Traditionally, the last day of the Viatorian Youth Congress features examples of Viatorian social justice initiatives. Delegates not only hear presentations, but they are challenged to create action plans for ways to meet basic needs of individuals around them, and bring those plans back to their regions.

Members of the St. Patrick delegation, with Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie, back row

This year, Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Associate Jason Wilhite described social justice as a two-pronged approach, or “Two Feet of Love in Action.” In other words, they encouraged delegates to meet basic, immediate needs — and work to remove root causes.

Members of the delegation from St. Patrick Church in Kankakee — who are also active members of its Hearts of Hope Ministry — did just that.

On August 7, Walt Krause, Sarah Berg and Mary Finks spoke at all the weekend Masses and handed out envelopes for a second collection the following Sunday. The cause they chose to help was to help the flood victims in Kentucky.

Mary Finks, middle, joins with Job Sanchez of Cristo Rey St. Viator in introducing Associate Kyla Guerrero at VYC. Mary is the granddaughter of Associate Mary Finks.

“These young faith leaders are working with Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky,” says Associate Michelle Barrie, who accompanied them to VYC and leads the Hearts of Hope Ministry with her husband, Associate Ken Barrie.

“Many of these families have lost everything; they have no home, no clothes, no possessions,” she adds. ” As of August 21, our young people have raised more than $3,000 to help the people in Kentucky who are continuing to have rain and flooding issues.”

All of which is music to the ears of Associate Karen Cutler, who coordinates the VYC for the Viatorian Community.

“The challenge is always there for the delegations to go back to their regions and help people in any way that they can,” Karen says. “I’m really happy to see this.”