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Volume 6, Number 3

Viatorians Adopt a Vision Statement for the New Millennium


The Clerics of St. Viator, Chicago Province, resolve to expand and deepen our prophetic role as a Religious Congregation by addressing the contemporary social issues. We reaffirm our Gospelinspired mission to be dedicated educators of faith and to raise up communities of believers who espouse the values of Jesus Christ in their life and work.


The Clerics of St. Viator acknowledge and respect the role of laymen and women in the Church by ministering with them as equal partners in the Church. Further, we acknowledge our need to expand beyond our traditional roles in innovative, unique and distinctive ways.



The Clerics of St. Viator, in the spirit of their founder, minister to and with young people in the Church and are committed to their faith development and active membership in their respective faith communities. The Clerics of St. Viator, living in a world of diversity embrace those who are “accounted of little importance” by some.

160 Years in America (cont.)

Clerics of St. Viator

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cators and advisors of the next group to undertake a mission in the United States in 1865. As to the other members of the St. Louis mission, McDonald resumed the administration of his own school, Shepherd remained at St. Louis as sacristan for the Cathedral, and Pavy joined the Vincentian community at Perrysville, Missouri. The Viatorian mission to St. Louis was short-lived (1842-1847), but were witnesses to the faith and sacrifice of the new community and their founder. ■

Quarterly Newsletter

school in the rectory, whose sleeping quarters became a classroom by day. Their students were the Frenchspeaking boys of Carondelet, a village whose poverty was legendary in the St. Louis area. Later the brothers would open a Cathedral boys’ school in St. Louis. Bishop Kenrick would ordain two of the brothers, Anthony Thibaudier and Francis LaHaye, priests. By 1847, with the promise of a novitiate property unrealized, the mission disbanded, Fr. Thibaudier and Fr. LaHaye departed for Canada to join the new Viatorian mission at Joliet. They would become the edu-

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fund-raising trip to Rome, where he would die on September 23, 1843. After their visit at Vourles, the brothers would not have seen him again. America was in the grip of a severe financial depression in 1842, Bishop Kenrick, Rosati’s successor, determined that he could neither purchase a school building, nor provide the novitiate farm property. The Viatorians spent the cold, damp Missouri winter with Fr. Fontbonne in his cabin rectory at Carondelet, where the Sisters of St. Joseph shared their food with them. Almost immediately, the brothers opened a

1212 E. Euclid St. Arlington Heights, IL 60004 847-398-1354

Chicago and Arlington Heights, IL NEED SOME PEACE? –Come pray with us!! The Viatorians are especially inviting teens and young adults to join the groups already existing in the Chicago and Kankakee areas. Viatorians gather regularly at 7:30 pm for an hour of meditation, prayer and singing music from Taize. Taize is an ecumenical monastery

in France founded after WWII. Monks there have developed a meditative style of praying with music that has become popular particularly among young adults who flock to Taize throughout the year. In March 1999, the Viatorian Vocation Office began sponsoring monthly Taize prayer services in the chapel at the Province Center at 1212 E. Euclid St. in Arlington Heights. Each second Wednesday, between 30-100 people regularly attend. In Fall of 2001, the Vocation Office began Taize prayer services in the Kankakee area, which rotate between Maternity BVM and St. Patrick’s, both Viatorian parishes. Viatorian Taize prayer services have become another way that we advance the work of Fr. Louis Querbes, our founder, who cared deeply about connecting young people with Christ. For information on Taize and on prayer services, see www. or Or call us here at 847-398-6805. ■

St. Louis Cathedral where Antoine Thibaudier (1844) and Tariase Lahaye (1846) became the first two Viatorian priests ordained in the U.S.

