He wrote to his his elder brother, Father Alphonse: “The priests must give up their little bourgeois parishes: their flocks are an elite in the midst of a vast population that they do not know…” and again: “You are not carrying out your true mission. If a larger number of Christians and especially clergymen had looked after the workers in the last ten years we would be more certain of the future”; 

“By saying: let us devote our time to the Barbarians, I am asking that we do as he has done, I am asking that, instead of embracing the interests of a doctrinaire ministry, of a frightened peerage, or an egotistical bourgeoisie, we look after the people who have too many needs and not enough rights, who demand with a reason a fuller share of public affairs, security in work and safeguards against poverty… It is in the people that I can see enough faith and morality left to save a society whose higher classes are lost…”

See International site of the Society of St. VIncent de Paul

Also “The Social Justice Vision of Ozanam”

An examination of Conscience for a Vincentian

  • How do you see yourself as poor?
  • How do you see yourself as needing the poor for your personal spiritual growth?
  • What special gift do you have for helping the poor?
  • What kinds of poverty have you found and tried to help alleviate?
  • Do you spend more energy in discovering needs not yet met or in reporting on those you have?
  • How do you help the poor beyond providing material things?
  • Do you take time to listen to the people you help?
  • How do their needs affect your prayer?
  • How do you show concern for the poor who suffer elsewhere in the world?
  • What do you do to remove the causes of people’s poverty?
  • Do you care who gets the credit for the good you do?
  • What effort do you make to see if anyone else can meet the needs that you meet?
  • How, as a Vincentian, are you related to the Church?
  • What are the special needs of the Church in your region?
  • Do you see your work as a Vincentian as ministry?
  • How well are you working together with other Vincentians?
  • Do you attend meetings regularly?
  • Are you finding spiritual nourishment from them?
  • How shared is your decision-making?
  • Has growth in numbers and funds hurt or helped personal attention to the poor?

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