The Campaign for St. Vincent De Paul Parish

How happy the man of means who uses his wealth and his life for the greater glory of God, from whom he has received them.

St. Vincent De Paul

Who We Are

The faith community of St. Vincent De Paul parish has been committed to social justice and serving the needs of Germantown since its inception in 1849. This same spirit fills the congregation and programming operating out of St. Vincent’s today. All are welcome in this place. Germantown has changed over the last 170 years, however the social challenges stemming from inequality remain, including housing and food insecurity and limited educational resources.  While these challenges endure, so do the convictions of the faith community of Saint Vincent’s to serve the community in pursuit of social justice.  

Our Opportunity

The epicenter of St. Vincent De Paul’s social efforts is the church. Preservation of the majestic space requires significant interior rehabilitation. Years of a leaking original roof now necessitate plaster repairs, interior painting, and other building upgrades to keep the church in working order. The structure has recently been reroofed and all water intrusion has been stopped. Now is the time to rehabilitate the church in order to provide another 170 years of social services to the local community.  This is our opportunity to solidify St. Vincent De Paul parish, in Germantown for good!

The Goal

One Million Dollars…That is the estimated cost of repairs.  Raising $1 million can seem like a daunting task and we will need help to get there.  St. Vincent De Paul parish has been awarded a two-to-one matching grant of $250,000 from the National Fund for Sacred Places.  This generous grant has launched our effort, but we need community support to realize our vision and continue our services. 

What’s Next

The next 24 months will be an exciting time for our parish as we embark on the interior renovation of our church. Our efforts will include:

  • Stabilization and repair of interior plaster
  • Repainting of church interior
  • Painting of new artwork
  • Cleaning and repair of marble surfaces

Join Us

Together we can realize the vision of continued social justice and service to the Germantown community for another 170 years. Raising over $1 million will require sacrificial giving from the members of our congregation and the support of the broader community. We invite you the join us with a pledge to donate to St. Vincent De Paul’s Joy Wuenschel Memorial Fund. Your funds will be used to rehabilitate our church.

Joy Wuenschel

Joy Wuenschel was a long-time resident of West Germantown and member of St. Vincent De Paul parish. Joy’s values of inclusion and social justice in addition to her vibrance and warmth made her a pillar of the community. Joy walked her faith as an activist, ally, and member of many ministries. Most recently, Joy served on the Interior Committee, striving to rehabilitate St. Vincent De Paul parish and continue its valuable work. Joy personified the best of the St. Vincent De Paul community and it is fitting that the endeavor continues in her name.

Partners for Sacred Places

Partners for Sacred Places is the only national, non-sectarian, nonprofit organization focused on building the capacity of congregations of historic sacred places to better serve their communities. Partners for Sacred Places, in conjunction with the National Trust, have chosen to partner with St. Vincent De Paul parish.  To support the rehabilitation of our church, St. Vincent De Paul has been awarded a $250,000 2:1 matching grant.  This sum will help propel us to our total fundraising need of over $1 million and facilitate the continued vision of St. Vincent De Paul in Germantown – for good!

Building a Church

1816In Baltimore, members of the Congregation of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul (“Vincentians”) arrive from France
1832The first railroad in the area is completed. Running between 9th and Green Streets in Philadelphia to Germantown, this helps cement Germantown’s status as a thriving industrial suburb.
1837Rising anti-Catholic sentiment leads to the Bible Riots in Philadelphia which resulted in the burning of two churches and the deaths of dozens of people.
1849Bishop Francis Kenrick gifts the Vincentians land in Germantown for a church. Anti-Catholic protestors attend the cornerstone ceremony.
1851Construction of the church’s nave was completed and first mass was celebrated.
1859 Construction of the church is completed.

Our Church Today

1972St. Vincent De Paul parish is added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.
2016The “Welcoming All to Raise the Roof” campaign launches to raise the funds necessary to replace the 160 year old roof.
2018Replacement of the roof was completed and St. Vincent’s is water free!
2019St. Vincent De Paul parish is selected by National Fund for Sacred Places for a 2:1 matching grant and embarks fundraising efforts to rehabilitate the interior of the church.

Social Impact

Social Impact. Our parishioners are active leaders and members in various affiliated ministries working to build a stronger community.

Face to Face A multi-service organization that offers free human services to more than 2,500 individuals each year.
The DePaul Catholic School An innovative urban elementary school dedicated to carrying out the legacy of St. Vincent de Paul by empowering students to become life-long learners, leaders, and servants who build the Kingdom of God.
PAR – RecycleworksA nonprofit electronics recycler that provides transitional employment to people returning from prison.
POWERAn interfaith organization committed to building communities of opportunity that work for all.
New Sanctuary MovementAn interfaith organization that works to end injustices against immigrants and ensure that values of dignity, justice, and hospitality are lived out in practice and upheld in policy.
My Place
A not-for-profit with a mission to reduce homelessness in the Germantown section of Philadelphia by providing permanent supportive housing for disabled homeless individuals in a community-based setting.