Lay Associate Program Day of Recollection Six Associates of the Clerics of St.Viator, Chicago Province; Kay Dowling, Mary Finks, Marilyn Mulcahy, John Ohlendorf, Donna and Tim Schwarz, together with five prospective Associates, met at the Province Center in Arlington Heights for an historic first, a Lay Associate Program Day of Recollection on Nov. 9, 2001. Br. Corey Brost, C.S.V. –Director of Associates, and Fr. Charles Bolser, C.S.V. – Provincial, who led the day’s activities, began at 10 am with a prayer service. The Lay Associate Program was the topic of the morning session in which Fr. Bolser explained the history of the program, the purposes of

Association, the charism of Fr. Querbes, our founder, and the bonds between Associate Members and the Congregation. The Provincial Council approved a Commission on Associate Membership in November. Marilyn Mulcahy was nominated as Chairperson of the Commission with Associates Kay Dowling and John Ohlendorf the Associate members and Fr. William Carpenter, C.S.V. and Br. Corey Brost, C.S.V. the professed members. The afternoon session included a presentation by Fr. Bolser on “Our Contemplative Life” and concluded with Eucharist.

A Viatorian Vision statement drafted by the Task Force on Comprehensive Development, and recommended by the Provincial Chapter was approved on October 22, 2001 by the Provicial Council

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In One Accord - Our Partners In Mission

Fall 2002

iator V T E A C H E R S



160 Years in America First Viatorians Arrive in the U.S. in 1842 By Fr. James Fanale, C.S.V.

It is a little known fact that six Viatorian Brothers, including two Americans, arrived in St. Louis, Missouri, on January 31, 1842. 160 years ago Fr. Louis Querbes, our founder, in response to the entreaties of Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis. The Canadian Viatorians, who arrived at Bourbonnais Grove, Illinois, in September 1865, were not the first sons of Fr. Querbes to labor in the United States as is widely believed. Rosati had been named the first bishop of the newly created diocese of St. Louis in 1827, and by 1840 he had enlisted five communities of religious women to instruct the girls of his diocese. But the situation for the boys was problematic. The Catholic boys of the city, most of them poor, their numbers growing yearly with the waves of German and Irish immigrants, had little opportunity for schooling. St. Louis had one Catholic grammar school for boys

run by Alexander McDonald in a single room over the downtown firehouse. He and a former student, William Shepherd, wanted to form a community of teaching brothers for St. Louis. Bishop Rosati turned for advice to Fr. James Fontbonne, a priest from Lyons, France, who had accompanied the French Sisters of St. Joseph to Carondelet, Missouri. The Sisters had opened a girl’s school in Carondelet. In November 1838, Fr. Fontbonne wrote to the Vicar General of Lyons, Fr. Jean Cholleton, with Bishop Rosati’s request. Explaining that the human resources of the Marists were stretched thin, Fr. Cholleton suggested another community of brothers, the Viatorians, whose founder, Fr. Querbes, was well known to him. This community had just received the approval of Pope Gregory XVI, with Fr. Cholleton himself as an influential patron. Bishop

Rosati happily accepted the suggestion. For his part, Fr. Querbes, despite the numerous requests already received for his brothers, committed the new congregation to the work of a foreign mission with characteristic zeal and absolute trust in the providence of God. Rosati suggested to Querbes, a novel arrangement. He would send his two American candidates; McDonald and Shepherd, to the motherhouse at Vourles, France, where they would share in the first fervor of the community, making their novitiate, learning French, and teaching English to the brothers destined for the American mission. The Americans arrived at Vourles on June 21, 1939. Shortly after, McDonald would write his Bishop: “We all live happily here. I have been much edified to witness their ready obedience to their director, and the love and charity they have towards one another, and towards

all men. If you can get these brothers established in the diocese of St. Louis, it will be the crowning of all your zeal.” Bishop Rosati visited Fr. Querbes and the brothers and Vourles on August 3, 1840, when final plans were laid for the mission. A building for a school was to be purchased in St. Louis; a farmhouse and sixty acres of property owned by the diocese in southwestern Illinois (Praire du Long township), about thirty miles south of St. Louis, would be given to the brothers for their novitiate. The priest-director of the mission would be Fr. Fontbonne, who had planned to join the Viatorians. On October 22, 1841, the six brothers set out from Vourles for America. With the two Americans, were Brothers Thibaudier, LaHaye, Pavy, and Lignon. They reached St. Louis on January 31, 1842, but Bishop Rosati was not there to greet them. He was at his mission in Haiti, en route to a Continued on Page 5


