Youth ministers at St. Viator Parish in Las Vegas accompany teens to the Viatorian Youth Congress every summer , where they meet other students from schools and parishes around the country, and learn more about the Viatorian charism.
“We started to think that we could do more in Las Vegas to help foster the Viatorian identity,” says Viatorian Associate Rosy Hartz, “and we wanted to get to them earlier.”
Rosy and her husband, Viatorian Associate Paul Hartz, as well as Pre-Associate Brian Barrett formed a Campus Ministry program, starting first with students at St. Viator School.
“Although they’re attending St. Viator School, the presence of our charism isn’t always identitfied,” Rosy says. “As associates, we thought we could help.”
Students in the junior high meet with Campus Ministry directors once a month in the parish center for a meeting filled with faith and fellowship, teenage style. During a recent gathering, students joined with Fr. William Haesaert, CSV, and other Viatorian associates in a game with a ball of yarn.
Standing in a circle, each teen threw the yarn to another classmate, asking them to answer quickly what church means to them. From student to student, the yarn spun into a web, especially after a second round of questions, when they answered about the meaning of faith.
The strings showed the students that they are all connected as Catholics and Viatorians — even if they don’t agree.
“If one person were to let go,” Rosy adds, “the support of everyone around them would pull them back in.”
During another month, they focused on different styles of prayer during a 30-minute workshop. Students were able to choose from praying with music, learning about liturgical music for Mass, saying the rosary, mediating and hearing spiritual readings in lectio divina, as well as praying with art in visio divina, doing sculpting prayer, journaling or helping to prepare the homily for the next school Mass.
St. Viator Principal Kathleen Daulton says the new program has benefitted students and their parents as they learn about the Viatorian charism.
“The students really enjoy the various projects and programs that they are involved in,” Mrs. Daulton says. “They come back with a renewed perspective on our school mission.”