Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, is a man of his words. For the sixth time in less than four years, he has led a group of young adults from Viatorian ministry sites to the border between Arizona and Mexico. They arrived Jan. 1 at the Saint Xavier Mission in Tuscon, which is the oldest church in Arizona, described as the “white dove of the desert.” They will remain through Jan. 5.

Fr. Brost calls it a pilgrimage, as together these young people retrace the steps of migrants trying to cross the desert and reflect on the role faith plays in “welcoming the stranger.”

This month’s group includes 10 college students and young adults, coming from across the Chicago area and the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region.

“This is what we do as Viatorians,” Fr. Corey says, “educate young people about pressing issues in our faith, and advocate for those on the margins and the forgotten, which in our society today are the immigrants.”

During their two-day visit, they will meet with border patrol guards and Good Samaritan guides, as well as celebrate Mass together and pray at the border for victims who have lost their lives.

“We end it where we begin,” Fr. Corey says, “at a wall between people and cultures, migrants and hope, but we go, pledging to open doors to overcome barriers.”