The vision of Fr. Louis Querbes — to embrace those accounted of little importance — permeated this week’s Service & Song Camp at Saint Viator High School. The unique summer camp returned after taking a one year hiatus because of the pandemic, immersing teens in ways to live out their faith.

Young people work in the Viatorian Community Garden, which grows fresh vegetables for local food pantries.

Young people were divided up into teams and each day they spread out to serve at sites across Chicago’s Northwest suburbs. Their work ranged from helping with landscaping at the homes of local seniors and writing letters to veterans, to going to facilities that feed the hungry, including Catholic Charities, Feed My Starving Children and even the Viatorian Community garden, which raises produce for local food pantries.

Associate Kurt Paprocki leads young people in packing lunches for Catholic Charities.

Teens also came over to the Viatorian Province Center, to sort through donations for immigrant young men served through Viator House of Hospitality, as they look ahead to transitional living arrangements.

Each afternoon included a reflection on their service and people they impacted, as well as a song led by student musicians and choral members.

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, launched the unique camp in 2013 and each year more students have attended. This year’s version drew 80 teens in all, including junior high and incoming students as well as current students and young alumni.

Br. Peter Lamick led teens in organizing donations for Viator House of Hospitality.

Many professed and associate Viatorians participated, including: Br. John Eustice, Br. Peter Lamick, Br. Rob Robertson  and Associates Randy and Julie Baker, Brigette Brankin, Barbara D’Urso, John Dussman, Kurt Paprocki and  Ann Perez. Fr. Corey Brost celebrated the closing liturgy.

“Our intention was to let students directly serve those most in need in the local community,” Fr. Brost said, “and learn why service is at the heart of a lived‐out Catholic faith.”