For the 14th year, a mission trip developed by a pair of Viatorian associates brought teens to carry out service

Teens sort food at the Northern Illinois Food Bank

for the poor and marginalized, right in their own backyards.

The Hearts of Hope Youth Ministry draws teens from parishes in Kankakee. Led by Viatorians Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie, some 40 young people served the needs of residents in Pembroke, IL — located just 25 miles from Kankakee and reported to be one of the poorest townships in the country.

Their projects ran the gamut, from painting houses and working on the landscape of church grounds, to building a chicken coup and weeding and harvesting vegetables.

The teens also sorted food donations at the Northern Illinois food Bank food distribution, visited the Senior Citizens Center and hosted activities for children at camp.

At night, they participated in evening retreat activities, including a foot washing service, Taizé prayer and a closing Mass, celebrated by Fr. John Peeters, CSV.

“I truly feel that working in Pembroke is carrying out Fr. Querbes’ vision,” Michelle Barrie says, “of working with those accounted of little or no importance.”