One unique aspect to Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais is that every month the parish devotes a Sunday Mass to young people.

Deacon Patrick Skelly, second from left and Br. John Eustice, CSV, listen to the teens’ ideas.

High school students do everything from serving as ushers, greeters, and readers, to cantors, musicians and Eucharistic ministers.

But that’s not all. They meet as a group beforehand to plan parts of the Mass, from selecting the music, to the petitions, adding reflections and some of the prayers.

The most recent youth led liturgy planning took place Sunday, when teens sat around a conference table designing the last two youth Masses of the school year, including this weekend’s Palm Sunday liturgy and the senior blessing Mass next month.

How important is this brainstorming session? Important enough that all three Viatorians on staff at the parish sat in on the meeting, including Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, pastor, Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, associate pastor and Br. John Eustice, CSV as well as Deacon Patrick Skelly.

Planning a liturgy is not easy, as these teens can attest.

“Reflection, fellowship and prayer was done beautifully by this group,” said Carrie Rink, youth minister.

The monthly youth led Masses — and their planning sessions — reaffirm one of the core missions of the Viatorian Community, which is raising up communities “where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated.”