Let the Viatorian Youth Congress begin!

Jean Ang, one of the young adult leaders and a parishioner at St. Viator Parish in Chicago, helps open the VYC’s first large group session

Some 40 delegates — representing all the places where Viatorians minister — converged today on the Cabrini Retreat Center in Des Plaines, IL for a four-day event that is part retreat, part youth rally and part leadership conference.

Associate Karen Cutler returns as the VYC director, but in reality college-age young people run the week. They are taking their lead from Buddy Miller, a senior music education major at Olivet-Nazarene University and parishioner at Maternity BVM Parish, in Bourbonnais. He is serving as the young adult coordinator of this year’s congress.

Buddy Miller meets with Associate Karen Cutler to begin training for the Viatorian Youth Congress

They are heading up a group of eight leaders in all, who represent every region in the Chicago Province, including Arlington Heights/Chicago, Bourbonnais/Kankakee/, Henderson/Las Vegas in Nevada, and for the first time, Bogotá, Colombia.

Delegates divided up into small groups

Throughout the congress, teens will discuss ways to deepen their Catholic faith and learn how they can advance the Viatorian mission.

During the sessions, teens will come face to face with nearly two dozen Viatorian associates, brothers and priests who will be involved. Their roles range from presenters of prayer workshops and social justice initiatives, to interview subjects, delegation leaders and pastoral ministers.

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, returns for his ninth consecutive year. He founded the congress back when he served as vocations director for the Viatorian Community. Initially, he designed it as a way to bring together teens from various Viatorian sites, but increasingly he has seen its impact on young people who take what they learn back to their home schools and parishes.

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, processes into Mass.

“The VYC helps our young faith leaders realize that they are part of a worldwide family,” Fr. Brost says, “that is changing the world.”