Rev. Robert Dolci, C.M.
Frederic Ozanam’s faith combined belief with action, leading him to found the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. It was the first universal and permanent apostolate directed by laity, and anticipated the Second Vatican Council’s teachings on the lay apostolate by over a century. It was not enough for him to relieve the poor materially; he wanted to evangelize those he served and others. He believed people should be informed of the Gospel’s relevance to the specific social problems of their day. He thus arranged for Henri Lacordaire’s preaching at Notre Dame, which appealed to general audiences and great intellectuals. As a professor, Ozanam taught that Catholicism advanced civilization and applied Christian principles to socio-economic questions. The forerunner of the Church’s social doctrine, he understood that such a doctrine must be adapted to particular times and places.
Carranza, Ambrosio R.
"The Vincentian Charism in the Laity: Frederick Ozanam,"
Vincentian Heritage Journal: Vol. 7
, Article 3.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/vhj/vol7/iss1/3