Society of St. Vincent de Paul forming new Youth Service Council Print
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Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) has long been involved with charitable works in the Madison area. Following in its founder’s footsteps, the society is now looking to expand opportunities for youth to take the reins in planning some local service events.

"Blessed Frederic Ozanam and his friends started the society when they were college students, and they named it after St. Vincent de Paul," explained Gayle Westfahl, member services coordinator for the local council of the society. "We all know there are very talented high school students here in Madison, and many people could be served well through their creativity, passion, and desire to be of service."

The society's District Council of Madison is forming a Youth Service Council consisting of high school students who will serve as representatives for their home parishes on the countywide membership body. "Up to two representatives will be selected from each parish," Westfahl said, "and area Catholic high schools will also have the opportunity to be represented."

The youth representatives from the Madison-area parishes will meet monthly and will be responsible for choosing, coordinating, and executing four or five major service initiatives each year under the guidance of the local SVdP youth committee. The council will maintain a Vincentian focus on spirituality, service, and friendship.

Council members will bring the service opportunities they plan back to their parish youth ministries and will encourage their peers to get involved. The potential also exists to interact with other Vincentian youth service groups in the state and country -- or even around the world.

"This past fall we hosted an international SVdP youth videoconference," said Westfahl. "Youth are involved with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul around the world. Australia and Brazil have huge numbers of young people doing service with SVdP. If Frederic Ozanam could do it, so can they."

More information and applications for the parish youth representative are available by emailing Gayle Westfahl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by visiting the society’s local youth Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SVDPMadisonHS

 
 

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