That’s a wrap! Camp MOSH (Maternity Outreach Service for Humanity) returned last week to Maternity BVM Parish, bringing young people and adults together from the parish to serve individuals and organizations in need, right in their own backyard. The parish-wide effort includes Viatorians who serve there, including Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, pastor, and Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, associate pastor.

From painting and cleaning to yardwork and light carpentry, more than 200 volunteers divided up into crews and spread out each day to different work sites. Each day started with Mass, followed by a continental breakfast and preparing sack lunches, before heading out to an assigned site. In the evening, team members returned for a complete dinner and fellowship — from a live band, to karaoke and a dunk tank, to motivational speaker Eddie Slowikowski.

“You are planting seeds of charity, friendship and goodness as you go out into the community,” said Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, pastor at one of the morning Masses.

Fr. Jason Nesbit, left, and Fr. Moses Mesh listen to one of the speakers.

It was former youth ministry director Patty Bailey who conceived the idea, organizing the first MOSH in 2009. She used to organize summer mission trips to places throughout the Midwest for young parishioners, 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.”

Br. John Eustice takes a break with one of the volunteers.

Its stated mission is to help those who face financial, physical, mental and spiritual hardships, however this year, organizers focused their efforts even more on serving people who had been affected by the pandemic.

The benefit to the community is so measurable that the Kankakee Daily Journal covered Camp MOSH at the outset of the week and at the end, citing its impact on the area.

“It’s awesome,” said Br. John Eustice, CSV, “to see this Viatorian parish doing so much good in the community.”