IMG_0542A quiet tradition played out earlier this month when faculty members gathered in Querbes Hall to pack sack lunches for the homeless, served by Catholic Charities.

Faculty and staff are committed to regularly completing some kind of hands-on service. Each month, they alternate between volunteering for Catholic Charities in Des Plaines and serving a hot meal to those served by Journeys from PADS to Hope in Arlington Heights.

As Catholic educators at Saint Viator, they are carrying out part of the Viatorian charism, which is to embrace “those accounted of little importance.”

IMG_0543“We are walking in the footsteps of Fr. Querbes,” says Mrs. Rita King, who coordinates the adult faith formation program with Mrs. Ann Perez, a fellow religion teacher and Viatorian associate.

For this month’s project, faculty members signed up in advance to contribute sandwiches, fruit, beverages, individually wrapped snacks or desserts. They then worked in assembly-line fashion to pack the lunches after school.

The lunches are meant to compliment Catholic Charities’ evening suppers, which feed an average of 100 every Tuesday and Thursday night. Since the center does not provide them with a dinner every day, they receive a sack lunch on their way out, so they have food the next day.

IMG_0540While faculty members are not required to participate, more than 40 percent do, Mrs. King reports. The monthly service projects are an extension of the wider faith formation program, which also offers regular prayer services, quarterly family Masses, more service opportunities and even a Lenten book club.

These experiences are provided in order to offer faculty members, as well as parents and alumni, ways to foster personal and spiritual growth as part of a wider faith community.

“As a Catholic Christian community,” Mrs. King adds, “Saint Viator is committed to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ through our words and our actions.”