February Jefferson Award: Marty Cormack

Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 11:46 AM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) – The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been around for more than 150 years. It started in France in 1833 when Antoine Frédéric Ozanam was challenged by a friend to have he and other Catholics do more to help the poor in Paris, leading to the creation of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

The Society, named after Vincent de Paul, a priest whose mission was helping the poor in life, took just 12 years to reach the United States in 1845 after its inception. The first society founded was in St. Louis, Missouri.

“Our goal is to increase the spirituality of our members, increase the friendship of our members and help those in need,” said St. Vincent de Paul District Council President Tim Geisler.

For Rochester, the story of the society here starts a little more than a decade ago thanks to the help of one man stepping up to take the lead, Marty Cormack.

“Marty is also a very strong advocate for the poor. He doesn’t just talk about it he actually does something about it,” Geisler said.

Cormack taking charge and bringing the District Council of the society to the Med City has had quite the impact.

More than $4 million has been given out the last four years in housing assistance to those in need alone. The society helps all who ask for it and even offers in-home visits for people who need it, as well.

“These are our friends and neighbors who are in need, and we need to take care of them and help them and support them and lift them up,” Cormack said.

Cormack is regularly attending city council meetings and other gatherings around the city asking and advocating for help for those less fortunate.

The one thing both Geisler and Cormack emphatically reiterated, is the City of Rochester desperately needs more housing and more housing would help the society’s work tremendously.

For his advocacy of those less fortunate and helping start an impactful society in Rochester, Marty Cormack is this month’s Jefferson Award winner.

For more information on the District Council of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Rochester, click here.

If you know someone who is multiplying good in your community and want to nominate them for a Jefferson Award, click here.