Quarterly Newsletter of the Clerics of St. Viator • Volume 9, Number 4
Viatorian Tradition Around the World Viatorian missionaries face the daily misery of extreme poverty, violence and injustice Viatorian missions throughout the world today are devoted to educating or re-educating people in faith. Today issues of peace, justice, poverty, violence, war, oppression, politics, and human rights, are the important concepts the Viatorians deal with, especially in other nations. We can see the positive impact the Viatorians are having on these nations, in that, the largest numbers of vocations to our community are coming from the poor developing nations in which we serve. Those young men will be replacing the American, Canadian, French and Spanish Viatorians who taught and fought for them. Not long ago the Viatorian mission in Ivory Coast flourished. Viatorians from that mission were so successful that they created a foundation in the nearby country of Burkina Faso. Then the economy changed dramatically in Ivory Coast when cocoa and coffee markets collapsed. Political tensions arose and civil unrest forced community members to leave our houses and schools. Viatorian superior general, Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, characterizes some aspects of the conflict as rooted in old tribal differences. The religious and novices had to leave the country for a time. While our schools in Bouake, Abidjan, and Ferkessedougou have reopened and there is a semblance of order in the country, the U.S. State Department still has a travelers advisory warning tourists of the daily dangers. Viatorians in Chile sent missionaries to Bolivia where poor people need pastoral care and education. As in almost every missionary endeavor, the country’s economy is a major factor. Like most of the Third World countries, Bolivia has a highly dependent economy. In the 20th Century, Bolivia’s primary products have been tin, coca, and lithium. The poor farmers and miners who produced the products were left to fend for themselves when the large companies that control the resources looked elsewhere. The native population became victims of
multinational economics. Currently, Bolivia’s large reserves of natural gas hold the fate of the people in a state of unrest. The lack of balance of resources continues to spawn misery and poverty. While Bolivia struggles with economic and agricultural issues, daily newscasts remind us of the problems of drug traffic in Colombia. With all of the social justice issues in the country over the years, there have been several offshoots of the Colombian mission to answer the call of the needy. Currently, Libano is a place where Viatorians are serving the poor in many ways including St. Anthony Claret School, St. Vincent DePaul Parish, and the Viatorian Center. Viatorian, Fr. Pedro Herrera, who has lost two cars to highjackers, says the people are becoming incapable of paying the few pesos we have to charge for tuition. The Santa Rosa Barrio is continued on page 6
Along with your prayers, your financial assistance is greatly needed by the Viatorians to continue our ministries in the United States as well as overseas. If you would like to assist us financially in our ministries, gifts may be sent to: Viatorian Development Office 1212 East Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights, IL 60004 847-398-6805 You may designate where your gifts will be used, or you can trust us to distribute the funds where they are needed most at a particular time.
Association News – October 2004 We are pleased to announce there are now 29 Associates in the Chicago Province. . .
Las Vegas Area:
As a non-profit and taxexempt 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
Medical Mission The sixth annual medical mission will be leaving for the Corozal District in Belize on February 3, 2005. This year, the Viatorian team will be working together with a group from Cincinnati who has scheduled their medical mission at the same time. The goal this year is to establish clinics in three villages each day. If you would like to assist us financially in this ministry, gifts may be sent to:
Viatorian Development Office 1212 East Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights, IL 60004 847-398-6805
On October 21, 2004 – the Feast of St. Viator – in the chapel of St. Viator Parish - ten Las Vegas area men and women were welcomed as Associates. Provincial Superior Charles Bolser, CSV presided at the evening prayer service. Fr. Tom Langenfeld, CSV assisted. This celebration marked the reception of the first Associates in the West. During the prayer, deceased Associates Mary Jane Bucher (Kankakee region) and Kay Dowling (Chicago region) were remembered.
Associates continue to live out the mission . . . As previously reported, the very successful summer assembly was held in July in the Chicago area on the topic of association. The Commission on Association (members include Fr. Bill Carpenter, CSV; Fr. Tom Langenfeld, CSV; Marilyn Mulcahy; John Ohlendorf; Donna Schwarz; Tim Schwarz and Fr. Tom von Behren, CSV) met in September to evaluate the assembly experience and make recommendations to the Viatorian Provincial Chapter. The commission offered three recommendations. First, it is proposed that the Chicago Province establish a part-time, salaried position of Coordinator of Association. This person will be responsible for formation of associate members and the administration the budget for this office. Secondly, it was proposed that the length of commitment of associates be changed. After an initial two-year commitment, an associate would be able make a three-year renewal of that commitment. Subsequent commitment renewals would be for periods of five years. Thirdly, the commission proposed that all the vowed religious and associates, from the Midwest and Las Vegas areas, gather together each year for the Annual Assembly. The Commission is confident that the summer assembly did much to revitalize and reenergize Association in the Chicago Province. Excellent discussion took place, helping promote a broader understanding of Association for all the participants.
