Viatorian associates and professed in the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region met Saturday for an Advent reflection service. But unlike gatherings in the past, this one was led by Fr. Giles Barrie, CFR, who was raised in a Viatorian parish in Kankakee and taught by Viatorians at Bishop McNamara High School. He also is the son of Viatorian Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie.
Fr. Giles is a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, an order in the Capuchin Franciscan tradition which was started in 1987 in New York and whose Friars are dedicated specifically to service of the poor and evangelization. He was ordained in 2017.
Fr. Giles works with other friars in his community, serving the homeless in the Bronx in New York. In addition to providing food through its soup kitchen, the order evangelizes to those living on the streets.
In reflecting about Advent and preparing for the coming of Christ, Fr. Giles opened by reflecting on the Scripture and the Incarnation. He also shared his own vocation story, of first traveling on a mission trip, organized by Casas por Cristo to Juarez, Mexico with a youth group based at St. Patrick Church in Kankakee, and led by his parents.
After college, Fr. Giles returned to Casas por Cristo, which is based in El Paso, TX, to work as a missionary, where he eventually discerned a calling to religious life. He told the group that working as a missionary and ultimately as a priest was never on his radar when he was in high school and college. But eventually, his eyes were opened.
“His vocation story led to a lot of discussion about what people are doing — and what they are called to do,” said Associate Marilyn Mulcahy. “In his case, he was called to hands-on service that worked with the poorest of the poor.”