Over the last few months, Br. John Eustice, CSV attended two national youth conferences, the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in November in Indianapolis, and LA Youth Day in February in Anaheim, CA. Of course, he wasn’t the only Viatorian to chaperone. Associate Rosy Hartz, Pre-Associate Dan Masterton and Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, also attended.

Young people bless Br. John at the NCYC

Between the two events, they accompanied nearly 50 students from Viatorian schools and parishes and were surrounded by crowds, that combined reached nearly 20,000.

Having spent the last six years as Vocations Director for the Viatorians and 19 years in religious life, Br. John noticed something not immediately evident at these large, Catholic youth conferences: Teens in attendance are surrounded by professed religious, who share meals with them, enjoy the concerts and speakers, and pray with them at the powerful closing liturgies. In other words, teens get to know them as people while building meaningful relationships.

Turns out, officials with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis picked up on the same benefit. In its online newspaper, The Criterion, which has a circulation of more than 60,000, one of its stories interviewed young people at the NCYC and three professed religious, including Br. John.

Br. John accompanies a student inside the Anaheim Convention Center for LA Youth Day.

While he agreed that youth conferences can plant the seed for young people to consider religious life, he emphasized that leading young people to a vocation is the work of all the faithful.

“Everybody is a vocation promoter,” said Br. John in the interview. “It starts in the home and among friends. I’m a religious because my friends sold me on it. They saw something in me, knew the Viatorians and said, ‘John
would be good at that.’

“My hope is that every single person knows that God’s invitation is waiting for them,” he added, “and probably will come to them from someone they’re not expecting.”