From The Provincial’s Perspective Happy New Year!! January in Arlington Heights, Illinois;

Reverend Charles G. Bolser, C.S.V. Provincial

normally gray days with a lot of snow on the ground and very cold. Today, as I look out my window to the world, the sun is shining, the temperature is in the 30’s and the ground

Leo V. Ryan, C.S.V. Director of Communication Editor VIATOR is published quarterly by the Clerics of St. Viator, the Viatorians, for friends, families, parishioners and alumni of Viatorian apostolates. The Clerics of St. Viator are religious priests and brothers sent by the Catholic Church to teach the Faith and proclaim Jesus Christ as Gospel. In parishes, schools, and a variety of other ministries Viatorians work with Christian communities to live, deepen and celebrate their faith. Our legal title is: Clerics of St. Viator. An Illinois Corporation

is a mixture of green and brown. It seems to me that we tend to expect a certain “norm” throughout our lives. The

Las Vegas Area Viatorians in the News Henderson, Nevada – November 4, 2001: Newly installed Las Vegas Bishop Joseph Pepe chose St. Thomas More Catholic Community for his first pastoral visit to Green Valley. He formally installed Fr. Patrick Render, C.S.V., former Provincial (1984-1992), as pastor. The Bishop also presided at STM Life Teen mass that night.

phrase “we have always done it that way”, speaks volumes about our desire for

Las Vegas Cathedral – Fr. John Linnan, C.S.V., pastor of Maternity BVM parish in Bourbonnais, Illinois, preached at the Guardian Angle Cathedral Advent Mission, December 8-12, 2001. Br. John J. Dodd, C.S.V., has been reappointed by Bishop Joseph Pepe as Financial Officer of the Diocese of Las Vegas.

St. Viator Parish – Of nearly 5,000, the St.Viator Drama Ministry presented an original production. “The Birth of Halloween”, which dramatized the Catholic connection with Halloween, now America’s second most favorite holiday.


life seeks the calm. However, we know that life is not static or unchanging. Life is full of mystery and surprises. As we study history, we find that disruption, death, and change is integral to life. The Gospel calls us to a full understanding that as the world around us is in constant growth, upheaval, and renewal, so too is life. Birth and death are not simply one-time events in the life of an individual or a nation; they are constants. The only constant is change. Change and anxiety are part of the process of God’s creative process of life becoming aware of itself. Jesus reminds us that throughout this dynamic process of life, God is with us. Emmanuel – God is with us. The Incarnation of God into the world through human flesh is the story of God’s love and passion. Jesus invites us to enter into this mystery with faith and confidence in God’s loving presence. Jesus invites us to enter into the fullness of the mystery and wonder of life and all that life brings- to become fully human.

Dec. 1, 2001 His Eminence, Pedro Rubiano Saenz, Cardinal Archbishop of Bogotá, ordained Fr. Felipe Montes, a Viatorian priest. Fr. Montes celebrated his First Mass at the parish Christo Rey, assisted by Fr. Thomas von Behren, C.S.V. (left), Assistant Provincial of the Chicago Province and Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, C.S.V. (right), President, Colegio San Viator, Bogotá.

Oct. 2, 2001 The Superior General, Mark Francis, C.S.V. in the presence of C.S.V. Provincials of Canada, France, and the U.S., Regional Superiors from Central and South America and more than 1,000 students and parents dedicated the new Fr. John Cusack, C.S.V. Gymnasium, Colegio Van Viator, Bogotá. Fr. Cusack pioneer Chicago Mission Procurator, co-founded the Colombian mission.

filled with an awareness of the wonder and mystery of God in all that you experience, recognizing that we are truly God’s beloved creation as well as well as recognizing that this creation is ongoing and working through us. In this we begin to recognize that we are indeed blessed. Happy St. Viator's Day! Sincerely in Viator,

