Recent Weekly Issues:

Previous Bulletins

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Thank You Fr. Dick, Thank You St. V

Sunday was, as our Pastoral Associate Colleen McCahill put it, a “beautiful and bittersweet” day as we honored our pastor of 43 years on the eve of his retirement. We celebrated more than just one man; we celebrated ourselves as a community. And, of course, we celebrated in the way we know best, through the Eucharist, together in Christ.

As Fr. Dick said in his final homily as pastor, being a community of Word, Sacrament and Service means being “a place where people call out each other’s talents, care for each other’s sorrows, rejoice in each other’s joys.”

This occasion was just one small example of what this community can do. With less than two weeks notice, we put on a fabulous event for more than 450 people. People pulled together and in pitched in a seamless sort of way—sharing in the work, sharing in the joy and sharing in the sorrow.

—Laureen Brunelli, Director of Evangelization

More on Fr. Dick’s Retirement:

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Homeless Jesus Coming to St. Vincent

Homeless Jesus by Timothy Schmalz

As part of his letter to the congregation on the the retirement of our pastor, Archbishop Lori announced that a bronze statue known as “Homeless Jesus,” given to the Archdiocese by an anonymous donor, will be installed on the grounds of St. Vincent. The artist Timothy Schmalz says, this work is “a visual representation of Matthew 25. The sculpture suggests that Christ is with the most marginalized in our society.”

The original sculpture was installed in Toronto in 2013, and now casts of it have been placed around the world including one in Rome in front of the Papal Offices of Charities. However, not all cities have welcomed such a visible reminder of our society’s most vulnerable members.

We at St. Vincent, however, are delighted that the Archbishop chose our parish as the home of this statue in Baltimore. While we have not finalized plans for its placement, we anticipate placing it on the corner of Fayette and Front Streets, outside the fence of our park so that it can be seen by people passing by in cars.

Installation is tentatively scheduled for the fall. Currently the Archdiocese is displaying a resin replica of the statue in the Basilica. That replica will be displayed in parishes throughout the Archdiocese in the coming months. When the Archdiocese returns it to the artist, work will begin on the bronze version to be placed here.

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Wednesday Night Lenten Series

In the Archdiocesan survey of a year ago, many parishioners said we wish we had more chances to practice contemplative prayer. To that end, on Wednesday evenings in Lent we will have three Scripture and Prayer services for contemplation and reflection. These, and the Reconciliation service, will be led by members of the St. V’s family entrusted with breaking open the Word and leading us in prayer, as we strive to make of ourselves a living Gospel.

Voices of the Laity: Reflecting on Our Call

  • March 8 – “Who Am I?”  Audrey Rogers
  • March15 – “Who Are We?”  Colleen McCahill
  • March 29 – “What Is God’s Work for Us?”  Al Reichelt
  • April 5 – Reconciliation Service – Anne Maura English

Services are at 7:30 PM at St. Vincent, except April 5th Reconciliation Service,
which is at St. Ignatius Church (740 N. Calvert St.).

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Lenten Retreat at St. V

Register now for our half-day Lenten retreat on Saturday, March 18. Its theme, “Called to be Light in the Darkness,” ties in with our banner outside the church and with our theme for Lent “Called to Do God’s Work.” Parishioners Gerry Fialkowski and Peggy Shouse will lead us as we reflect on our spiritual and emotional responses to the national election. We will explore our concerns and hopes surrounding the changes in our beloved parish. We will ponder how our tradition, rooted in Word and Sacrament, can help us answer the call to do God’s work.

This morning of reflection is at Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City from 8 AM to 12 PM. Continental breakfast is provided. Fee is $20. Scholarships are available. We ask that all who attend help underwrite the cost. You can download a registration form here.

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From the Pastor

Dear Family of St. Vincent de Paul,

I am grateful for your assurance of prayer for my continuing recovery. And it is continuing: I am getting a little stronger every day and I fully expect to be well enough to go home within a month or so. But I do not realistically expect to get to be strong enough Rev. Richard T. Lawrenceto perform all the ministry that you have a right to expect of your pastor.

I have therefore decided that it is time for me to retire. I have submitted my letter of resignation of the office of pastor to be effective Monday, February 27th at noon, and the Archbishop has accepted it. We will have a Mass at St. Vincent’s on Sunday, February 26th at 10:30 AM to give me an opportunity to sum up my ministry and say farewell to each of you. A reception will follow and I hope as many as possible of you will help celebrate the Mass and the ensuing party.