In the Footsteps of Our Founder Parochial Vicar at St. Nizier, Lyons The founder of the Clerics of St. Viator, Louis Marie Querbes (pronounced “curbs”), was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Lyons, France on December 17, 1816. His first assignment was as parochial vicar to his home parish, St. Nizier. St. Nizier was where he attended “The Clerical School” one of the first opened after the French Revolution (1789-1799), and the parish from which he entered the diocesan seminary, St. Irenaeus. St. Nizier, which became a parish in the 12th century, was named after an early bishop of Lyons. The area immediately surrounding this parish has been identified with religious history of Lyons from the time of the first local martyrs in 177 AD to the present. Construction of the present church began in the 14th century and continued until the present façade was finished in 1857, only two years before Fr. Querbes death on September 1, 1859. On February 13, 1817, Father Querbes reported to St. Nizier, one of the largest parishes in Lyons with 25,000 members, mostly practicing Catholics. Already steeped in the history of St. Nizier, he immediately became immersed in the activities of the parish. His appointment specified that, in addition to parish sacramental and spiritual duties, he was to be director of “The Clerical School.” Here, Fr. Querbes immediately demonstrated his talents as an educator. Every experience at St. Nizier became a preparation for his future ministries as pastor and as founder of the Clerics of St. Viator. Living with nine other priests, he experienced fraternal community, which was later to
be a hallmark of his religious community. He organized youth groups for catechism and First Communion. This experience showed him the urgency of youth ministry. He realized that priests could not accomplish this ministry alone. He recognized the need for laymen to assist in teaching Christian doctrine. Fr. Querbes participated in the devotional renewal of his times. He established the Confraternity of The Blessed Sacrament. One of his favorite prayers was “Praised, adored and loved be Jesus in Heaven and in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.” He established the Confraternity of The Sacred Heart and organized Friday devotions. Fr. Querbes promoted May devotions to Mary, the Mother of God, at St. Nizier. His scripture-based sermons were noted for their practical application to the lives of his listeners. He was a popular homilist for prayer groups, pious societies, and retreats and was often invited to conduct parish missions. He taught apologetics on Sundays, alternating weeks between men and women. Fr. Querbes became recognized as a committed teacher of Christian doctrine. St. Nizier was a vibrant center of lay movements. Fr. Querbes knew parishioners Pauline Jericot, founder of the Propogation of the Faith and Frederich Ozanam, founder of The St. Vincent DePaul Society. Here Fr. Querbes first witnessed the power and potential for lay Church leadership. He conceived the idea of organizing lay associates to teach in the schools of rural France. Later circumstances transformed his idea of a lay association into a religious congregation. Today, both Clerics of St. Viator and Viatorian Associates exist worldwide exercising their ministries in the spirit of Fr. Querbes. After six years at St. Nizier, Fr. Querbes was transferred to Vourles, a village eight miles south of Lyons and installed as pastor on November 1, 1822. Leo V. Ryan, CSV
Comprehensive Development Council meets to advise the CSV’s t the Province Center on September 20, members of the Comprehensive Development Council met again with Father Charles Bolser, CSV, provincial, and other members of the Viatorian community and development staff.
The Comprehensive Development Council is planning to play an important role in assisting the provincial and development staff to establish a new program that will help fund special outreach activities. In particular, organizing a well-planned fundraising program which would give the friends of the Viatorians concrete and varied ways to partner with us, the Viatorians, and support our different ministries both here in the United States and in our foreign missionary foundations. Over the next few months, Viatorians will begin a major gift campaign inviting individuals to become members of the Louis Querbes Society. This society has been established to request substantial gifts as financial resources to better serve the people of God. Several ways of giving are anticipated: gifts of cash or stock; gifts from annuities, wills, trusts and estates; and gifts from credit cards.
I Want to be More. I Want to
Each of us is called to respond to God in some special way. What is God asking of you? • Are you active and a fully initiated member of the Roman Catholic Church? • Do you exhibit enthusiasm, a sense of purpose and a positive life direction? • Are you a person of integrity that has an awareness of God in your life?
We are looking for men who are college educated, normally between the ages of 20 and 40. If you have leadership abilities– can invite and enable others to use their gifts, and can be collaborative with women and men of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, we invite you to contact our Vocation Ministry Program.
