St. Viator Parish  was the place to be for more than 400 teens from the surrounding churches in Chicago — St. Bartholomew, St. Edward’s and St. John Bosco — who came on Super Bowl Sunday, no less, for a youth retreat.St. Viator 2

Through small group discussions, large group activities, Scripture discussion and a closing liturgy, teens worked to discover their true identity, through examining their relationship with God.

St. Viator 1“This helped young people look at their identity and ask who they are on the inside,” said Bart Hisgen, assistant vocations director for the Viatorians who worked with Viatorian Associate Hector Obregon-Luna to design the retreat.

They invited teens from parishes Vicariate IV in the Chicago Archdiocese and trained college students from each church to be young adult leaders at the retreat.

“We were thrilled to draw that many young people to our parish,” said Hector, who works as youth ministry director at St. Viator. “We were blessed that the turnout was that strong.”

The afternoon ended with a Mass celebrated by Bishop John Manz, vicar of Vicariate IV, as well as parish priests from the participating congregations.

Viatorians on hand all agreed that helping young people find a renewed sense of self through God, is part of the their mission: to raise up communities where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated.