As Coordinator of the Office of Catholic Ministry at Bishop McNamara High School, Associate Michelle Barrie, didn’t have to look far when searching for volunteers to serve lunch to students on the Kairos retreat last week.

Br. John serves up sandwiches from Subway to retreatants.

One call out to Viatorians in the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region drew some ready and willing volunteers: Fr. Dan Belanger, CSV, Br. John Eustice, CSV, and Associates Mary Finks and Mickey Prault, who all looked to be feeding off the energy of the young people they served.

Still, as Viatorians they are called to accompany young people where they are at, as stated in the community’s vision statement: “In the spirit of our founder, Fr. Louis Querbes, we minister to and with young people in the Church, and are committed to their faith development and active membership in their respective faith communities.”

Michelle Barrie and her husband, Associate Ken Barrie, served as small group leaders for this year’s Kairos retreat — the biggest ever for the school, with 47 students, 10 youth leaders and eight adults.

Associate Mary Finks enjoys a laugh while serving up brownies.

“Kairos is a four-day retreat that helps the older teens recognize where God has been in their lives,” says Br. John, who helped out with Kairos retreats when he was in Campus Ministry at Saint Viator High School. “They come to understand that they are loved both by God and the people in their lives, and it gives them the perspective that they are not in this life alone, but others also have similar struggles and joys as they do.”

For the Viatorians who stepped up to help out with the meal, their service opportunity turned out to be even more rewarding. When Michelle Barrie announced to the group that it would be Viatorians serving them lunch, the students broke into applause.

One student, who had attended the Viatorian Youth Congress, then called everyone into a huddle. With their arms extended into the middle, he exclaimed, “Viator,” and the group responded, “Adored and Loved be Jesus.”

The servers: Associate Mickey Prault, Fr. Dan Belanger, Associate Mary Finks and Br. John Eustice

Michelle, who with Ken has been involved with youth ministry at Viatorian parishes and schools for more than 40 years, admitted how thrilled she was with the young people’s response.

“It was like a basketball cheer,” she said. “It was pretty cool.”