In keeping with their commitment to accompany young people on their faith journeys, Viatorians involved with Bishop McNamara Catholic School system and its Office of Catholic Ministry, launched a new
summer retreat experience, this time geared toward incoming freshmen and sophomores.
SING, or Servants In the Name of God, drew more than two dozen teens from a variety of parishes in the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region. Associate Michelle Barrie led the retreat and she drew from her nearly 20 years of leading teens on the Hearts of Hope mission trip, as well as accompanying area young people to the Viatorian Youth Congress.
Working with her on the retreat were Fr. Dan Belanger, CSV, as well as Associate Ken Barrie and Pre-Associate Paula Wasser. The group plans to hold it at the beginning of August each year, they said, in order to fit into students’ busy lives — and bring together Catholic youth from the region to learn more about their common faith.
“Those of us involved in Catholic youth ministry know we need to change with the times,” Fr. Belanger said. “By gathering teens in the summer, we’re hoping to meet their spiritual needs by adapting to their busy lives.”
SING drew elements from other Viatorian retreats, including presentations by teen leaders as well as different forms of prayer — adoration, Taizé, Lectio Divina, journaling and exploring nature — as well as liturgies, and of course, singing.
“This reatreat,” Fr. Belanger added, “created so many God moments.”