Volume 15, No. 1
Provincial Perspective I am an incurable romantic. I know that might sound a bit funny coming from a priest, but it is true. I am also a bit prone to nostalgia. My confreres with whom I live at the province center will tell you that they can often find me on our outdoor patio, listening to the “golden oldies,” singing and dancing (well dancing might be a bit of a stretch, how about swaying back and forth) to the Supremes, Tommy James and the Shondells, Elvis, and Tina Turner – just to name a few. I listen to the oldies, thinking back to those days long gone, reflecting upon times with old friends and with family members, during the 60’s and early 70’s. Those days seemed simpler than today, much less hectic, and less stressful. At times, I find myself longing for those days to return – those grand days of yesteryear. Now that we have turned the page to a new calendar year, I am struck by the realization that life back then was really not all that different from our life today. In fact, life back then held problems of its own, challenges that produced stress and schedules that seemed awfully hectic. I only have to remember what my mother was going through managing six children all under the age of fifteen. Talk about hectic and stress! Yes, life back then really was not all that different from life today – it just seems different. The simple fact is this - the important things – the really important things, remain the same – generation after generation – namely, faith in God, connections of love of family, loyalty and trust in one’s friends, finding meaning and purpose
in one’s work/ministry, and a desire to live in peace and harmony with those we encounter in our daily life. These enduring values and virtues remain constant and real. So, when I start getting nostalgic, and getting lost in trying to recapture the feelings of the past, I will remind myself that the present, too, holds great promise and meaning right before my very eyes. And so, as we begin a new year, while it is good to look back on the past for a moment, it is even more important to look forward with the promise of what is yet to be. And, I am reminded that this promise finds its root and meaning in Jesus Christ. He is calling each of us to create a world where those constant core values are shared and lived in our everyday lives. It is in this that the memories of the past and the promise of the future merge into that one reality called life. Happy New Year! May your future be as wonderful as the very best days of yesteryear. In Saint Viator and Fr. Querbes,
Rev. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Provincial
Counselor, Teacher, Associate While walking through the halls of Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, IL, one immediately notices the relaxed atmosphere among the teachers, staff, and students in which college preparatory learning takes place. One person responsible for this is Mr. Joe Majkowski, Discussing various options and finding out what who serves the students as is best for the student counselor, retreat facilitator, basketball coach, and Viatorian associate.
His work with the students extends to being an adult facilitator on the student retreats. Once a year he attends both the Quest retreat for freshmen and sophomores and the Kairos retreat for juniors and seniors. He describes the experiences as very enriching in that the students have a chance to explore their personal spirituality and to discover how to implement it in their lives. Joe has been coaching basketball since 1986 and is currently the head basketball coach. He sees this as a form of ministry through training the students to achieve their potential through hard work, working with others, and learning to accept both winning and losing graciously.
Joeâ€™s association with the Viatorians extends back to 1976 when he began coaching basketball and football at Saint Viator High School while teaching at Saint James Grade School in Arlington Heights, IL. In 1982 he went to Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, NV, which the Viatorians administered at that time. In 1986 he received an offer of a teaching and coaching position at Saint Viator High School, which he readily accepted. Joe reflects the Viatorian philosophy of respecting the intrinsic worth of each person and the way this is acknowledged is how one interacts with others. He is a strong advocate that each person has a right to express whatever point of view, be listened to, and then acknowledged. When that occurs, growth can take place because the person has been affirmed and can in turn listen and affirm others.
Planning the strategy for the next play
Joe thoroughly enjoys his work because, as he describes it, it allows him to help young people find their way as they grow academically, personally, and spiritually in their journey from adolescence to adulthood. After being invited to become a Viatorian Challenging team members to do their best associate a few times, he eventually accepted after a period of discernment. Now in his sixth year as an associate, Joe said that association is beneficial to him in that he feels connected to the Viatorians in a special way. This in turn has enriched his personal faith life and his family life with his wife and two children.
Reviewing a photo album with a student
Besides being readily available to students, he is actively involved in the student peer mediation program, a structured program to resolve conflict among students. When a conflict occurs and all parties agree, trained student mediators will intervene and provide an environment whereby all sides tell their stories, listen to the other points of view, list the possible options to resolve the cause of the conflict, and come to a consensus. The vast majority of the cases have been successful.
After over twenty years at Saint Viator High School, Joe is a wellknown and respected figure. At the school he works in numerous ways with the other Viatorians to implement the Viatorian vision of raising up a community of believers where Faith is lived, deepened, and celebrated.
Teacher, Artist, Priest When the students enter the chemistry lab of Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV, they know that each class will be well prepared by him and they will be challenged to discover more about the intricacies of chemistry and the beauty of science. He has been a fixture at Saint Viator for over twenty years and, he arrived there with a wealth of academic, administrative, and ministerial experience.
In talking about formation work, he recalled his own attraction to the Viatorians. While he was a student at Alleman High School in Rock Island, IL, the Viatorians were his teachers. He was impressed with their humanity in that they seemed to be wellrounded people who were in touch with reality and had a welcoming spirit about them. He strives to continue these qualities in his work. Fr. Van Wiel has been painting pictures for over twenty years and especially enjoys watercolors, many of which hang on the walls of the province center. He said that he has always had an interest in painting and photography and while he was participating in a 30-day retreat, he paused to One of Fr. Van Wielâ€™s many watercolors consider the intricate beauty of nature that is so often ignored because of the hectic pace we live. Following up on this insight, he read books and magazines about paintings and photography. Today he continues to nurture this talent and has given many of his paintings to the Viatorian Community, his family, and friends.
