Parishioners at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais mounted

(All photos by Cheryl Bevis)

Camp MOSH, or Maternity Outreach Service for Humanity, this week and its impact is tangible.

Consider the numbers: nearly 100 teens, approximately 115 adult volunteers and all spreading out to work at 75 work sites in Bourbonnais and Kankakee.

The bulk of those jobs are at the homes of senior parishioners, but teams also work at local shelters and soup kitchens.

Patty Bailey, youth ministry director at Maternity BVM, says she used to organize summer mission trips to places throughout the Midwest, when it occurred to her that residents right in their own community needed help.

“There are more than 6,000 people in Kankakee County who are below the poverty line, and experiencing financial difficulty, medical difficulties, or may be elderly and in need of a helping hand,” Bailey says. “These are the very people we strive to help.”

Camp MOSH takes place every other year is truly a parish-wide effort, including Viatorians who minister there. Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, pastor, and Fr. Dan Lydon, CSV, associate pastor, are involved.

“The energy here is incredible,” said Fr. Lydon, who is experiencing his first Camp MOSH.

Fr. Dan Lydon and servers prepare for morning Mass.

Each day begins at 7:30 a.m. with Mass, before going inside the school to have breakfast — prepared by volunteers — pack their lunches, circle in prayer before heading off to their respective job sites. They return for an evening that features dinner, live music and motivational speakers.

Fr. Jason Nesbit and servers before a morning Mass.

Fr. Jason captured it best when he spoke during a recent morning Mass. He reminded all of the volunteers that they were “planting seeds of charity, friendship and goodness as they go out into the community.”