Madeleine DiSalvatore appointed Diocesan Director of Youth and Young Adult Accompaniment, Discernment, Formation and Missionary Discipleship

Madeleine DiSalvatore, Diocesan Director of Youth and Young Adult Accompaniment, Discernment, Formation and Missionary Discipleship


August 21, 2023

CONTACT: Justin Huyck, Director of Communications; (330) 744-8451, ext. 320,

Expanded mandate of Department of Missionary Discipleship in support of young people

The Most Reverend David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, is pleased to announce the appointment of Madeleine DiSalvatore as Director of Youth and Young Adult Accompaniment, Discernment, Formation and Missionary Discipleship, effective September 1, 2023. Ms. DiSalvatore will work within the Diocese of Youngstown’s Department of Missionary Discipleship, led by Very Rev. John-Michael Lavelle, Vicar for Missionary Discipleship. With Ms. DiSalvatore’s appointment, the expanded responsibility of the Department of Missionary Discipleship includes accompaniment, outreach, and programming with high school youth and young adults in their twenties and thirties as part of its overall mandate to support missionary discipleship and participation for all ages. In addition to Ms. DiSalvatore’s appointment, Bishop Bonnar has appointed Rev. Ryan Furlong and Rev. Matthew Zwilling as chaplains for youth and young adult missionary discipleship, supporting the work of Father Lavelle and Ms. DiSalvatore. With his appointment as chaplain, Father Furlong completes his time of service as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, and remains the pastor of three parishes: St. Robert (Cortland), St. Thomas the Apostle (Vienna), St. William (Champion), and also chaplain at John F. Kennedy Upper Campus (Warren). Father Zwilling is the administrator of Christ the Good Shepherd Parish (Campbell) and St. Paul the Apostle Parish (New Middletown).

In her new role, DiSalvatore will accompany and form disciples for Jesus Christ through a ministry of presence, programs, and missionary service. With the bishop and vicar for missionary discipleship, she will establish a strategic plan, oversee the diocese’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry Council, coordinate established and new youth and young adult ministry events, support parish youth ministers in collaboration with the diocesan Office of Lay Ecclesial Formation, network with high school and university campus ministries, engender leadership and service among young people, foster discernment opportunities, represent the bishop and diocese in national groups, work with the communications department on effectively reaching young people, and take responsibility for administrative and oversight functions, in collaboration with the diocese’s finance, safe environment, and other offices.

Madeleine (“Maddie”) DiSalvatore comes to the diocese after serving as Campus Minister at John F. Kennedy Upper School. She is a graduate of Walsh University (North Canton). DiSalvatore is herself the product of the Diocese of Youngstown’s robust legacy of youth ministry, and was actively involved in the youth ministry core teams at her home parish of Our Lady of Peace and at Saint John School, both in Ashtabula, and as a college student was a youth ministry volunteer at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Wadsworth, Ohio. She has experience in leading retreats and small faith groups, various prayer experiences, and in music ministry as a cantor and flutist. At Walsh, she was active in campus ministry and served on the retreat, small group, and administrative teams, including as director of the administrative team, and also received training in peer ministry through Walsh’s Residence Life. She was particularly active with service projects and initiatives at Walsh as co-President of the Community Kitchen Club and as a member of the Blouin Leaders in Social Justice Program, with contextual learning about the effects of poverty in the Canton area and beyond. Her service experience includes the Catholic Worker House in Alliance, Ohio and house construction in Walls, Mississippi. DiSalvatore was a three-year Peacemaker at Walsh and earlier received the True Herald Award from Saint John School and the Eagle of the Cross from the Diocese of Youngstown. She was also a TOWERS Award Finalist at Walsh University.

Bishop Bonnar comments, “I am excited to welcome Maddie to our team. Her passion, energy, and experience will serve us well in programming but, more importantly, in accompanying young people, leading them to an encounter with Jesus Christ, and helping them embrace their part in the Church’s mission. This is what Pope Francis has challenged us to do in Christus Vivit, The Joy of the Gospel, and with his emphasis on a synodal and listening Church, honoring the unfolding story and discipleship of each young person.”

Ms. DiSalvatore comments, “I am excited and honored to be in a position where I can both learn from and be of assistance to other youth and young adult ministers from every corner of the diocese. My goal is to not only help enkindle the fire of love that the Holy Spirit has already set within the hearts of our young people, but also help inspire and be inspired as together we provide the space to reach those on the peripheries of society and on the peripheries of our wonderful faith. Together, set aflame with God’s love, we can help our youth and young adults come to the fullness of truth of their identity as beloved children of God.”

The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown encompasses six counties in northeast Ohio: Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, and Trumbull.

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