Fr. Van Wiel was ordained in 1966 and immediately began his multifacted ministry, which included teaching science, math, and religion; coaching tennis and basketball; being the chaplain of the Huddle Club, an organization of adults supporting student athletics; and being dean of discipline. During the time he served as a principal, he implemented the philosophy whereby he provided the supportive environment for the faculty and staff to develop their professional skills and to excel in their educational work. As important as the educational ministry is to him, he especially values his priesthood. Throughout his career, he has offered daily Mass at local parishes and is known for his well prepared, organized, and relevant homilies. At Saint Viator High School he participates in the Kairos retreats and hears confessions.
He is also an avid fisherman, having started as a child when his parents took him, his brothers, and sister fishing. Today, he can be seen leaving the Viatorian residence in the early morning hours to spend some quiet time on a lake to enjoy the quiet and solitude while at the same time experiencing the ever-changing scenery.
The students know Fr. Van Wiel as both a competent professional and one who is readily approachable. He arrives at the chemistry lab by 7:15 a.m. and is often there until 4:30 p.m. Although he may seem busy with such tasks as setting up labs or correcting papers, the students know that he will put whatever he is doing aside to talk with them.
Throughout the forty-nine years that Fr. Van Wiel has been a Viatorian, he has served the Church in numerous capacities. He has found that each one has offered another way to serve the Church and young people. His very active life is complemented by prayer and solitude, be it in the meditative silence of the chapel at the Viatorian Province Center or in a boat on a quiet The end of a successful day of fishing lake experiencing anew the wonders of nature. That stillness animates his ministry and allows him to meet whatever challenges may present themselves.
He enjoys interacting with the students, saying that they continually challenge him to do his best for their benefit. They also keep him up-to-date on what is happening in the world today. He sees his current work as a teacher of honors chemistry as one way of carrying out the Viatorian mission of teaching Christian Doctrine through being competent in the classroom, being concerned for the students as individuals, and being a witness to the Faith. Fr. Van Wielâ€™s career is not limited to high school ministry. The Viatorian leadership requested him to be part of the formation team for Viatorian candidates to religious life. True to his thoroughness, he pursued specialized studies and for several years served as affiliate director, novice master, and director of the temporary professed. 3
Sixty Years of Viatorian Service
in such roles as the local community superior and school principal. Today, the school has an enrollment of over 1,000 students and boasts of an excellent reputation in Bogotá.
Fr. James F. Crilly, CSV, celebrates sixty years as a professed Viatorian. He has served as a teacher, priest, missionary, principal, superior, associate pastor, pastor, assistant provincial, and as a provincial chapter member. He has been assigned to just about everyplace where Viatorians have served in the last six decades. While he values all of his experiences and assignments as times of growth and enrichment, he admits that a special time in his life was spent in Bogotá, Colombia.
What started as a mission almost fifty years ago, has now become the Foundation of Colombia, which includes the colegio and two parishes. The local community is comprised of two associates, three pre-novices, eight brothers, and nine priests. Fr. Crilly prepared to be a teacher by majoring in biology for his bachelor and masters degrees at Loyola University in Chicago and the Catholic University of America in Washington. He then taught in Springfield and Peoria, IL, before traveling to Colombia. When speaking about his life, Fr. Crilly said, “I do perceive that the pastoral mission of the parish calls us to constantly strive to educate our people in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. . . My presence and participation in faith sharing sessions and in celebrating the Eucharist brings me to draw upon my background and experience as a teacher and reminds me that much teaching is done, not by words, but by example. We are called to teach as Jesus did, with our whole beings.” Congratulations Jim.
In 1961, he was one of three Viatorians asked to travel to Colombia to establish a high school for boys. Fr. Crilly had to learn Spanish, the restrictions and requirements of the Colombian government, and become knowledgeable about building construction. Once construction was completed and the school opened, Fr. Crilly initiated a unique scholarship program. Twenty percent of the student body came from low-income families in the area. Fr. Crilly served for twelve years in Colombia
In the United States, he is a well-known educator in the area of business administration. Br. Ryan served as assistant dean of the School of Business Administration at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Notre Dame from 1975 to 1980; and dean of the Graduate School of Business at DePaul University in Chicago from 1980 to 1988. He continues to work at DePaul.
Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV, also celebrates sixty years as a professed Viatorian. In nearly any place in the world one is likely to meet someone who knows his name since he has visited or worked in 189 countries. The Latin word viator is translated into English as traveler, and no one is a better traveler than Br. Ryan. While serving in the Peace Corps in Africa during 1967, he was conferred the Atoaja Chieftaincy for his service in promoting the Yoruba life and culture in Nigeria. In addition, he lived in Rome during 1967-69 while he served as a member of the Viatorian General Council. Finally, for over twenty years he has been a well-known professor, writer, and speaker in Finland and Poland, especially at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland.
Br. Ryan also served as a teacher at Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield, IL; Spalding Institute in Peoria, IL; and as president of Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, IL. Whether at the secondary or university level, Br. Ryan has always been in touch with his former students. He is well-known for mentoring the careers of many of them. Today Br. Ryan continues to lecture when the opportunity arises. He also serves on the International Commission on Father Querbes as the U.S. representative working toward the canonization of our founder. Congratulations Leo.
