Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, are passionate about their work in
running the Viator House of Hospitality, and working with unaccompanied immigrant youth seeking asylum.
Both of these Viatorians are graduates of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago — Fr. Brost earned his master’s in divinity in 2005 and Br. Gosch earned his master’s in theology in 2006 — and they recently were featured as alumni of the month in the college’s quarterly e-newsletter.
The newsletter reaches CTU’s 3,500 graduates who serve across the country and in 45 countries worldwide. They include priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers, lay ministers, teachers, chaplains and corporate leaders.
Fr. Corey Brost wrote a reflection about their work at the house, which welcomes young, immigrant men who have been released from detention facilities.
“Last year more than 60,000 minors entered our nation without adult guardians. When that happens those minors are transferred from the Department of Homeland Security to the Department of Health & Human Services, where they are placed in government-funded shelters run by non-profit child care agencies. There are nine shelters with more than 500 of these kids in the Chicago area alone. The shelter staffs work to unite these minors with adult family members in the states, where they can live while awaiting their immigration court cases. Most are seeking asylum.
“If a minor turns 18 and has no family with which to live, that minor is transferred back to DHS, which means he or she is shackled and taken to adult detention on her or his 18th birthday. There, he or she will wait for his or her court date, which could be a couple years or more in the future because of backlogs.
“Viator House has established a relationship with attorneys representing these minors and federal government officials so that young men “aging out” of the juvenile immigration detention program are transferred to us the night before their 18th birthday. In Viator House they are out of detention, free to build a life while they await their court ruling. We offer access to education, work opportunities, medical and psychological care. We offer an interfaith community where these young men can build their lives and heal from the trauma of their long journeys here. We currently have nine men from eight different countries in our program. We also are in dialogue with several women religious who plan to open a similar ministry to young women.
“Michael is co-director for programing, which means he supervises our case worker, shift supervisors and all the daily logistics of running a house for up to 22 men. He also works with the men as a social worker in partnership with our caseworker. I am co-director for interfaith spiritual care and volunteer coordination, which means I insure that the men have access to what they need to practice their faith and to faith communities in the area.
“I act as an interfaith chaplain, as well, offering pastoral support in a variety of ways, including opportunities for interfaith learning, reflection, service and prayer. As for volunteer coordination, I work to involve as many people from as many faiths as possible in our program as mentors, tutors, shift volunteers, etc…We have trained more than 100 so far. We also have a young adult intern who helps me with that and volunteers each Saturday and Sunday in a variety of ways.”