Society of St. Vincent de Paul forming new Youth Service Council Print
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


Youth Calendar:

There are no upcoming events currently scheduled.
- View full calendar
Please support our advertisers:
About the Youth Page

How do kids your age live out their Catholic faith?

Check out this new Catholic Herald Youth Online Web page to find out!

This Web page is a place for youth in the Diocese of Madison and beyond to learn about their faith, see how others are living out their faith, and voice their own thoughts on Catholic issues.

You, too, can be a part of this Web page. Just submit articles and photos to: Catholic Herald Youth Online, 702 S. High Point Rd., Suite 121, Madison, WI 53719. If you send articles or photos via e-mail, put "Online Youth" in the subject line and send it to: info@madison   Digital photos must be in TIFF or JPEG format and at least 150 dpi.

We look forward to hearing from you!