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The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul London Youth Conference
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1 Timothy 4:10-12: For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.

Lillian Mulder is a woman of seemingly boundless energy, passion, and compassion. She is the leader of the Society of St Vincent de Paul’s London Youth Conference as well as serving the Ontario National Regional Council (ONRC). Those are some long titles for a woman who just dearly loves her Savior and youth.

The Youth Conference attracts many young people from area schools, particularly secondary schools, who want to do works of service and ministry to the local community. It has been in operation since 2008 and Lillian has led it for nine of those years. It is open to youth who are age 12 (grade 7) up to age 35 (!), and is based out of Holy Family Parish. The Conference currently has 42 youth involved.

Lillian herself came from a poor family and suffered from much racism and abuse as a child. Despite this she gained knowledge at quite a young age that God loved her despite what people said about her. After some rough teen years she met her husband in college (who was a lifelong Catholic), found the Lord again, and at age 34 converted to Catholicism.

Her call to the youth came in quite spectacular fashion. The Holy Spirit spoke to her and told her to go to Mass. While at Mass that day she went forward for the blessing, and felt energy surge through her. When she went back to her seat she heard, “It’s the children, it’s for the children.” That call led to 15 years of youth ministry and helping the poor ever since.

On the 2nd Wednesday of each month our youth attend McGarrell Place, nursing home. They serve at L’Arche Bethany House on the 3rd Thursday, and bake for the Ronald McDonald House on the 4th Wednesday. The evening before Professional Activity days (a day off for the students) they make 100-150 bags lunches for the SSVP stores, and on the PA day they serve at St. Joseph's Hospitality Centre Soup Kitchen.

“I love seeing the young people fall in love with the Lord. You need to be connect spiritually (to the Lord) to do this ministry. Be open to the Lord and His message and when you pray stop to listen. He will show you.”