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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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 the refurbished carillon stained glass window and a preview of our upcoming movie night. If you wish to receive This Week @ St. Vincent, use this subscription link to sign up.

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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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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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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

The first group event will be a series spiritual nature walks in city parks with the other congregations. Join us for a walk in the park to learn about what’s happening to our local watershed and the web of life that depends on it. Together, we’ll discuss actions you and your congregation can take to protect Creation. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

The first one is Sat. March 25 10 AM @ Druid Hill Par­k.

Can’t make it this time? Other walks:

  • Sun. March 26 – 2PM @ Wyman Park
  • Sun. April 30 – 2 PM @ Lake Roland Park
  • Sat. May 6 – 10 AM @ Cylburn Arboretum
  • Tues. May 9 – 6:30 PM @ Wyman Park


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Fr. Dick to Retire This Month

At the end of this month, Fr. Richard Lawrence will retire after 43 years as the beloved pastor of St. Vincent. He will celebrate one last Mass as pastor on Sunday, February 26 at 10:30 AM. (There will only be one Mass on that day.) We will celebrate him and what we as a community have become under his guidance through this special liturgy.

  • Colleen McCahill, our pastoral associate, will be the liturgy planner, working together with Fr. Lawrence to create the liturgy.
  • To give the occasion a greater sense of pageantry, our music director Joe Organ has engaged the same brass musicians that played at our 175th anniversary Mass.
  • We will then gather for a final parish photo with our 13th pastor.
  • And finally, we will then come together for brunch in the undercroft following Mass.

If you can help on the day of the celebration, either by bringing food or by volunteering your time, sign up here.

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Coming Up

Going on at St. V:

Fr. Dick’s Retirement Mass and Brunch – February 26, 10:30 AM – Details are still pending but save the date. Fr. Dick will celebrate is last Mass as pastor and we will have a meal in the undercroft to honor him. There will only be one Mass on that day.

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.

Dinner for 8 – Get to know your fellow parishioners in this program that goes from March to September. After the sign-up period, groups of about 8 are arranged. Each group decides independently how often, where, when, to meet and who brings what. Usually the meals are pitch-ins.  Sign up in the Gathering Space after 9:30 Mass or email

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. 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.

January/February Bulletin

Previous Month’s Bulletins

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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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Find Your Inner St. Vincent!

findyourThe theme for the parish’s Feast of St. Vincent celebration this year is “Find Your Inner St. Vincent!”  This slightly hippy-dippy theme statement might seem simplistic, even flighty, at first glance.  That is until you ask yourself what “finding your inner St. Vincent” might look like, which was directly inspired by the life of St. Vincent de Paul’s life.

Born into rural poverty in 16th-century France, St. Vincent thought his path out of poverty and into a comfortable “middle class” life might be the priesthood.  This was fairly common in those days.  There were a few bumps along the way (such as being kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery!), but all in all, he landed a pretty sweet gig ministering to rich folks. (See more of St. Vincent’s story on the reverse page.)

End of story, right?  Mission accomplished?  Pension and a high yield investment portfolio?  He probably just packed it in and put his life on cruise control.  Not St. Vincent!  After an encounter with the servant of one of his wealthy patrons, his eyes were opened to the spiritual and physical needs of the poor. The rest is history.

Finding your inner St. Vincent means getting uncomfortable, unsettled, and unsatisfied with status quo in our lives.  This will look different for different folks, and each of us will find this inspiration in a different place.

In this community there is any number of opportunities to take that step—meeting the people who visit and stay in St. Vincent’s Park, serving dinner at Breaking Bread With the Hungry in our undercroft on Friday evenings. We also might stop to look up from the frantic pace of our busy lives to see those in need around us—an elderly neighbor in need of company or assistance, a child struggling in school who could use a tutor.  We ask God to help us follow St. Vincent’s trajectory from comfort to discomfort in the service of all people. Lee Krempel

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