Vincentians gather at Top Hat Dinner to present service awards

More than 280 members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVDP) in the diocese gathered on Dec. 2 for the annual “Top Hat” dinner to reflect on the Vincentians’ accomplishments during 2017. Vincentians from throughout the Sacramento Diocesan Council came together to recognize 29 of their members for outstanding work with the society.

Several awards were presented at the dinner. In photo above, Judy Dietlein, right, president of the Sacramento Diocesan Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and Marion Bishop, left, district president for Sacramento East, present the Top Hat Award to Inez Reyes of the St. John Vianney Council in Rancho Cordova, for demonstrating exemplary Vincentian virtues in service to the poor. The award is named to honor the Society’s principal founder, Frederic Ozanam, who was known to wear a top hat in the style of the 19th century Paris.

Holy Spirit Parish conference in Sacramento received the Blessed Sister Rosalie Rendu Award for excellence, with Dot O’Connor, conference president, accepting the award. Danny Camarena, district president for Sacramento South/Elk Grove and Dietlein presented the award. The award is named for a Daughter of Charity who was performing Vincentian acts of charity in Paris before the first conference was formed. It was to Sister Rosalie that Ozanam and his companions turned to learn how to serve those in need.

The Emmanuel Bailly Award was presented to Paul Starkey, immediate past president of the council. The award, which recognizes a conference or council president for exemplary servant leadership in the manner of Emmanuel Bailly, the Society’s first conference president.

To learn more about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the Diocese of Sacramento, visit