In Memoriam Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, remembers entering the novitiate the same summer as did Fr. Bill Carpenter. “We were in rooms next door to each other during a visit to check out the community,” Fr. Bolser said. “He was one of the ‘kids’ when I started, but I was struck then by his passion to become a Viatorian.”
The sudden passing of Fr. William L. Carpenter, CSV, left the Viatorian Community mourning the loss of a vibrant member. Fr. Carpenter died on December 6, 2009, at the age of 65.
During his early years as a Viatorian brother and deacon, he ministered to the needs of parishioners at St. Patrick parish in Kankakee, IL. Families immediately connected with him, like Mose and Dolores Arseneau, who remarked: “He would come over to dinner and he eventually became part of the family. He had this great sense of humor, and the children loved him. There wasn’t anything we couldn’t talk about.”
At the time of his death, Fr. Carpenter was a member of the Viatorian Provincial Council. He also served as the community’s director of mission appeals, director of priestly formation, and as a member of the Board of Governors of Saint Viator High School. Prior to these ministries, Fr. Carpenter spent more than thirty-five years working in parishes and schools. From Pistakee Bay to Rock Island, from Las Vegas to Bourbonnais, from Chicago to Rochester, from Arlington Heights to Belize, each place with its many human faces and poignant memories held a special place in his heart.
Fr. Carpenter was ordained a priest in 1977, and from then on, he would cross paths several times with Fr. Charles Bolser. For example, they worked together in the early 1980s at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, NV, where Fr. Carpenter was a teacher and counselor, while Fr. Bolser was principal of the high school.
“As a member of the provincial council, Bill was especially committed to the priority of our last general chapter, namely, international solidarity,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, Provincial of the Clerics of St. Viator.
“Bill personally committed himself to support our foundation in Belize by traveling there to preside at Masses, funerals, weddings, baptisms, and hear countless confessions,” Fr. von Behren added. “He also visited the Ivory Coast in Africa, to learn more about Fr. Carpenter proclaiming the Scriptures Aggie Evert, current principal the international Viatorian community, seeking to promote a at the Viatorian mission in Belize at Bishop Gorman High School, broader, more global, vision of what it means to be ‘Viatorian.’ remembers starting the school’s counseling department with The Viatorian Community was very important to him. His Fr. Carpenter. “What started with only two counselors, now Viatorian associates and brothers, as well as the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Guadalupe, were part includes six counselors in all,” she reminiscences. “We both believed that counseling should be available at the school,” Evert said. “It’s of the very fabric that made up his life.” now bigger and stronger than ever.” Fr. Charles Bolser and Fr. William Carpenter also worked in tandem in the early 1990s, when Fr. Carpenter served as pastor of St. Jude Parish in Rochester, IL, serving under Fr. Charles Bolser when he was provincial of the Clerics of St. Viator.
Fr. Carpenter enjoyed a light moment with the students from a Viatorian school in the Ivory Coast.
Their relationship came full circle, recently, when Fr. Bolser stepped in as pastor at St. Viator parish in Chicago, taking over a role held ten years earlier by Fr. Carpenter. “He’s remembered here as a real dynamo,” Fr. Bolser said. “He came in ready to make whatever changes needed to be done. His legacy is one of coming in here and stirring the pot.”
Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, reflected that he and Fr. Carpenter had been friends for more than forty years, carving out similar careers in Viatorian parishes and schools. “His visits to the Ivory Coast and Belize had a deep impact on him,” Fr. Egan said. “He saw real needs of people and was energized to travel from parish to parish seeking funds for the work of Viatorians in mission territories.”
That same parish, St. Viator in Chicago, was the site of a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated for Fr. William Carpenter by his Viatorian confreres on Dec. 12, 2009, and attended by several hundred people. After the Mass, he was interred in the Viatorian Community plot, at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, in Hillside, IL. We will miss him.
Fr. Carpenter entered the Viatorian novitiate in 1962, after graduating from the Spalding Institute in his native Peoria, IL, where Viatorians influenced him as his high school teachers. 5
The Viatorians greatly appreciate your financial assistance, which helps to sustain our ministries in the United States and overseas. If you would like to assist us, please send your gifts to:
In the Footsteps of Our Founder Resolving the Diocesan – Papal Dilemma
Viatorian Office of Mission Advancement 1212 East Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights, IL 60004 847-637-2142
The question of whether the Parochial Clerics of St. Viator would remain a diocesan society or achieve papal approbation as an exempt congregation presented Fr. Louis Querbes with a seemingly impossible dilemma.
You can either designate where your gifts will be used or delegate us to distribute the funds where they are most needed.
The Jesuit assistant for France, Father Rosaven, whom Fr. Querbes consulted throughout his days in Rome, emerged as his champion and guide. Fortunately, Fr. Rosaven was also a consultor to the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars. That Congregation would decide the future of the Parochial Clerics.
As a non-profit and tax-exempt organization, the Viatorians are very grateful for your prayers and financial support in “educating for the future.” For wills and bequests: Clerics of St. Viator an Illinois Corporation
Partnering With Our Friends “If you offer, they will come.” Members of the Viatorian Community learned the truth of this axiom after offering to remember special intentions during Masses for its new Viatorian Partners in Mission. Almost immediately, people began responding to the idea. Leading up to an All Souls’ Day Mass, celebrated by Fr. James Crilly, CSV, more than two thousand intentions poured in from our partners in mission. During Advent, additional prayer requests arrived and were remembered during daily prayer at the province center by associates, brothers, priests, and staff. All requests were recorded in a book and placed in the chapel at the Viatorian Province Center. Viatorian Partners in Mission was launched last year as a new initiative where donors and mission meet. Its goal is to establish a more personal relationship between the Viatorian Community and its partners. As supporters learn more about the wide variety of Viatorian ministries, they will be invited to participate and to enjoy the benefits of an enhanced prayer life through prayer intentions and retreats.