The Viatorians are also organizing an annual giving appeal that will support the many ministries as they work with Christian communities to live, deepen and celebrate their faith. The Louis Querbes Society Campaign and the Viatorian Annual Giving Appeal will offer many of us opportunities to share what we have with others who have less.
Vocation Ministry 1212 East Euclid Street Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Re-founding the Viatorian Community The Viatorians have existed for nearly 175 years. Why do they need to be re-founded? At the annual Province Assembly last summer, Superior Fr. Mark Francis, CSV General, Fr. Mark Francis, CSV talked about how the post Vatican II church and our experienced reality has been changing the meaning of being Viatorian. The greatest change that has affected and is affecting Viatorian life today is in ASSOCIATION. The worldwide membership of Viatorian Associates is now over 200. Associates are lay men and women single or married who share in Viatorian mission, spiritual life and community life. Our Founder’s original idea has come about. Fr. Querbes was pastor of a large parish that had been strongly influenced by the anticlericalism of the French Revolution. The need for education and religious instruction had been neglected, and he could not do everything alone. Gradually, he was getting help by training
teachers and men who would help him with the liturgy and other pastoral duties. He wanted two categories of membership: brothers who took vows, and laymen who might be married, but who were legitimate members of the community living the mission for the common good. The community was being founded. The Archbishop of Lyon gave his approval of the Association of the Parochial Catechists of St. Viator in 1831. Within two years, the statues had to be altered to distinguish between two types of membership: laymen and brothers. When Fr. Querbes sought Papal approval of his group in 1838, his advisors said that Rome would not give its blessing on the lay component of his otherwise traditional religious community. Pope Gregory XVI approved the community, without the laymen. In 1841 Father Querbes re-presented his idea to Cardinal Bonald. As far as we know, there was no response. However, the original idea did not go away. Decades later, lay men and women are interested in a new Church.
At the international legislative meeting of the community held in Rome in 1978, delegates agreed that our Viatorian identity as conceived by Father Querbes consists of lay people and religious sharing vocation. Fr. Francis noted that 16 years later, the 1994 General Chapter meeting presented a set of “convictions” regarding this re-discovered aspect of Viatorian life: 1. The restoration of lay association as part of the Viatorian community is a retrieval of a lost part of our founding charism; a grace from God to Fr. Querbes and to the whole Community. As such, Associates should be welcomed by Viatorian religious with joy. 2. The restoration demands a “refoundation” of the Viatorian Community, now composed of both consecrated religious, who live the three vows, and Associates who fully retain their status as lay people, but who, nevertheless are an integral part of the community. Continued on page 8
A new high school in the works earning to be adaptable, flexible and have a good sense of humor is the common bond for the first faculty at St. Martin de Porres, a new Cristo Rey Network high school located in Waukegan, Ill. In addition to the traditional role as an educator, Br. Michael Gosch, CSV and Br. James Lewnard, CSV are two of seven teachers who are learning that the ability to wear several hats is a method for survival.
Although the curriculum resembles one of a traditional school, teachers are still in the process of fine-tuning classes. Scheduling becomes a balancing act. Br. Lewnard teaches history to sophomores. “I have the students on Monday. The sophomores work on Tuesdays and are not in class.” he says. “How do you plan a test for Wednesday? You can’t. I don’t want to overburden these students.”
St. Martin opened August 23 on the second floor of a downtown Waukegan office building with 24 sophomores and 76 freshmen. It provides college preparatory education to young people from lowincome families who could normally not afford such an opportunity. The work-study model, developed in 1996 by the Jesuits, partners high school students with corporations who provide jobs. These corporations then underwrite the cost of education for these students. Students pay $2,500 toward tuition and in turn work five days a month at the corporations. Other grant money comes from the five endorsing religious communities, including the Clerics of St. Viator, along with the B.J. Cassin Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“As a teacher, you are always adjusting to one quarter of the student body [to be] gone for any given day,” comments Br. Gosch who teaches English. “Sometimes it is difficult to maintain the continuity of the classroom. With students coming into the school on all academic levels, we have to adapt. These kids are bright and intelligent, but there is a grading scale. Some can write, others cannot. With 20 to 24 students in a class and all these variables, teaching becomes a challenge.”
Both teachers are sensitive to the needs of the diverse student population and the expectations of the community. Right now, there are two faculty members and one staff member from the Waukegan area. “We still have to prove ourselves to the students and the community.
