Youth Ministries & Challenges
With Grateful Hearts for the young people of our world.
Frederic Ozanam was a 20 year-old student when he co-founded the Society of St Vincent de Paul to help relieve people living in poverty. Today young people across the world follow his example and as Youth SVP try to become aware of the needs of others and look for creative ways of supporting those less fortunate than themselves
Young adult SSVP members are over the age of 18, usually up to 35 years of age. There is a small but growing number of young people involved in parish SSVP groups, both in the established ‘senior’ Conferences, or as members of what we are terming youth SSVP Conferences. These tend to be young people who are at the end of secondary school up until the age of around 25
Many young people at secondary school become more aware of the needs of others around them and look for ways to express this concern through their faith.
The YSVP offers this opportunity. Many YSVP groups are found in Secondary school and some may be parish based. The ministry they take part in is varied but includes such things as:
- Visiting elderly in nursinghomes
- Carol Singing in Hospital
- Afternoon Tea for housebound and lonely
- Raising awareness of the needs of others
The Mini Vinnies are quite literally mini St. Vincent de Paul’s.
Mini Vinnies are 7 to 11 year olds based in schools and parishes across England and Wales, and in several other countries across the world. Along with the YSVP and 1833 Group they come together to form a part of the St. Vincent de Paul Society . Mini Vinnies meet to pray, discuss and support however they can to help make a difference in their communities.
Mini Vinnies truly turn concern into action as they use the simple formula of ‘see, think, do’ to find people in need and help them. They might help by:
- Writing cards for children in hospital
- Visiting local care homes to sing or play games with the residents
- Knitting scarves for the homeless
- Running food collections for a local foodbank
Today, thank God, many young people in parishes, schools, movements often go out to spend time with the elderly and infirm, or to visit poor neighbourhoods, or to meet people’s needs through “nights of charity”. Very often, they come to realise that there they receive much more than what they give. We grow in wisdom and maturity when we take time to touch the suffering of others. The poor have a hidden wisdom and, with a few simple words, they can help us discover unexpected values.
Pope Francis (Christus Vivit 171)
“The vocation of humanity is to show forth the image of God and to be transformed into the image of the Father’s only Son. This vocation takes a personal form since each of us is called to enter into the divine beatitude; it also concerns the human community as a whole.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church. #1877