Saint Matthews Parish, Oakville

Our group of Young Vincentians was formed in March 2017 as part of an initiative from the Halton Particular Council to create Youth Conferences in the region. Our most important goal is to spread our Vincentian charisma to young people, for them to learn that they do not have to wait until they are older to help people in need. At the same time, this initiative helps to keep our ministry young, infusing it with the ideas of our young members as Frederic Ozanam wrote:

"If it is helpful for young people to meet friends and brothers, it is essential for the Society to recruit its members among the Youth. Fourteen years ago, the Society was born: it must not get old as its founders grow old and charity becomes a routine practice. Youth is useful for their audacity, even for their imprudence, for the new ideas they bring, for the works which we had not thought of."
The Young Vincentians from Saint Matthew includes a group of children from Catholic and public schools between the ages of 10 and 14 years old. During their first year in our ministry, the children have organized two bake sales, one to benefit Food for Kids Halton and the last one to help the SSVP North of 60 project. They have also run Lenten drives at their schools allowing our conference to help our neighbours in need by providing them with comfort food for Easter. This year they are also organizing a piano recital at our Church in June.

We hope that our Young Vincentians get as much as they are giving and that they learn that through their work of helping others, they are not only satisfying a shortterm need, but they are also helping develop peaceful and safe communities for the future by working in the name of Jesus.

Carla Calitri, Youth Advisor