Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, Superior General, rarely makes appearances at local bake sales, but when it comes to raising money to send students to the Viatorian Youth Congress, he’s all in.

Fr. Robert M. Egan with VYC delegates

The latest example came Sunday, when Fr. Egan stopped in on the bake sale held at St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas. He had just celebrated Mass and was pleased to hear how excited the young people were to attend VYC in June.

The parish has sent delegates to the Youth Congress every year, under the leadership of Associate Rosy Hartz, who serves as Faith Formation Coordinator, and Associate Kimberly Martinez, a religion teacher at nearby Bishop Gorman High School.

“The VYC has been a wonderful experience each year that brings together young people to experience the Viatorian Community and deepen their faith,” Fr. Egan said. “It is an especially powerful moment to be able to encourage them to become faith leaders in their own parishes or school. It is another example of the Viatorian commitment to young people, wherever we minister.”

This year’s Youth Congress will be the 14th annual and numbers of young people involved — both as delegates and young adult leaders — appear to be near pre-pandemic form. VYC takes place from June 3-6 at Casa Iskali in Des Plaines, IL, site of last year’s Congress.

Currently, 43 delegates are signed up to come and 15 young adult leaders have volunteered to lead them. Delegations are coming from St. Viator Parish and Cristo Rey St. Viator, both in Las Vegas; from Saint Viator High School, St. Patrick Church in Kankakee, and Cristo Rey St. Martin in Waukegan, IL.

Pre-Associate Dan Masterton, Br. Peter Lamick and Associate Karen Cutler are the brains behind VYC.

“This is our largest group since before Covid,” says Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, Director of Vocation Ministry. “It looks like the VYC Program has rebounded.”

Br. Lamick and Pre-Associate Dan Masterton have worked together to enhance some of the components of the Congress, particularly in the small group discussions and talks. Along the way, they have drawn more Viatorians to participate — including associates, brothers and priests — and engage with these young people coming from Viatorian institutions.

In addition, there will be videos, created by Dan Masterton, to introduce and reinforce the formative takeaways, and ultimately  an explicit invitation to join the Viatorian associates, brothers and priests in our mission.

“We hope this enhances delegate engagement and understanding throughout the retreat,” Br. Lamick says, “and equips the delegates to return to their communities as faith leaders.”