Some 18 months after a pair of Viatorians opened Viator House of Hospitality in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs, the transitional residential program continues to grow.

Fr. Corey Brost updates volunteers with Viator House for Hospitality

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, continue to lead the safe house for young immigrant men seeking asylum, and their mission continues to draw supporters, both in volunteers and those who make financial contributions.

At a luncheon Saturday, Fr. Corey addressed nearly 25 volunteers who turned out for a casual meal and update on the home’s progress. He described progress being made in the ministry becoming its own 501(c)(3) charity, in order to qualify for grants and achieve long term sustainability.

Going forward, Fr. Corey said that he and Br. Gosch hope to partner with as many as additional different faith communities in garnering additional support for the home.

Volunteers on hand ranged from tutors and mentors, to drivers and those who assist with taking weekend shifts. Over lunch, they traded stories with one another and ultimately offered up some suggestions for possible improvements.

Volunteers share stories of their experiences with the young residents

“This holy project really is God wrapping his arms around these young men and providing them with incredible opportunities,” Fr. Corey said. “This is the gospel in action. Instead of going out to the nations, the nations are coming to us.”

Jerry Leitner, a former 34-year English teacher at Saint Viator High School now volunteers as a tutor, as does his wife, Lou, who formerly taught math at Lake Zurich High School.

Volunteers Jerry and Lou Leitner draw from their experience as high school teachers

“I tell people, where else could I talk to young people from Guinea, Ghana, Somalia and Morocco,” Leitner says. “I love it, and I’m impressed with how quickly they’re picking up English. They’re doing really well.”

Associate Julie Baker, left, is helping to plan the first fundraiser for Viator House of Hospitality

Another volunteer on hand was Roger Anderson, who formerly taught Spanish and ultimately earned an advanced degree in library science.

Currently, he is tutoring a young man from Guatemala as well as helping another young man from Niger with his homework.

“I love the appreciation they show,” Anderson said. “They’re so glad someone cares about them and is willing to spend the time.”