It’s been one year since Phil Wijmer assumed the role of President of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Los Angeles, and what a year it has been! Phil, who served as the district president of the San Pedro region and has been a Vincentian for over 12 years, has brought a refreshing and compassionate perspective to his role, continuing the Society’s mission of compassion and serving those in need.
In a recent interview, Phil shared his insights, motivations, and plans for the organization as we celebrate his first year in office.
A Spiritual Journey
“When I originally became part of the Society, there was a spiritual deficit, there still is,” Phil acknowledges. His commitment to his faith and his role as a practicing Catholic drives his dedication to the Society’s mission. He emphasizes the importance of leading by example, encouraging others to persevere and not give up. Phil’s unwavering commitment to practicing what he preaches sets a powerful precedent for all Vincentians.
The Heart of a True Vincentian
Phil defines a true Vincentian as someone who strives to live by the Vincentian rule. He acknowledges that this can be challenging but underscores the importance of trying. This dedication to self-improvement and service defines the essence of the Society’s work.
Expanding the Scope
Phil’s influence extends beyond his role as President. He is actively involved in an organization called Coming Together To Get Ahead (CTGA), which focuses on family improvement and lifting people out of various forms of poverty. Under the St. Vincent de Paul umbrella, this initiative emphasizes the multifaceted nature of poverty and the need for holistic solutions.
Phil’s dedication to the Vincentian cause goes beyond leadership; he remains deeply involved at the grassroots level. He continues to attend district and conference meetings, recognizing the value of both intimate and larger gatherings. This approach allows him to stay in touch with the people behind the organization’s roots while working toward broader goals.
Goals for the Future
When asked about his goals as President, Phil’s commitment to serving at a higher degree shines through. He aims to make a meaningful impact not only on those in need but also on the employees and everyone who is involved with the Society. Phil also seeks to broaden the organization’s reach, fostering relationships with outside partners to promote social justice and learning from others with different backgrounds and beliefs. He shares, “Just as I learn from people I serve, I want to teach people that we all have much in common.”
Motto to Live By
Phil’s motto, “to do my best every day,” reflects his dedication to continuous self-improvement and service. He sees each day as an opportunity to be the face of Christ and recognizes the importance of learning from life’s challenges. His family values and personal experiences have equipped him with a unique ability to connect with people from all walks of life.
As we celebrate Phil Wijmer’s first anniversary as President of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Los Angeles, we are inspired by his unwavering dedication to serving those in need, his commitment to spiritual growth, and his vision for a brighter future for the organization. With Phil at the helm, we can look forward to even greater impact and continued growth in the years to come. Thank you, Phil, for your outstanding leadership and compassionate heart. Here’s to many more years of making a difference together.