Prayer cards are a great way to share in the prayer of the Viatorian Community. The Viatorians established the Nazareth League of Prayer many decades ago. In addition, special prayer cards for a variety of occasions are offered. Please see the Viatorian website for a more detailed look at each card and ordering information.
The Viatorian website has undergone several changes. Please visit the site and view the new videos in the Vocations section, other new features in the Support our Ministries section, an updated and enhanced photo gallery, and more up-to-date news in the What’s New section. Moreover, a new Shared Prayer section includes an invitation and an opportunity to send prayer intentions via e-mail. The website can be accessed at www.viatorians.com.
Plans are underway to develop the Viatorian Service Corps, with a goal of launching the program in spring 2011. Working with the help of officials from the Catholic Network of Volunteer Services, the volunteer program tentatively features four tiers: one-year ministry 6
Rosaven recommended corrections for the Summarium, the document to be printed for the Cardinals to study. His corrections “consisted chiefly in breaking or loosening these excessively close bonds of dependence, in such a way that the Congregation, while remaining under the jurisdiction of the Ordinary, but depending on the Holy See only for its government, its constitution, and its rules.” (Pierre Robert, Life of Louis Marie Querbes, 1921, p. 170)
The next step was for Fr. Querbes to personally begin negotiations with the Cardinals of the Sacred Congregation. The Prefect, Cardinal Sala, had returned to Rome. Fr. Querbes sent him, through Father Pascal, another Roman friend, a memorandum, De Catechistis, which included his earlier presentation to Gregory XVI and the required details about the Temporal Affairs of the Society. Cardinal Angelo Mai was appointed Cardinal ponent (reporter). Fr. Querbes provided him a very detailed account of the Society from its inception to the present, Royal Approbation, the reasons for recourse to the Holy See and concluded with his petition. Fr. Querbes next visited, in turns each of the three Cardinals appointed to review his petition: Cardinals Castracene, Polidori and Odescalchi.
Father Rosaven also suppressed some unnecessary Latin expressions, proposed restating some statutes more precisely, more briefly and helped restructure some ideas in a more Roman formula. Fr. Querbes gratefully accepted these textual corrections. As Consultor, to the Sacred Congregation, Fr. Rosaven wrote: “I have carefully examined the statutes of the said society … nothing, thereafter, I think stands in the way of the Sacred Congregation’s approving their statutes …” (Quoted without date by Robert, p. 171).
Protocol having been satisfied on July 10, 1838, Fr. Querbes turned to God in prayer and retreat awaiting action by the Cardinal Consultors. Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV
Fr. Querbes acted quickly. The revised Summarium was printed. The statutes preceded the petition and were followed by the votum.
Viatorian Prayer Cards
volunteers, short-term immersion ministry experiences, summer internships in ministry, and daily ministry volunteers. Additional information about this program will be made available in the spring issue of Viator.
The Nazareth League of Prayers is established by the Clerics of St. Viator to give our friends the opportunity to share in the prayers of the Viatorian Community. Viatorian associates, brothers, and priests remember in prayer all those who have submitted intentions and are grateful for the generosity and kindness of those who have supported our ministry. To order any of the many Viatorian prayer cards call the Office of Mission Advancement at 847-637-2125 or visit our website at www.viatorians.com. 7
Our Patron and Founder Saint Viator Little is known about the life of Saint Viator other than that he lived in the fourth century in Lyons, France, and whose life was closely associated with the Bishop of Lyons, Saint Just. Viator served his bishop as his disciple and as a lector in the local cathedral. Besides performing the official duty of proclaiming the Scriptures at liturgy, one can assume that Viator also fulfilled the duties of catechist and teacher. A tragic event occurred that changed the lives of both Viator and Bishop Just. In 381 AD a mentally disabled man ran through the streets of Lyons wildly brandishing a sword that wounded and killed several people. The man then dashed into the cathedral and asked for
asylum from the enraged crowd. Bishop Just intervened and agreed to remand the man to the authorities after they promised him that the man would receive a fair trial. No sooner had the man stepped out of the cathedral that the angry mob seized and murdered him. Bishop Just deeply regretted that he was not able to protect the man and concluded that he should leave the diocese and spend the rest of his life in penance as a monk in Egypt. After he made his decision, Viator followed him into exile. Between 390 and 400 AD Bishop Just and Viator died as monks in the Libyan Desert of Egypt. When news of their deaths reached the people of Lyons, they asked that the two bodies be brought home. After the bodies arrived, they were placed in the cathedral, where they were venerated for several centuries.
