Planning for this year’s Viatorian Youth Congress began months ago, but Thursday began the countdown. That’s when Pre-Associate Charles “Buddy” Miller arrived at the Province Center to begin training. As the young adult coordinator of the congress, he will support the young adult leaders, attend and oversee all sessions, and lead group discussions and prayer.

Pre-Associate Buddy Miller

Associate Karen Cutler and Br. John Eustice, CSV, worked together to organize the congress, and they will begin training the rest of the young adult leaders over the weekend, before delegates arrive Monday.

This year’s congress takes place at Casa Iskali, formerly the Cabrini Retreat Center, in Des Plaines. Delegations are coming from Cristo Rey St. Martin in Waukegan, Cristo Rey St. Viator in North Las Vegas, Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, St. Patrick Parish in Kankakee and St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas.

This is the second time Miller — who is a band director during the school year — will serve as young adult coordinator of VYC. He first attended the congress in 2015, when it was held in Bourbonnais. Since it was held in his hometown — he grew up attending Maternity BVM Parish — participating in the congress was an easy decision.

Associate Karen Cutler goes over details with Buddy.

“I’ve grown up surrounded by the Viatorians at Maternity,” Miller says. “But when I attended VYC I got to meet kids from Viatorian schools and parishes across the country.”

As the young adult coordinator, he hopes to help this year’s delegates make those same kinds of connections, while deepening their experience in the Viatorian charism. For Miller, it turned out to be lifechanging as he is now in formation to become a Viatorian associate.