Fr. Dan Belanger, CSV, grew up in California and spent 10 years as a young adult in Las Vegas, where he first met the Viatorians. Yet, this self-described “city boy” has spent more than half of his 25 years as a Viatorian serving rural families in Bourbonnais, IL.

“The communities down here are smaller, but they’re grounded in their faith,” says Fr. Dan in the latest episode of our podcast series, called Viatorian Voices: Conversations on the Way.

In this 15-minute conversation, he tells host Jim Mitchell his about passion for youth ministry and meeting kids where they’re at, as well as developing new ministries — from a coffee house at Bishop McNamara High School to his production studio at St. George Parish — to bring young people together and engage them in their faith. The two parishes that he leads as pastor, St. George and St. Mary’s in Beaverville have thrived because of Fr. Dan’s energy and varied interests, and his ability to draw young people into parish life.