Mrs. Amanda Fierce has taught fifth grade at Bishop McNamara Catholic School in Bradley for the last several years, and she and her family are parishioners at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais. Consequently, she is familiar with the Viatorians and their mission.

Associate Curt Saindon, left, and Br. John Eustice meet with Amanda Fierce.

However, now she is about to take a deeper role in advancing that mission. Fierce was hired as the new Youth Ministry Coordinator for Maternity BVM and St. George parishes, both in Bourbonnais. She also will be collaborating with Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie, youth ministers at St. Patrick Church in Kankakee.

She begins June 1 and one of her first assignments will be to accompany students from the two parishes to the Viatorian Youth Congress, which opens June 3 at Casa Iskali in suburban Des Plaines.

“It’ll be a great way for Amanda to get to know more about the Viatorian mission and charism,” says Br. John Eustice, CSV, who is a deacon at Maternity BVM, “and acquaint herself with other Viatorians involved in youth ministry around the country,”

Maternity BVM has been without a youth minister since last August and literally the parish has been praying for someone to accept the position at every Mass.

“She’s an answer to our prayers,” Br. Eustice adds.

Mrs. Amanda Fierce is the new Coordinator of Youth Ministry for Maternity BVM and St. George parishes.

St. George Parish is transitioning to a new, collaborative style of leadership. Its pastor for the last 15 years, Fr. Dan Belanger, CSV, is leaving to begin a new assignment as parochial vicar of St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas. Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, will serve as parish administrator, working with Viatorian associates in the parish, and now a new youth ministry coordinator.

However, the parish is committed to youth ministry, having built the Fr. Querbes Youth Ministry Center in 2017, reflecting the growing numbers of young people in the parish.

Fierce met with Viatorians from both parishes last week to begin planning out activities for the first few months. Already, she is planning a trip to Six Flags Great America and some local service trips. She also wants to build up teams of adults willing to work with teens in both parishes.

All of which affirms just how important youth ministry is to every Viatorian parish and school, and to the professed and associates who work there.

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.”