Jessica Borjon, sophomore, works on a project after classes. Students must be thinking ‘Who are these outsiders? Do we trust this guy?’ We’re aware of the differences and are wondering how the students perceive us. I’m very sensitive to that,” says Br. Gosch. “I try really hard to select short stories that are relevant to diversity issues.” Because the faculty wears many hats, Br. Gosch gets a chance to talk to his students when he drives them to or from work in between his teaching schedule, which gives him a chance to get to know the students on a personal level. Br. Lewnard is the Dean of Students and works on the liturgy with the students. Starting high school is always a time of adjustment for most students, add the stress of starting a new job and it might be overwhelming for many teens. The students had two weeks of Continued on page 8
Meet Our Novices Last July, Brother John Eustice and Brother Moises Mesh began their one year novitiate at St. Patrick Church in Kankakee, Illinois. The novitiate introduces the novices into deeper experiences of prayer and community living with theological studies preparing them for vowed life. The following interview gives our readers an opportunity
Fr. Dan Nolan, CSV to become acquainted with our novices. Vocation Director
Tell us about yourself. Brother John: I am 26 years old and was born in La Salle, Ill. Along with my parents, I have a brother and a sister both older than I. When I was 12, we moved to Henderson, Nev., and joined St. Thomas More Parish (a Viatorian ministry). After graduating from high school, I attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where I earned a degree in education in 2001. My hobbies and interests include backpacking through the mountains and traveling to places I have never seen. I have a great love for the outdoors. This love came from monthly Boy Scout camping experiences where I worked to eventually receive the rank of Eagle Scout. I take every opportunity to travel. Last spring, I went on a two and a half month long backpacking trek through Europe. Throughout college, I worked in a furniture store as a handy man and volunteered as an assistant scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts. I also volunteered at St. Thomas More ministering in the Life Teen program. Before starting the novitiate, I worked for one year as a campus minister at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, Ill. and then worked for another year as the youth minister at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Corozal, Belize. I really got to know the Viatorians when I was in Chicago with a friend who was helping the Viatorians run summer retreats for youth. After spending three unexpected days with the Viatorians because our car broke down, I started considering religious life for the first time. I am convinced that God really does work in mysterious ways. I love to work with young people, and I noticed that this commitment to young people was what many Viatorians were also focused on. I also love the unique sense of humor that many Viatorians have. Before long, I came to the conclusion that I would fit in well with what they were already doing. As I journeyed deeper in my prayer life, I discovered I wanted to learn more about this community and their way of living the Gospel. Spiritual direction and the support of my family and friends helped me make this decision. Brother Moises: I am 36 years old and was born in a small village, Chunox, which is part of the Corozal District in Belize, Central America. Most of my adult life has been spent in education. I received my certification to be a teacher and an administrator at the Belize Teacher’s College. I enjoy spending my free time preparing for classroom projects using various arts and crafts; I particularly enjoy drawing and painting. I have also been involved in many different work experiences and ministries. Along with being a teacher, I have also been a nurses’ aid, counselor and a youth minister. Teaching and working with children though is really my first love. I taught for several years in a Catholic school in Cooperbank which is also in the Corozal District. Because I lived in a different village, I would canoe across a lake to and from school each day. After completing my school administration training, I became principal of the fast growing Catholic school in my hometown. With the financial assistance from the government and many corporations, I worked alongside the villagers as
we literally built the school. This is where I first came in contact with the Viatorians. I found the Viatorian charism of teaching and working with children very attractive. I think my call to Viatorian religious life came through my contact with these dedicated men along with my experiences of teaching, counseling and nursing. I believe God used the people I was working with to call me to think about becomNew Novices Brothers John ing a Viatorian. I found spending time Eustice (left) and Moises Mesh praying and talking to the religious people around me very helpful in discerning the call to vowed life.
What is your life like in the novitiate? Brother John: Life in the novitiate has been a great experience so far. I have the time to concentrate on my spirituality in many new ways. I am also learning about religious life and the history of the Viatorians. Although I am involved in some activities around the parish like youth group and teaching junior high religious education, this year of not being in ministry full time gives me the opportunity to look at the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in very concrete ways. I am learning how the vows can become a real blessing in my life. This preparation time before professing vows is helping me to see that these three vows are ways that will compliment and enhance my personal relationship with God. The part of the novitiate I like best is the time away from the “normal” world. I now have more uninterrupted time for reflection and personal prayer. However, being away from the “normal” world can also be very challenging. I am trying to let go of the tendency of being a person who always helps others at any given time. Brother Moises: My life so far in the novitiate has been a wonderful experience. It has allowed me to take the time to continue to develop a closer relationship with God. It will be through this deeper relationship with God that I will be able to structure my life to follow Him more closely. Each day includes Mass, morning and evening prayer with the rest of the Viatorians in the parish, ministry experiences, and conferences on religious life, scripture and theology. Time is also set aside for private prayer, reading, recreation and free time. What do I like the best? I really like the peacefulness of the novitiate. I find that I have more time for prayer, spiritual reading, discernment and the time I need to grow and mature in my vocation. There are also opportunities to be involved in some ministry here at the parish such as teaching the Spanish speaking First Communion class and working with the teens of the parish. The greatest challenge though is being so far away from my sick parents who live in Belize and, for the time being, not really being part of the “outside” world.