Fr. Louis Querbes In 1830, Father Louis Joseph Marie Querbes, a priest of the Diocese of Lyons, established a society of catechists, which he placed under the patronage of Saint Viator. Louis Querbes, born in 1793, was reared and educated in the parish that fifteen centuries previously had been the cathedral church of Saint Just and where Saint Viator served as lector and catechist. After ordination, he returned to his home parish to serve as associate pastor. After five years, the bishop promoted him to be the parish pastor in the rural village of Vourles. There he found the challenges daunting. The French Revolution left many churches desecrated, and the teaching of Christian Doctrine was nonexistent in many places. Fr. Querbes immediately set about engaging the laity as collaborators in ministry. He first sought to create an organization of trained men who would assist the country pastors in the teaching of Christian Doctrine and in other parish duties. His original vision was that his pious association or society would consist of tonsured clerics and lay persons, be they single or married. After dialogue with the Church authorities, the nature of the society was changed to that of a congregation of teaching brothers, some would have charge of rural parish sacristies, of teaching catechism to the rural young, and only a few of whom would be called to the ordained priesthood. In 1838 the papacy formally approved Fr. Querbesâ€™ association under the formal title the Congregation of the Parochial Clerics or Catechists of Saint Viator. Father Querbes chose St. Viator as the patron because as he ministered at the cathedral as a lector and catechist in his day, so also would the Viatorians follow his example through the teaching of Christian Doctrine and service at the holy altar at local parishes. 8
Vocation Ministry Be More. Give More. Discover More.
Viatorians Associate Karen Cutler and Viatorian Brothers Daniel Lydon, Jason Nesbit, and Moisés Mesh represented the Viatorian After making his commitment as an associate, Community at the Archdiocese of Francisco Murillo affixes his signature. Chicago’s “Festival of Faith,” October 16 17, 2009. The event was an opportunity for the province to debut its new promotional literature and to make its presence better known in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Many friends of the community stopped by the Viatorian sponsored booth to say, “Hello.” On Wednesday, September 9, 2009, Jeanne Craig, Juliann Dwyer, Paul and Rosy Hartz, Dick Hofacker, Kim Martinez, Bridget Moore, and Clairmarie Slaveck made their first commitments as associates for two years during Mass held at St. Viator Church in Las Vegas, NV. During the same Mass, Warren Craig, Marie Feeney, Loretta Gabby, Margery Gill, Jim and Marie May, Ken Rosania, and Marie Segal renewed their commitments as associates for five years.
Br. Dan Lydon at the Festival of Faith Conference
On Sunday, November 1, 2009, Francisco Murillo and Gloria Perez made their first commitments as Viatorian associates, for one year, during a Mass at Colegio San Viator in Bogotá, Colombia. Francisco and Gloria have the distinct honor of being the first Colombian Viatorian associates. The Viatorian Community is grateful for the dedication of its associates in Las Vegas and Colombia to continuing the mission of Fr. Querbes through their educational, pastoral, and social ministries within the Church. On January 16, 2010, Br. Carlos Eduardo Díaz, CSV, and Br. Carlos Arturo Romero, CSV, made their first profession of temporary vows. They professed poverty, chastity, and obedience, for three years, during a Mass celebrated by Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV, in the chapel of Colegio San Viator in Bogotá, Colombia. Their profession occurred as this issue of Viator went to press. An article on both Br. Díaz and Br. Romero will appear in the spring issue of Viator.
Gloria Perez makes her commitment as an associate in the presence of Colombian Viatorians. The new Viatorian Associates from Las Vegas, NV
Q & A with Fr. Mark Francis, CSV
Fr. Mark Francis, CSV
It has been forty years since Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, walked the halls of Saint Viator High School as a high school underclassman. The Arlington Heights native graduated from Saint Viator in 1971 and, more importantly, the young Mark Francis eventually joined the religious congregation that influenced him so much, the Viatorian Community. On October 21, 2009, he returned to celebrate Mass — for the first time at his alma mater — appropriately enough on the Feast of Saint Viator. But he didn’t preach during the Mass. That role went to one of his former high school classmates and fellow Viatorian, Br. James Lewnard, CSV, who teaches in the religion department at the high school. Br. Lewnard grabbed the attention of his teenage audience right away, saying that for more than 150 years, Viatorians have been reaching out to young people. “Our founder, Fr. Querbes, had a vision that we do something special for young people,” Br. Lewnard said. “He felt that faith should be shared with young people and lived with young people. As Viatorians, that’s a task we take very seriously.”
It was in response to an invitation from the president of Saint Viator High School, Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, himself a 1969 graduate of the high school, which brought Fr. Mark Francis to the school. “I think it’s a great thing for our students to know that a Saint Viator graduate is the worldwide leader of the Viatorian Community,” said Fr. Egan, who remembers riding the school bus with Fr. Francis during their high school years. In 2000, Fr. Francis was elected to serve as superior general of the worldwide congregation; the congregation includes more than 550 vowed brothers and priests and over 270 lay associates who live and minister in sixteen countries worldwide. He was reelected in 2006 to a second six-year term and works from the congregation’s headquarters in Rome. As superior general, he oversees Viatorian communities located in Belize, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Peru, Spain, Taiwan and the U.S. After Mass, Fr. Francis reflected on his first opportunity to celebrate Mass at Saint Viator.
Fr. Francis gives Communion to a Saint Viator High School faculty member.
Br. Lewnard distributes the cup to a student communion minister.
