It was at Saint Viator High School where Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, first encountered the Viatorians as his teachers and mentors. They made such a profound impact on him that he joined the community in 1978, even before graduating from Loyola University.
Indeed, Br. Gosch began his ministry as a teacher of religion and English at his alma mater, just as he had foreseen. But within five years, he would begin his advanced degree in social work. His ministry deepened when he served as a case worker at the Howard Area Community Center, which opened his eyes to one of the core missions of the Viatorians: serving the marginalized.
“As Viatorians we are called to raise up communities where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated,” Br. Gosch says. “We’re also called to educate the young.
“But what a lot of people don’t know is that we are also called to reach out to those accounted of little importance,” he adds. “This is one of the main attractions as to why I’m in this community and why I stay.”
Br. Gosch spent nine years working with Chicago youth at the Howard Area Center, but he would return to teaching, both at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas and later at Saint Viator High School, before going back to the field of social work, at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan.
He also spent several years with the Chicago-based Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants, assisting with the Post Detention Accompaniment Network as well as visiting immigrants who were detained at McHenry County Jail.
Members of the Viatorian Community elected him twice to be assistant provincial and in 2013 to serve as the Coordinator of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the entire province. In 2018, he once again was elected to lead his community as assistant provincial.
In 2017, Br. Gosch began a new ministry with Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, which brings together much of his experience in teaching and social work, with his passion for accompanying young people.
Together, they run the Viator House of Hospitality, which offers a supportive environment to young immigrant men seeking asylum.
“We’ve filled up very quickly,” Br. Gosch says. “We’ll have a waiting list soon. We need more Viator Houses of Hospitality.”