Key Components

The St. Vincent de Paul Youth Center experience is formed around three key components: service, reflection, and community.


Through SERVICE, students are given the opportunity to meet and work with people that they would not typically encounter in their day to day life. We partner with a number of different service sites throughout the Germantown area of Philadelphia that serve various populations including: children, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, individuals experiencing homelessness, individuals recovering from addiction, etc.

At the center, we view service not as something we do for others, but with others. Service is a two-way evangelization process where we are given the opportunity to spend time with and learn from those living on the margins. We serve out of, and because of, our love and care of others.


Service, without reflection, is just work. Therefore, REFLECTION AND PRAYER are vital parts of the experience here at the center. Each day we begin and end our day in prayer, and a reminder that we are in God’s presence always. Additionally, each evening features an educational activity around the different issues of social justice i.e. poverty, hunger, violence, etc.

Through reflection and educational experiences the center hopes to live out the following words and intention of St. Vincent de Paul: “Charity, without Justice, is not Charity.”


COMMUNITY life is significantly important to the center, as it is strong communities that build a thriving world. We build community by serving, praying, reflecting, working and having fun together. While at the center, students are expected to serve first and foremost the community at the center. Students and center staff will work together to prepare and clean up after meals, to participate in daily chores, as well as to participate in any task the center’s community might need.

Most importantly, we live out our community in the way we ask our participants to encounter one another. We ask students to foster community by recognizing and celebrating one another’s strengths, as well as being understanding and empathetic of one another’s weaknesses.