Youth ministers from churches throughout the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region gathered this week to

Associates Michelle and Ken Barrie, left, along with Br. John Eustice, middle contribute to the meeting

exchange ideas and share resources on how to empower young people growing in their faith.

Among those in attendance were Fr. Dan Belanger, CSV, chaplain of Bishop McNamara Catholic School system; Br. John Eustice, CSV, youth and young adult minister at Maternity BVM Parish; and Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie, youth ministers at St. Patrick’s Parish in Kankakee.

“This is Viatorians at their best,” Br. John said. “You had a priest, brother and associates, all active in youth ministry in our rural area, all carrying out the charism of ‘ministering to and with young people.’ I think Fr. Querbes would be smiling.”

Fr. Dan Belanger, anchors the other end of the table

During the meeting, the Viatorians offered to expand their Kairos and Quest retreats to young people from churches throughout the region, while the Barries shared their experience of immersing local youth in service and social justice.

Fr. Belanger and Br. John — who both earned their certification in youth ministry studies from the Center for Ministry Development — shared the organization’s online resources. From retreats and workshops, to weekly events and printed materials, the center is devoted to accompanying youth on their journey of faith and discernment.