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Making a Pilgrimage to the Border with Teens

June 13, 2018

For the fifth time in three years, Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, is leading a group of young adults from Viatorian ministry sites to the border between Arizona and Mexico.

Fr. Corey Brost (kneeling in front) and a college group he accompanied in January, 2017, where they met Bishop Gerald Kicanas at the border

He calls it a pilgrimage, as together these young people retrace the steps of migrants trying to cross the desert and reflect on the role faith plays in “welcoming the stranger.”

This month’s group includes 11 high school students, coming from Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, St. Viator Parish in Chicago, Saint Viator High School and St. Raymond de Penafort Parish in Mount Prospect, IL.

Fr. Corey has remained committed to taking young people to the border every year, including college students during Christmas break and high school students each summer.

“It’s what we do as Viatorians,” Fr. Corey says. “Educate young people about pressing issues in our faith, and advocate for those on the margins and the forgotten, which in our society today are the immigrants.”

During each visit, students meet with members of the border patrol

During their two-day visit, they will meet with border patrol guards and Good Samaritan guides, as well as celebrate Mass together and pray at the border for victims who have lost their lives.

Teens place crosses at the wall for those who have died

The group also sees items of clothing and prayer books left behind by migrants, before they sign messages of hope on water jugs which guides will leave along the desert for migrants on their journey.

“We end it where we begin,” Fr. Corey says, “at a wall between people and cultures, migrants and hope, but we go, pledging to open doors to overcome barriers.”