What is your greatest hope when you think about your future as a Viatorian? Brother John: My greatest hope when I think of my future is that I will be happy in whatever ministry I am involved. I am not a guru or anything, but it is also my hope that through my life, others will be drawn to know God more deeply in their own lives. Brother Moises: My greatest hope is to be able to go back to Belize and work in one of our schools as a teacher. There is such a great need there. As Brothers John and Moises continue their novitiate experience, let us keep them and other young people who are discerning religious life in our prayers.
Viatorian Tradition Around the World (Continued from page 1) an invasion barrio consisting of 32 families who were driven off their farms by the violence of civil war or by a coffee worm that had destroyed their crops. Guerrilla rebels or terrorists exploit the poor. The only hope was for these families to migrate to Libano for survival. Libano itself is extremely poor. Viatorian, Fr. Brian Cooper has to be inventive to help the poor, including breadmaking in order to help the Santa Rosa people find a bit of income. The need for schools and the struggle for human rights brought Viatorians from Spain to Honduras. The first four Viatorians to go to this Latin American country had not been in residence long when Hurricane Mitch hit the country. That devastation deterred them from their goal for a while. People fight to live decently and enjoy liberty where murder, in most cases, remains unpunished. To no one’s surprise, an economy dominated by multinational businesses subjugates the poor. Viatorians are present today in several locations in Peru, including the Amazon River basin. While there are some signs of development in the country, poverty will not disappear. Among the issues of concern is the fact that Peru is the second largest producer of narcotics in the world. Wherever there are narcotics, there are the consequences of underworld operations that exploit the poor. In Belize, Fr. Chris Glancy, CSV, Fr. John Peeters, CSV, and Br. Jason Nesbit, CSV, have an endless task of ministering to the needs of a parish that has 23 outlying missions and 19 schools. There are nearly 5,000 poor students in those schools. Homes with dirt floors are common in little villages that look to our St. Francis Xavier parish for pastoral leadership. While we enjoy the comforts of the “First World” many very knowledgeable and widely traveled people would say that the Viatorians working in Haiti are serving the poorest and most needy of the entire world. There are 16 Haitian Viatorians. Four more will go to the new novitiate in Chile in January 2005. Haiti is another country on the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory list. The daily wage is less that $2.00 per day. Some call the Haitian dollar an imaginary currency. Unemployment is pervasive. Suffering and poverty are unbelievable. Last September, the stories of havoc caused by the hurricanes told us of misery that is more unimaginable. Starvation, death, illness took a huge toll. How will we ever meet all the needs?
Inauguration of Chunox St. Viator H.S. On Saturday, September 11 over 300 people gathered at the campus for the inauguration ceremony of Chunox St. Viator High School. Among those present were: Prime Minister Said Musa, Bishop Dorick Wright, Father Mark Francis, CSV, the Superior General of the Viatorians, area representatives and local Viatorians. After the National Anthem, led by the students, and a prayer, Father Chris Glancy, CSV reviewed the development of the school, from a dream of the local community, to a reality. He also thanked the government of Great Britain who invested $100,000 in the present building. The Government of Belize invested $160,000 toward 70 percent of the teachers salaries and the salaries of night watchmen; $63,000 towards the next two classrooms; the installation of electricity, drilling a well, and use of construction equipment from the Ministry of Works. The Roman Catholic Mission and its benefactors also contributed over $160,000 towards the new school this year, plus a bus, five new computers, two printers, a scanner, a digital camera, a photocopier, FAX, student desks, teachers’ desks, tables, book shelves, the installation of a cellular phone, books for the library, textbooks to rent to the students, salaries for two religious sisters to teach Spanish and religion, tools for agriculture, as well as funds for other expenses of the school. Government Representative Florencio Marin talked about the development in this area during his tenure as teacher in Copperbank in the early 1960s. Much progress has been realized, with the advance in the area of education. Father Francis presented the school with a framed image of St. Viator, a gift from the Viatorians, and prayed that St. Viator would be a model of the desire to grow in knowledge of the Word of God and to put that Word into practice in our lives.
