Lenten Reflections

Viator House of Hospitality and its Directors Highlighted

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, have participated in countless Zoom presentations, radio broadcasts and videos about their work in accompanying young asylum seekers. The latest shout-out came this week in a “member feature” in a publication circulated among their own wider community of religious: the Conference of Major Superiors of Men.

Br. Michael Gosch, left, and Sr. Rayo Cuaya-Castillo meet with a young resident in 2017

CMSM is a national representative body which promotes the mission and ministry of male religious communities. Based in Maryland, the 65-year old organization represents more than 200 monastic communities and province, or more than 16,000 Catholic religious-order priests and brothers, including the Viatorians.

In its latest Justice & Peace Alert, they highlight the work of Fr. Brost and Br. Gosch in running Viator House of Hospitality, and in particular their welcoming of one young Afghan in recent weeks. Here’s what they wrote:

“When CMSM recently shared a call for help with Afghan evacuees, Br. Michael Gosch, CSV reached out to share what the Clerics of St. Viator of the Province of Chicago have been doing. Since its doors opened in 2017, Viator House of Hospitality has provided compassionate accompaniment to 81 young immigrant men from 19 countries. All came as unaccompanied minors seeking asylum.

Fr. Corey Brost, helps one of the residents, back in 2019.

Without a legal parent or guardian in the U.S., these young men would have been bound for prison style detention centers after aging out of federally funded child-care facilities. Br. Michael Gosch and Fr. Corey Brost saw a great need for a bridge program that offers housing, social services, legal assistance, employment preparation, mental health services, and more. Their house has space for 25 men at a time and just welcomed an arrival from Afghanistan. Due to demand, they have begun pursuing second stage housing in area apartments.

When asked how other congregations can come alongside Viator House, Br. Gosch suggested their “How to Help” page here and encouraged leaders to consider replicating the model in their own location. A webinar is being planned for November 11 from 200-3:00 pm CT on how to conduct a needs assessment, identify property considerations, and more.”

Congratulations to Fr. Brost and Br. Gosch, who continue to accompany asylum seekers and draw others into working with them.