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How a Viatorian Mission Trip Still Resonates

May 17, 2016

David Baron specializes in constitutional law in his work as an attorney with the City DaveBaron_Rotate_7097of Chicago. He brings to the table his previous trial work with one of the city’s largest firms, as well as his degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Law.

David Baron returned to Pembroke in 2013 to talk about his experiences

David Baron returned to Pembroke in 2013 to talk about his experiences

However, a mission trip taken when he was a teen — with a youth group led by Viatorian Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie from St. Patrick’s Church in Kankakee — still drives him.

They traveled just 20 miles from their parish to one of the poorest parts of the

The first Hearts of Hope mission trip group, in 1999. David Baron is far right, with his friend on top of his shoulders

The first Hearts of Hope mission trip group, in 1999. David Baron is far right, with his friend on top of his shoulders

country, Pembroke Township, where they found residents living on the margins but filled with happiness and faith.

“I went to a community known for its poor conditions,” Baron says, “but instead I witnessed a richness of spirit.”

Baron maintains that the trip, now 17 years ago, shaped his life and inspired him to earn his law degree and ultimately protect the rights of others.

His latest venture is a book he wrote about the history of the region and of some of its memorable residents, called Pembroke: A Rural, Black Community on the Illinois Dunes.Baron_Final Cover Design

A complete story about Baron and his research into writing his book, appears in the latest edition of Viator, the semi-annual newsletter published by the Viatorians.

His book comes out in August, but pre-orders with the publisher, Southern Illinois University Press, and Amazon.com, already are coming in. Just this week, Baron began his social media campaign to promote the book and excitement is building.