Update from Libano: Barrio Building Project
The Chapel at the Province Center underwent a major face-lift this fall in order to better accommodate both the Viatorian members as well as the Arlington Heights community. While a multiuse ramp will better enable overall access, the dark-blue shag rug and multicolored walls were replaced with more modest decorating selections making this worship space much easier on the eyes. Community members are quick to adopt this new, more open look after so long.
The bulldozers, on loan from the Mayor of Libano, are up and running after a series of set backs. The ground has now been leveled and is ready for the water and sewer lines. 30 families work together to move dirt and level the ground for the buildings. Work schedules are being made so that all are contributing. Members of the 30 families need to do all of the manual labor to contribute to the building of their homes. The building location has a beautiful view, in contrast to the current location of the barrio, which is located in a dangerous ravine that is susceptible to mudslides. Many families are waiting for cement floors, running water, sewage pipes and a roof that does not leak. The Rotary Club provided the land and the architectural plans. Their building committee has met with the various service companies, as well as with the community, regarding the plans.
Viatorian teens on the move again … Thirty teens and their youth ministers from St. Viator Parish, (Las Vegas, Nev.), St. Patrick Parish, (Kankakee, Ill.) and Maternity B.V.M. Parish, (Bourbonnais, Ill.) once again boarded a bus and ventured to St. Meinrad Arch Abbey in Indiana to participate in the annual One Bread, One Cup Youth Liturgy Training Conference. The purpose of this worthwhile conference is aimed to nurture our youth’s faith and draw them to a fuller involvement and engagement into the liturgical life of the Church. It also hoped to raise the possibility of a life of ministry for teens as either an ordained minister, vowed religious or lay minister. As these Viatorian teens gathered with other teens from around the country, they had the opportunity to grow in their knowledge of Catholic theology through an understanding of the Church’s liturgical tradition. Emphasis is placed on the practice of personal reflection and prayer plus the opportunity to learn skills as leaders and models in the liturgy and outside the liturgy. The expenses for this excellent conference were provided for by a grant from the Viatorian Chicago Province, funds from the participating parishes and monies raised by the teens themselves.
Summer Mission. Hearts of Hope 3 Some 52 teens participated in the St. Patrick’s Summer Mission and all say it was a great success! Projects undertaken were painting the exterior of two homes … painting a shed … cutting trees and hauling firewood … removing debris from an elderly woman’s property … yard work, landscaping and upkeep of church grounds … painting the church’s bell tower … repairing a chicken coop … constructing a chicken coop … yard work for several elderly parishioners … washing windows and cleaning gutters of several homes … constructing a wooden arch mural in the prayer garden. This prayer garden has been the teens’ pet project for five years! Many thanks to the adult supervisors who came out to lend a hand! An added bonus was the presence and participation of our two new novices, Br. John Eustice, CSV, and Br. Moises Mesh, CSV.
From the Provincial (continued from page 1) life to all is found in the pain and death suffered by all of humanity, but with the promise of new life found in the resurrection.
finally, in this initiating research we can begin to address the needs of so many in need of psychological and spiritual healing.
Perhaps the real tragedy of the sexual abuse crisis is that the focus is placed on priests and the Catholic Church, instead of sexual abuse and those abused. Anyone, no matter what they do in life, who sexually or physically abuses others, is guilty of a crime and sinful actions. We live at a junction where we as a community, while admitting our own guilt, can accept responsibility and leadership to address sexual abuse within the fabric of human life. It is time to begin to identify the causes and avenues that we can pursue to prevent sexual abuse in the present moment as well as in the future. I know that much can be done to raise the consciousness of our society as to the magnitude of sexual abuse in our own communities and in the world. I also know that in raising consciousness, we can begin to address methods of prevention. And
While I recognize that the Church is not a “democracy”, there is a place for democratic values and activities. We are called today to determine the underlying causes of sexual abuse in our culture and our Church. We are then called to find ways to allow that healing presence of Christ to positively influence the people most in need of being listened to and responded to with compassion and love. Honest recognition of this insidious reality, identification of the causes, and finding remedies, will begin our process of regaining credibility in proclaiming of the Gospel. We are called to actively participate in the ongoing creation of life and to see suffering humanity through the eyes of Jesus. We are commanded to love all of humanity, one person at a time.