Q: A: Q: A: Q: A:
What were some of your impressions, thinking back to then and now? I think the fact that the school is coeducational is very positive and it contributes to the warm and welcoming atmosphere. Did you sense any differences in the students from your days back in the late 1960s and early 1970s to those you met today? When I was a student at Saint Viator High School, we were encouraged to engage with the surrounding U.S. society in contemporary social justice issues that really mattered thenâ€“civil rights and the war in Vietnam. Today, I sense that same concern and I am delighted to see student engagement in social justice initiatives and projects in such venues as Belize in Central America and in the wider metropolitan area of Chicago itself. I think there is even more of an emphasis on forming a community of learning here in which everyone is accepted and encouraged to do his/her best. Br. Jim Lewnard said during the homily today that as classmates, you and he had discussions about religious life beginning at sixteen, and that you made your decision to enter the Viatorians by the time you were eighteen. What is it about Saint Viator High School that opened you to considering a call to religious life? My vocation to religious life and the priesthood was nurtured through the vibrant Christian witness of the marvelous religious and lay faculty members and through an engaging, stimulating, demanding, college-preparatory curriculum that sought to challenge and bring out the best in us as high school students. Most of all, it was having the confidence to ask questions honestly about life, relationships, death, and the role that faith plays in helping each of us make our way together. Thatâ€™s what attracted me to want to serve others as a Viatorian. I knew that searching for truth was compatible with Christian life that embraces Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that with others I could do much more than I could accomplish alone. Is there anything you might want to say to these students, learning in the same classrooms you did, now in the 21st Century? My hope is that this spirit will always continue among the students, faculty, and staff at Saint Viator High School, since for me it is much more than just a school. It is a place of encounter, a place of challenge, and a place of transformation that set me on a path that I have never regretted. As superior general, I have the privilege of visiting Viatorians at work around the world, from our ministerial involvements in Japan to Chile to the Ivory Coast. In each one, I see a commonality in our approach to learning that transcends cultural and national uniqueness and limitations and which is obviously at work here at Saint Viator High School.
Individual Integrity Confronted a Modern day Holocaust words,” he said. “With words we can civilize. We can help a whole nation to heal.”
Paul Rusesabagina, the real life hero who inspired the movie, “Hotel Rwanda,” drew packed crowds on November 2, 2009, when he made a visit to Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, IL. Mr. Rusesabagina was the hotel manager who saved the lives of more than 1,200 individuals during the heinous Rwandan genocide.
His own powerful and engaging words resonated with many of the students he met and have stayed with them weeks after he left. “He was so eloquent,” junior George Theotokatos said. “He said words were his best weapon and he proved it. Instead of fighting back, he used his eloquence.” Significantly, the students took his counsel to heart. On December 12, 2009, they mounted their second annual “Rock for Darfur” concert, which drew almost 300 teens and which afforded them a receptive venue to educate further about the conflict in Darfur. The concert raised more than $5,000. Proceeds will go to a school in a Darfur refugee camp in the African nation of Chad. The students have decided to partner with the school in order to support the students there and learn more about their lives. During the concert, students videotaped greetings from numerous fellow students. The greetings will be included on a DVD that will be sent to the school in Chad.
In the morning, more than 700 Saint Viator High School students gave up their activity period to hear him speak about his experiences in Rwanda; that same evening, over 600 parents, neighbors, and more students filled the auditorium. On both occasions, the audiences gave him a standing ovation even before he began speaking.
They also circulated a petition, which they plan to send to President Barack Obama; it calls on him to follow through on his administration’s promises to become more involved in efforts to end the genocide in Darfur.
During a three-month period in 1994, when more than one million Rwandans were killed, Mr. Rusesabagina risked his life to shelter Hutus and moderate Tutsis who sought refuge during the conflict. This horrific massacre is viewed as one of the most vicious atrocities of the 20th century.
“Mr. Rusesabagina impressed on us that it is our generation who needs to respond to the genocide in Darfur,” said junior Valerie Kiebala. “What we do will determine the future.”
Mr. Rusesabagina came at the invitation of Saint Viator High School’s social justice organization called STAND (Students Taking Action Now for Darfur); the visit was also sponsored in partnership with the Clerics of St. Viator.
Mr. Rusesabagina ended his sessions at Saint Viator High School by highlighting the horrific consequences of the tragically numerous genocides that have occurred throughout history and the poignant promise of “never again.” “The future is yours," he concluded. "Go out and make 'Never Again,' never again!"
Parents and students alike described his testimony as “powerful.” Mr. Rusesabagina’s appearance even drew the mayor of Arlington Heights, IL, Arlene Mulder, to attend. She greeted him on stage with an official proclamation which designated November 2, 2009, “Paul Rusesabagina Day” in Arlington Heights. Mayor Mulder noted the significance of the day of Mr. Rusesabagina’s visit and of her official proclamation–All Souls’ Day.
For more information, please visit www.savedarfur.org and www.darfurdreamteam.org.
After the morning assembly, Mr. Rusesabagina sat down with the student leaders of Saint Viator High School, all members of STAND, for a question-and-answer session. “I am traveling around to raise awareness and talk to young people,” Mr. Rusesabagina said. “Young people are the ones who can change the world. We are all part of the problem, but we are also all part of the solution.” In both the morning and evening sessions, he challenged his audience to aim higher in the fight for social justice and human rights. In fact, Mr. Rusesabagina said that in order to bring about change, ordinary people must work together to prevent genocide throughout the world. “The best weapon in our arsenal is just
Mr. Paul Rusesabagina and his wife talking with a group of Saint Viator High School students who are members of STAND (Students Taking Action Now for Darfur)
Around the Province Lake County. I have been impressed with the quality of education provided at SMdP and the commitment of the dedicated and qualified faculty. In addition, it has been a pleasure to witness the care students have for one another.”
