Buddy Miller returns for his fourth time to the Viatorian Youth Congress, but this time he is the young adult coordinator, driving the youth-driven congress as a mentor and leader.

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

Nearly 80 young people will be assembling next week at the ninth annual youth congress. While Associate Karen Cutler organizes all of the logistics and sessions for the delegates — and lining up all the Viatorians who will participate — it will be Buddy that the young adult leaders and delegation leaders will look to.

Buddy applied for the position after attending the congress as a delegate and two more times as a young adult leader. He grew up attending Maternity BVM Parish and he will be a senior music education major at Olivet Nazarene University, both located in Bourbonnais.

“I’ve seen people grow in their faith through VYC,” Buddy says, “and become better leaders.”

Buddy says he actively participated in youth ministry programs and young adult Masses at Maternity, but attending the youth congress opened his eyes to one of the core principles of the Viatorian mission, particularly that of reaching out to those who are “accounted of little importance.”

He points to the social justice presentations by Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, that made an impression on him, including his work with immigrants.

Buddy Miller, far right in first row, participated as a leader at last year’s VYC

“We have a big immigrant population in Kankakee,” Buddy says, “but I never knew about some of the struggles they face and just how big an issue it is, until hearing from Fr. Corey.”

In leading the congress, Buddy says he will bring his strong faith and life experiences to the gathering as well as his love of the event itself.

“Every time I come,” Buddy says, “I get something new out of it.”