After the scandal,Viatorians respond with care startling reality for the Church in this new century is facing the horrible fact that people who are priests and members of religious congregations have sexually abused minors. The revelations made headlines almost daily for a year and have brought forth good efforts to heal the wounds of victims. The bishops of the United States created a National Review Board to set norms and procedures that guide dioceses in the proper response to allegations of misconduct. Along with the bishops, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, a coalition of all the religious orders, has developed careful guidelines for screening new candidates, including intense psychological testing. For more than 12 years, the conference, of which Viatorians are members, has encouraged and helped its constituents to review and continually update policies for professional conduct and to follow local, state and federal laws when dealing with abuse issues.
congregation to assure compliance with national standards both at the level of policy and practice. In 2002, members of Region 5 of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men began discussing ways to compassionately respond together to the victims/survivors of sexual abuse by their religious. From their discussions, they created Pathways to Hope. The office, a not-forprofit agency, officially opened April 2004 to begin outreach to victims/ survivors of sexual misconduct by their religious community members. This resource organization is serving 16 religious orders in the Midwest. Pathways to Hope, on behalf of member Roman Catholic religious institutes, provides a compassionate, pastoral service to victims of sexual misconduct.
We will not tolerate any type of abuse by our members
In August 2002, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men stated “We will not tolerate any type of abuse by our members. And so our tradition of fraternal correction requires us to hold one another accountable.” In order to fulfill that accountability, the group created Instruments of Hope and Healing, a program designed for the accreditation of its member congregations in accordance with the highest national standards for the protection of minors. To facilitate the enactment of the programs in geographical areas, CMSM employed Praesidium Religious Services, well-known experts in the field among child-serving organizations. The Praesidium conducted extensive leadership training, which included the creation of mechanisms for internal accountability in implementing accreditation standards. Those standards require the individual examination of each religious
Viatorians have been actively involved in the programs, that provide us with a three-tiered resource: CMSM’s Instruments of Hope and Healing, Region 5’s Pathways to Hope and our own Province’s Independent Review Board. In May 2004, the Community published a revision, established in April 1989, of Policy and Guidelines for Intervention in Instances of Reported Sexual Misconduct by a Province Member Involving a Child or Minor. The revised policy mandates the establishment of an Independent Review Board of qualified persons to assist the Provincial in receiving and evaluating allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. The Board advises on both initial and long term pastoral and remedial responses to both the accuser and the accused. It prepares a report or finding regarding the allegations and forwards the recommendations to the Provincial for appropriate action toward both the accuser and the accused.
From the Provincial... Sexual abuse is both a sin and a crime. Sexual abuse is world wide and not restricted to any one religion, race, or economic status of life. Sexual abuse takes place in homes, schools, and youth camps, and it takes place in churches and other places of worship. Sexual abuse is any form of sexual harassment or physical activity that is a misuse of power. Sexual abuse perpetrated by a person who uses intimidation, psychological or physical manipulation to achieve sexual gratification, is guilty of both sin and a crime. On the face of it, all of the above seems to be obvious. But, in our humanity, we donâ€™t always see the obvious at a particular moment. In the history of the Church, we look back and wonder how the inquisition could be not only tolerated, but also seen in a positive light by the institutional Church. The same could be said for the acceptance of slavery, anti-Semitism, racism, and the ongoing culture of sexism that exists in the Church. And yet, the institutional Church has actively engaged in these practices that later came to be seen as a scandal and mockery of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Women and children were seen (and still are in many places of the world) as property, bought and owned by men and could be treated with violence without any civil or ecclesial sanction. Today, we have been involved in another historical transformation point, where we as a community of faith look back and wonder how we allowed this scandal of sexual abuse to happen. The leadership of the Church is presently experiencing a crisis of credibility and respect, due to the inept manner of handling this criminal activity by bishops, priests, brothers and nuns for so many years. I believe that many of us saw actions that we knew to be questionable, but did not wish to falsely accuse a priest or religious. The clergy were placed on pedestals and took advantage of the atmosphere of fear and intimidation that they accepted as their right. The same fear and intimidation existed within families where a father sexually abused his sons and/or daughters and was confident that no one would believe any claims to this effect. Children and wives learned to live with their shame and assumed that they must be guilty of some great evil â€“ that they somehow had invited this crime to be perpetrated on them. No part of the Church has been untouched by this scandal. The disgrace that the Bishops and other leaders were most concerned with is the shame of public knowledge. It seems at times that within all government structures, it is acceptable to engage in any evil or illegal activity as long as you donâ€™t get caught. But as this scandal of sexual abuse and the parallel cover-up has become more evident, the institutional Church has been seen to be negligent and arrogant in its approach to the reality of human failure. While the hierarchy of the Church attempts to portray the divine face of Jesus at all times