During the latter part of September 2009, Saint Viator High School’s student social justice group, the Student Action Tribe, sponsored a weeklong awareness campaign about bullying. Student leaders used music, prayer, and personal stories during homeroom period to challenge their peers to Ryan Halligan stop bullying when they see or hear it. The week also featured presentations to students and teachers by John Halligan of Vermont, whose 13-year-old son, Ryan, committed suicide after relentless bullying. Mr. Halligan has committed himself full-time to speaking to students and parents around the nation about bullying. His foundation website is www.ryanpatrickhalligan.org. Posters, with Ryan’s photo, were hung throughout the school with the caption, Remember Ryan.
Over the past five years, the school has experienced considerable success. SMdP opened in 2004 with 95 students in rented space in downtown Waukegan; today it serves 225 students on its own campus. The Class of 2009 received more than $800,000 in college scholarships and 97% were accepted into a college. For additional information, please visit www.smdpwaukegan.org. St. Viator Parish in Las Vegas, NV, held its first Taste of St. Viator on October 17, 2009, in anticipation of the Feast of St. Viator (October 21). Over 400 people gathered in the parish courtyard after the 4:00 p.m. Mass to enjoy ethnic dishes representing the various cultures of the parishioners. Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, pastor of the parish, stated that the event was a “great community builder for the parish.”
The Province of Chicago of the Clerics of St. Viator awarded grants totaling $116,975 on October 1, 2009, for employment, educational, emergency food and shelter, immigrant, and medical assistance, as well as programs that address genocide, peace, and racism, for the 2009-2010 pastoral year. Grants are made on a yearly basis to persons and organizations with whom members of the province minister. On Oct. 19, 2009 Br. Carlos Ernesto Florez, CSV, enrollment coordinator, Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, school social worker, and Viatorian Provincial Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, joined the St. Martin de Porres High School community to celebrate five years of innovative education in northeastern Lake County, IL. The Viatorian Community is one of five endorsing communities of SMdP. In his remarks, Fr. von Behren stated, “As a community committed to young people, the Viatorians are happy to celebrate five years of success in offering opportunities for young people in
At the October 2009 Viatorian Provincial Chapter meeting, members of the chapter Br. Carlos Ernesto Florez, CSV, unanimously endorsed the processes with the Vision Statement of following statement in support the Viatorian Community. of women religious—the contributions they have made to the Church, to society as a whole, and their often visionary model of ministry: he Provincial Chapter of the Clerics of St. Viator of the T Province of Chicago offers its prayerful support for
congregations of women religious in the United States, as well as for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, during the Vatican visitation conducted under the auspices of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. We hold our sisters in great esteem for their dedicated and innovative ministry, their commitment to the challenges of a Vatican II Church, and their fidelity to their particular charisms. We urge the entire Church to support these faith-filled women in their efforts to serve the Church and the world.
SMdP student Abigail Hall offers a liturgical dance.
[October 29th, 2009]
(continued on page 14)
Around the Province… continued from page 13 St. Thomas More parishioners (Henderson, NV)participated in a national program called Haiti Outreach. During the previous October, over $4000 was raised to cover the cost of building one home for a family in Haiti. The spring issue of Viator will feature how the Haitian Viatorians are responding to the recent earthquake. Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV, Professor Emeritus of Management, DePaul University in Chicago, co-edited Entrepreneurship: Values and Responsibility. Published in early November 2009 by Transaction Publisher, the book is Volume 17 in a series of International Annuals of Practical Philosophy and Methodology, sponsored by the European Society of Praxiology. Br. Ryan previously edited Human Action in Business, Volume 5 (1996), Business Students Focus on Ethics, Volume 8, (2000), and Praxiology and Pragmatism, Volume 10, (2002) in the series.
Students at the Bridges retreat write about their experience.
Students and staff from Colegio San Viator in Bogotá, Colombia, raised $7,500 by holding “Jeans Days” throughout the year. This popular fund-raiser allows students to wear jeans to school on certain days as long as they make a donation. This year’s collection was given to the social concerns office of the Diocese of Soacha in Bogotá which A student at Colegio San works with families displaced by Viator brings his gifts for the the violence and war that plagues poor to the altar. parts of Colombia. Students also collected Christmas gifts that were distributed to the children of these families. The gifts and check were presented during the final Mass of the school year in late November 2009. On December 3-4, 2009, forty students from Saint Martin de Porres High School in Waukegan, IL, and Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, IL, attended a Bridges Retreat to address issues of oppression, prejudice, racism, and white privilege. Activities, group discussions, prayer, and talks centered on these controversial topics, which led to frank discussions and a deeper understanding of these issues and their responses to them. Acknowledging that much needs to done, the students pledged to work together and to commit to a Christian response when confronted with these injustices on a personal and societal level. The Viatorian Community recently served as a co-sponsor of two important local events in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. 14
On December 10, 2009, members of the province gathered with others at the Evanston public library for a panel discussion entitled Torture…Where Do We Stand Now organized by the Evanston/Rogers Park Amnesty International Group 50. Panelists included Sr. Dianna Ortiz, OSU, a survivor of torture and founder of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (www.tassc.org), the only organization founded by and for torture survivors; Gary Isaac, author of numerous amicus briefs in Guantanamo detainee cases; Tom Parker, Policy Director for Terrorism, Counterterrorism, and Human Rights at Amnesty International USA; and Jamal Watkins, Midwest Regional Director of Amnesty International USA. Panelists argued for the closing of Guantanamo detention center, the banning of military commissions, the ending indefinite detentions, and the calling for an impartial investigation into the use of torture by the United States. For more information, please www.amnestyusa.org/ctwj. Second, on December 18, 2009, members of the province attended the screening of Rethink Afghanistan, a documentary that focuses on the key issues surrounding the current war in Afghanistan. The film explores the reasons offered by the U.S. government for the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. For more information on the documentary and events in Afghanistan, please visit www.rethinkafghanistan.com. Members of the province supported and participated in the December 18, 2009 prayer vigil at the Broadview Detention Center, where undocumented persons are processed and held while they await deportation. A two-mile procession to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in neighboring Melrose Park followed in order to draw attention to the plight of immigrants. Viatorians are also participating in a postcard campaign, held during January
through March 2010, calling on elected officials to pass compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform.