Charles G. Bolser, C.S.V. Provincial

R.I.P. (Remember in Prayer R.I.P. (REMEMBER IN PRAYER) Fr. Roger Drolet, C.S.V., founder of the Viatorian Oriental Missions in Szupingki, Manchuria (1933) and after WWII in Japan (1948) and in Taiwan (1952). Fr. Drolet was 98 and served 65 years in the Orient. He died in Taiwan, Aug. 16, 2001. A Viatorian for 77 years, he was a priest for 68 years. Harley E. Harmon, Sr., Las Vegas Catholic leader and Viatorian bene-

factor who was instrumental in securing the land on which St. Viator Church and school were built in Las Vegas. He died in Las Vegas Sept. 24, 2001. Fr. Robert H. Carey, C.S.V., former pastor, Maternity BVM, Bourbonnais, Illinois. Teacher and pastoral minister assisting at Guardian Angel Cathedral at the time of his death in Las Vegas, Oct. 2, 2001. A Viatorian 52 years, he was

a priest for 43 years. Mrs. Catherine E. Bolser, mother of Provincial, Fr. Charles Bolser, C.S.V. and Fr. Robert T. Bolser, C.S.V., St. Thomas More Associate Pastor. She was also mother of sons Joseph, John, Stephen and daughters Judith Ann, Sister Mary Katerine O.P. and Colleen. She died in Champaign, Illinois on Dec. 11, 2001. ■

Patty Wischnowski and Judy Glancy organized another Belize Medical Mission: which was a great experience and success for those from Maternity BVM, Bourbonnais, IL, who went to Corozon City. Fourteen went on the mission for ten days beginning October 29th. They worked in existing clinics in outlying villages of the parish of St. Francis Xavier. Beginning on the Wednesday, the 30th, the Xaipa Community Center saw crowds numbering 143, half of which were children. San Joaquin Community Center served 173 people. Thursday morning they were in Libertad, Maternity’s sister parish, and 165 were seen, 42 by Dr. Tapendu Basu himself. Friday morning in Corozol Hospital Clinic, 72 total were seen. After the weekend, off to Chunox where 159 were administered drugs, toothbrushes and given examinations. Tuesday they traveled by bus, ferry and boat to reach San Narcisus. 188 visits were recorded for the day. They actually had to turn people away to make the last ferry. Wednesday they set up clinic and saw 179 in the San Andreas Community. Parishioners helped as interpreters, drivers, made meals and the hospitality was warm and enthusiastic. For all who supported this group with love, prayers ... and financially, WE THANK YOU!!!

60 Years of Religious Life Rev. Michael J. O’Brien January 25 Rev. Thomas G. O’Brien August 15

50 Years of Religious Life Br. Donald P. Houde Rev. Daniel J. Mirabelli February 2 Rev. Robert C. Foster Rev. John E. Linnan Rev. James E. Michaletz Rev. John W. Milton


My wish for all of you is a life with great and wonderful adventures – a life

Viatorian 2002 Jubilarians 65 Years of Religious Life Rev. Francis P. White September 8

stability and constancy. The Stock Market thrives on stability and quakes when there is a disruption to the supposed normal way of operation. Our emotional

ns In The W a i r o or t a i


My Brothers and Sisters in St. Viator,





Ivory Coast


Dec. 8, 2001 Brother Edgar Suarez, C.S.V. pronounced final vows as a Viatorian at a community ceremony before family and friends in Bogotá. Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, C.S.V., delegate of the Superior General, Mark Francis, C.S.V. received the vows. The explosion of African vocations has resulted in an intercommunity mission support program for Viatorian houses of formation in the Ivory Coast of Africa. The Chicago Province pledged $25,000 annually for four years to help to underwrite the training of African Viatorians. The Sisters of the Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrated the 75th anniversary of their founding on Dec. 27, 2001. The Sisters have shared the U.S. Viatorian ministry over 45 years. Viatorians, Brothers Dale Barth and Pat Drohan, Fr. Robert Bolser, Fr. Thomas McCarthy, and Fr. John N. Peeters, accompanied the Provincial, Fr. Charles Bolser to Mexico City to represent the Chicago Province for a celebration.

Rev. Thomas J. Pisors September 8

50 Years of Priesthood Rev. Patrick J. Durkin Rev. Hugh W. Robbins May 18 Rev. Thomas P. McCarthy October 1

25 Years of Priesthood Rev. Thomas G. Kass January 8 Rev. William L. Carpenter April 30


2002 Spring newsletter