and places, we forget to portray the human face of Jesus on the Cross, and to find the incarnate God on the cross. The Clerics of St. Viator, like all religious communities, has not remained untouched by this scandal. Viatorian priests and brothers have been accused of sexual abuse and the majority of these claims have been found to be Fr. Charles G. Bolser, credible. I will state that those who have been CSV, Provincial accused, have either left the community many years ago or have long since died. These claims primarily stem from actions that took place twenty to forty years ago. At the present time, no Viatorian who has been accused of sexual abuse is active in public ministry of any kind. I believe it is critical that we engage in a compassionate process of healing. For true healing to take place, it is important that we as a community are able to say mea culpa. By accepting responsibility for the actions of our brothers, we acknowledge that we are Viatorians together, united in our strengths and our weaknesses, our accomplishments and our failings. The words mea culpa cannot change the past or make all of the hurt go away, but they can allow us to begin the process of healing, not just for those who have been directly harmed, but for all of us who suffer the shame. We are one body, united in one spirit, and called to recognize both the shadow and the light that exists within each of us and within our community. It is also important to remember that those guilty of such direct criminal and sinful actions were themselves wounded and in need of compassion and forgiveness. Anger and self-righteousness towards others are signs of arrogance and an ill-founded sense of human superiority. Finally, we are forced to say mea culpa to the entire Church for allowing this scandal to fester and grow in our midst. Through our actions and our lack of action, we have caused many to simply walk away in disgust and with a loss of trust. At the same time, it seems that many of the laity are choosing not to leave, but are beginning to demand some process of accountability. When Bishops simply transfer accused priests from parish to parish instead of removing them from active ministry, credibility suffers. On behalf of the Viatorians who make up the Province of Chicago, I offer my sincere apologies for those who have been wounded. The wounds that people suffer are never restricted to one individual, but in fact contaminate the entire community. I ask that as we seek forgiveness from all whom we have hurt, we also invite them to enter into a process of healing that gives continued on back
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A new high school in the works...continued from page 4 workshop opportunities before the first day of school to work on teambuilding, computers, performance reviews, and public speaking that taught them the necessary skills needed for a job. Students continue to work with the Corporate Internship Program Department, which focuses on job etiquette and work behavior. Students are also mentored through PATHS (People of diversity Applying our faith by Thinking through Hard work and Service to those around us), which has eight students in a group to integrate work with school experiences. Progress reports went out and students are discovering that homework counts. However, some classes still do not have enough textbooks for every student. Most equipment and supplies are used or donated. Even the small red lockers lining the halls are discarded from a junior high school. The school day starts at 7 am and ends at 4:30 pm. There is no gym or recreation area for the students to use for a break or gym class. When asked for a wish list, the first response was a building. A building with a yard would be the ideal, although right now they would settle for textbooks. Maps for the history department are needed, along with TI83 calculators for the math department. In general, there is a need for computer printers, copy machines, television/VCRs and projectors for class presentations. The students and the faculty are working together and learning what works every step of the way. “Waukegan has been promised many things in the past,” says Br. Gosch. “St. Martin de Porres will not disappoint them.”
Re-founding the Viatorian Community...continued from page 4 3. Associates constitute an important way in which the Gospel and the Viatorian charism can be inculturated, especially in our foundations. 4. Finally, the Chapter of 1994 insisted that Associates, as well as religious, are co-heirs of the founder’s charism and co-responsible for its development. All of us receive a call to holiness and to ministry, regardless of our state of life. In 1988 Pope John Paul II in an encyclical emphasized the complimentary nature of lay collaboration in mission with clerics and religious and in developing a spirituality that is also truly based on the experience of living “in the world.” In the context of the documents of Vatican II, there have been many people coming together in special ways to live out their baptismal commitment. Now religious orders and congregations throughout the world are adopting the concept of Associates. There are challenges to being Viatorian in a new way. Distinct aspects of Association are peculiar to each of the Viatorian provinces throughout the world. In his remarks to the Assembly, Fr. Francis made observations and offered challenges to the United States Province related to the reality of our new concept of membership. He pointed out that Association goes beyond a “program” to a new way of being Viatorian. For vowed religious it means seeing Association as a way of living religious life and not simply "another ministerial thing to do.” In other words, we have to move beyond simply marking “Associates” in our appointment books for a given day to realizing that Viatorian life has changed. Fr. Francis said that our time together as religious and Associates needs to be such that we can draw support and satisfaction from these encounters. They should never be simply a “one way street” with religious in charge of the meeting with the answers. Participation as equals is important. Openness of one to another needs to be built up over time.
Vol. 9, No. 4