Fr. Daniel Belanger, CSV, and Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, Provincial
Bishop J. Peter Sartain, Bishop of Joliet, IL, installed Fr. Daniel Belanger, CSV, as the twenty-first pastor of St. George parish in Bourbonnais, IL, on December 19, 2009. Fr. Belanger, who was ordained in 2007, began his
pastorate at St. George in 2009 after pastoral and youth ministry in Bourbonnais, IL, Chicago, IL, Las Vegas, NV, and Belize, Central America. In addition to serving as pastor to this community of 177 families, he serves as chaplain at Bishop McNamara Catholic High School in neighboring Kankakee, IL. St. George is one of two rural parishes that the Viatorians currently administer, the other being St. Anne parish in St. Anne, IL.
The Human Right to Work Another frequent occurrence is wage theft. The same study states that two-thirds of the interviewed day laborers said that they were not paid at least one time in the previous two months. This is particularly devastating in that the average per annum income of a day laborer is less than $15,000. The federal poverty level for a family of four is $22,050.
Each morning before dawn, including the days when the wind chill factor is subzero, over one hundred immigrant day laborers gather at the corner of Milwaukee and Belmont Avenues in Chicago, IL, seeking work. For many, their presence at this corner marks the end of a journey that began with coping with the poverty in their homeland, the minimum wage being less than $5 per day. If they were small farmers, their unsubsidized crops would have had to compete with the huge influx of imported, subsidized foodstuffs. Losing in that uneven competition resulted in bankruptcy and eviction from their land. On the other hand, if they worked in many of the factories in their homelands, it usually meant working in sweatshop conditions.
Every day people stand on the corner for over four hours seeking work.
The hope of securing a job that will help them provide for their families motivates them to stand at the corner despite the frigid weather. Unfortunately, the current recession has drastically decreased the number of available construction jobs. On one morning in December 2009, only three contractors stopped by looking for workers, while more than sixty were available. Many workers have not worked for two weeks or more. Should they be hired, the work is often very dangerous. On a wet fall day a worker slid off the roof of a two-story house. Being seriously injured, he was rushed to the hospital and now he is confronted with the hospital bills because his former employer denied he was injured on the job. His case is not unique. According to a recent study, one-third of day laborers suffer some type of work-related injury (Valenzuela et al. 12).
In response, a bilingual community organizer from the nonprofit agency, the Latino Union, works with the laborers on a one-on-one basis and helps them to organize to more effectively advocate for their rights. Using the consensual approach, the workers have agreed that the lowest wage they will accept is $12 per hour. The workers have also devised an organized job distribution system so that the workers collaborate rather than compete for work.
To address the wage theft issue, workers record the license plate numbers and gather other information such as name, address, and telephone number of their employer. The Latino Union A contractor stops and people eagerly seek to be employed. published a booklet in English, Spanish, and Polish about wage theft and has hosted meetings about what can be done to recover stolen wages. (continued on back page) 15
Clerics of St. Viator 1212 E. Euclid Avenue Arlington Heights, IL 60004-5799
NON-PROFIT US POSTAGE
Newsletter – Winter 2010
PERMIT NO. 7160 PALATINE P&DC, IL
Viator is published three times a year by the Office of Mission Advancement for the Clerics of St. Viator, Province of Chicago. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.viatorians.com Our purpose is to present the mission, ministries, news and needs of our community to those who are interested in and supportive of our works.
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
Provincial: Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV
Editor: Fr. Thomas E. Long, CSV
Editorial Board: Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Br. Michael T. Gosch, CSV Br. Donald P. Houde, CSV Fr. Thomas G. Kass, CSV Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV
Contributing Journalist: Eileen O’Grady Daday
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The Human Right to Work… continued from page 15 The corner is located within the boundaries of St. Viator parish, which is actively fostering a welcoming attitude for all. In the recent past, the parish has hosted a “Know Your Rights” seminar to help contradict the notion that immigrants are devoid of rights. Its pastor, Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, has accompanied some parishioners to deportation hearings. He related one incident where the husband had a decent paying job and was supporting his wife and children. Even though he was the only breadwinner, the court ordered him to be deported despite the fact that it would cause the family breakup. A parish group goes weekly to the Broadview Detention Center, where those ordered to be deported are detained. They join with other human rights activists in praying the rosary and peacefully demonstrating for a humane and just immigration reform. Fr. Bolser stated that he looks forward to enhancing the welcoming spirit of the parish and has formed an immigration committee to investigate specific ways to reach out to immigrants. He views it as one way to implement the Viatorian vision of working to ensure the respect of the dignity and rights of every human being, especially those who are mistakenly accounted of little importance by some within our society.
Day laborers state their case at a recent demonstration.
The police disperse those looking for work. Photos in this article by Jhonathan F. Gómez from the Latino Union of Chicago