An ordinary school day at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee turned into a memorable one, when Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie paid an impromptu visit to some of their youth ministry members during lunch.

Accompanied by Fr. Dan Belanger, CSV, chaplain of the school, the Barries surprised members of their Hearts of Hope Mission Group in the cafeteria during their lunch period.

“It was an impromptu Viatorian lunch,” Michelle Barrie said.

But this was a working lunch. The group of young people will help in next week’s Harvest Sunday food drive, which last year brought in approximately 230,000 nonperishable food items for all the area food pantries in Kankakee County.

(L_R) Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie with Fr. Dan Belanger

The Hearts of Hope Mission Group works with young people from all of the other parishes in the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region, including Maternity BVM and St. George parishes run by Viatorians.

“This is a tangible way our young people can work to feed the hungry right in their own community,” Michelle Barrie added, “and work together with young people from the surrounding area.”

The Barries are committed to immersing young people in active service. Not only will this be the 26th annual Harvest Sunday food collection, but they have been bringing their Hearts of Hope Mission Group every summer to Pembroke, one of the poorest townships in Illinois, located 30 miles from Kankakee, since 1999.