NM3This month in religion classes, students are learning about teens experiencing homelessness. Statistics report that about 25,000 youth in Illinois experience homelessness each year and nearly 10,000 in Chicago.

At the first all-school Mass this month, the Saint Viator community prayed for these teens experiencing homelessness and a collection was taken up to support a Chicago agency that reaches out to them: The Night Ministry.

Taking it one step further, students were invited to serve The Night Ministry though packing sack lunches and bringing these lunches to teens experiencing homelessness in Chicago. In all, they prepared 150 lunches and some students went on to join campus ministers on a service outing to provide street outreach to teens struggling with poverty and homelessness that night.

NM1It’s all part of a new model for the monthly Loaves & Fishes collection, organized by Campus Ministry, says Ms. Emily Egan, one of the campus ministers.

“We are now inviting the school community to give on a monthly basis within the context of education, service, and prayer,” Ms. Egan says. “Campus Ministry will continue this same model moving forward on a monthly basis.”

At nearly the same time, the faculty members are doing the same thing, making sandwiches. Led by Fr. Dan Lydon, CSV, and Mrs. Rita King, faculty members picked up where they left off last year by packing lunches once a month for Catholic Charities Northwest, located in Des Plaines.

It was the first service project of the year for faculty members and they packed about 80 lunches which were intended for clients that attended the soup kitchen at Catholic Charities that very evening.

“As they leave, each client receives a lunch to take home for tomorrow,” Mrs. King says. “My favorite part of the day was when students came over to see what we were doing and decided to join in!”