I will try at that liturgy to express my gratitude for all that you have done for me and with me over the past 43 years. Continue reading

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Congratulations, Jack Schmidt!

Our parishioner, Jack, will be honored at the 32nd Annual Baltimore Archdiocesan Social Ministry Convocation on Saturday, March 5 for his  volunteer work.

Jack’s work in the the service ministries at St. V is not only extensive, but it is always done with good cheer and kindness. He participates in his ministries with a smile and good word for those he encounters, contributing to the building up of the Body of Christ and advancing the causes of peace and justice.  Continue reading

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Coming Up

Going on at St. V:

Lenten RetreatSaturday, March 18  – Our theme for the half-day retreat, “Called to be Light in the Darkness,” ties in with both our banner outside the church and with our theme for Lent “Called to Do God’s Work.” Gerry Fialkowski and Peggy Shouse will lead us in this morning of reflection at Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City.

St. Vincent’s Family Retreat – May 19-21 – Save the dates for our annual overnight retreat at Camp Nawakwa near Gettysburg.  Our retreat director, Dr. Monica Weis of the Sisters of St. Joseph, will use the work of Thomas Merton, a Catholic monk, writer and mystic, to guide us.

Sign Up Now:

Married Couples Group –  This year couples in this group dedicated to marriage enrichment will discuss Marriage: Small Steps, Big Rewards by Dr. Ray Guarendi. Couples commit to 6 meetings during the year, 3 in the spring and 3 in the fall. First meeting is March 25.  Sign up in the undercroft after 9:30 Mass, or contact the parish office at or 410-962-5078. Brochures are in the Gathering Space.

Going on Elsewhere:

Archdiocesan Social Ministry Convocation – On Saturday, March 5, the 32nd Annual Baltimore Archdiocesan Social Ministry Convocation convenes at Seton Keough High School (1201 Caton Ave., Baltimore 21227).  The theme is economic justice, and the keynote speaker Fr. John Donahue was part of the team that helped draft the U.S. Bishop’s pastoral letter Economic Justice for All in 1986. There will be 11 workshops, and two in Spanish. The registration fee is $10, and lunch will provided be for those who pre-register. Time is 8:15 AM to 3 PM. Contact: Codie Perry at for a registration form.


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Shine On

Fitting these words on our banner (above) on the back of St. Vincent took some clever design work. For a sign meant to be read while waiting at stoplight 20 yards away, 13 words might as well be a James Joyce tome.

We did it however (Thanks, Tom Hyatt!), because at this moment in time we really want to proclaim these words from the Gospel of John to ourselves and to all. The idea for this banner grew out of conversations among parishioners about the direction of the country, the needs in our city and more. The emotions expressed in this dialogue have been, at times, dark—parishioners speak and write of feeling uncertainty, despair and anger and frustration.  Many are stepping out in their faith, letting these powerfully emotions serve as energy for change. To be sure, our faith tells us even amidst the brokenness of our world: Continue reading

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St. V’s Year in Review

As 2016 winds down, radio and TV programs remind us it’s been eventful year in our country and our world. Here at St. Vincent this, our 175th year, has been a big one as well.

What’s Happened?



We began 2016 by welcoming Colleen McCahill as our new pastoral associate. We were fortunate that, as a long-time parishioner, she was able to transition quickly into the position.

As the year began, the parish was already involved the Archdiocesan planning process that addresses how Catholic parishes will continue to, and in fact grow in, our efforts to evangelize given the increasing shortage or clergy. This process will eventually yield new configurations for all parishes, called pastorates, which typically will be two or more parishes operating together.

Meanwhile, this 175-year-old church got a spiffy new look as our multi-year restoration of the exterior continued. The Front Street side’s brick was repointed and painted; woodwork scraped and painted; steps reset and realigned; windows repaired and protective glass installed. Continue reading

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Another Anniversary at St. Vincent!

Our ministry The Resource Exchange (TRE) celebrates its fifth year of furnishing the homes of people who have experienced homelessness. More than 400 people have been helped through this joint program with Healthcare for the Homeless!

Many thanks to all who have made this possible by donating furniture, gently used necessities, or funding; shopping for household goods; packing household starter kits; picking up furniture or helping to deliver items and decorate apartments.

tre-before-afterLearn more about how you can be a part of this wonderful ministry.

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