The vision of Fr. Louis Querbes — to embrace those accounted of little importance — permeated the 4th annual Service & Song Camp at Saint Viator High School.
Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, launched the unique camp in 2013 and each year more students have attended. This year’s version drew 130 teens in all, including junior high and incoming students as well as current students and young alumni.
Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, is co-directing the camp. Other Viatorians involved as leaders include: Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, Associate Randy Baker and Pre-Associate John Paulik.
“Our intention was to let students directly serve those most in need in the local community,” Fr. Brost says, “and learn why service is at the heart of a lived‐out Catholic faith.”
Teens divide up into groups and spread out to serve at social service agencies located across the Northwest suburbs. Each afternoon starts out with a reflection on their service and people they impact, as well as a song led by student musicians and choral members.
“It’s neat to see that we’re making a contribution,” said sophomore Bryce McDonnell of Arlington Heights, after his first day of working with his team at the vegetable garden tended by the Sisters of the Living Word.
Senior Richard Rinka of Mount Prospect described the impact of his group’s delivery of sandwiches they had made to clients served by Catholic Charities.
“We as a community can be a light of hope for people,” he said. “Making sandwiches may not have seemed like much, but we are truly feeding the hungry.”
One of the first days drew President Brian Liedlich and Principal Karen Love to attend and see firsthand the students’ enthusiasm for service. After introducing themselves to the crowd, they thanked the Viatorians for instilling their charism in the school community.
“Thank you for what you do,” Mr. Liedlich said, “and for instilling the gospel values and importance of service into everything we do.”
As teams prepared to depart for their work sites, Fr. Brost exclaimed: “Go out and change the world — in just the next few hours.”