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Quarterly Newsletter of the Clerics of St. Viator • Volume 10, Number 2

A Farewell Message My Brothers and Sisters in St. Viator, Four years ago I was most honored to be elected as the Provincial of the Chicago Province of the Clerics of St. Viator. I accepted this Fr. Charles G. Bolser, position of leadership CSV, Provincial with a mixture of humility and pride, awe, and fear, but at the same time with a commitment to do the best that I could in service to all of you and to the international community. I considered this ministry to be first of all pastoral in nature. How could I serve your needs and assist each of you in the accomplishment of your specific ministry? At times, this would take the form of working to provide supplemental financial resources; at other times it would be to be there with you in times of crisis. At times it would take the form of being

What is a Provincial?

with those who were dying and being there with them through their final journey and again at other times to be there with those just beginning their journey as a Viatorian or as a priest. It was indeed a pleasure to observe the dynamic growth of the community life and mission in Colombia and in Belize. It was a pleasure to participate in the growth and life of our Associates and to watch all of us, Viatorians together, struggle to integrate this new dynamic into our lived experiences. It was also in the sad experience of listening to those who had been sexually abused by Viatorians in years past. Their stories were filled with pain and loss, but most of all with hope. Part of my struggle has been to understand and accept those who were guilty of such abuse and loss of trust. At times my confusion stemmed from my anger on one hand, but on my need to forgive on the other and to recognize that even those who were guilty of sexual abuse were in themselves wounded souls in need of healing and life. continued on page 2

The Service of Leadership On Tuesday, March 29, Viatorians gathered in Arlington Heights and Las Vegas for the election of new leaders for the United States Province. Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, Superior General, came from Rome to conduct the election process in Arlington Heights and Br. Camille Legare, CSV, General Councilor, presided in LasVegas. Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV was elected the 16th Provincial of the Chicago Province of the Clerics of St. Viator. He succeeds Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, who has led the Chicago Province since 2001. Fr. Robert Erickson, CSV and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV were elected to assist Fr. von Behren during his administration of the Province. Fr. von Behren will name two more Viatorians to complete the Provincial administration for the next four years. Following the election, the Community expressed their gratitude to Fr. Bolser and his Council: continued on page 3

The Provincial is the leader or president of his Province. Besides the United States, there are four other Viatorian Provinces in the world: Canada, Chile, France, and Spain. In union with the Superior General, who resides in Rome, the Provincial is the first Superior and pastor of his Province. His principal role is to promote the spiritual and ministerial life of the members and the local communities of the Province in response to the needs of the dioceses in which Viatorians are assigned. He assigns the religious to their tasks, and he is responsible for the financial and material resources of the Community. While Viatorians work within dioceses, they are under the direct jurisdiction of the Provincial rather than the local Bishop. The pattern of governance for a Province includes a Provincial Council and a Provincial Chapter. The four members of the Council assist the Provincial in his administration. The Provincial Chapter includes the Council and eleven elected Viatorians whose chief responsibility is to set the General Regulations of the Province and oversee the process of election of the Provincial. The Provincial presides over both groups who are his chief advisors.

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. 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

VIATOR Is published quarterly by the Development Office of the Clerics of St. Viator, Chicago Province 1212 East Euclid Ave Arlington Heights, IL 60004 (847) 398.6805 Email: Website: Our purpose is to present the mission, ministries, news, and needs of our Community to those who continue to show interest in and support of our works. Provincial: Fr. Thomas von Behren, C.S.V. Editorial Board: Fr. Charles Bolser, C.S.V. Br. Leo V. Ryan, C.S.V. Br. Donald Houde, C.S.V. Dianna Ehrenfried Fran Guziel Editor: Adam N. Clementi

A Farewell Message continued from page 1

their rightful role in positions of leadership and service, that they be well prepared. It seems that one of our changing roles is to accept this responsibility to prepare well the catechists, the parish ministers, the school teachers and administrators to better understand their role and positions of ministry. The mission of Catholic Schools in today’s society cannot be seen as simply educating young men and women to be able to make a decent living. We are also about providing an education to these young people about the realities of the wider world which we share with over three billion other people. We are therefore educating the young so that they too may respond to Jesus’ call to discipleship and that they can make a difference in our world. The Viatorians, other Religious, or clergy are not the total embodiment of the Church, all of the baptized are called to discipleship, each in a unique way, and it is our Viatorian charism to help them understand the nature of this call and to respond with faith and dedication.

It has been fascinating to watch all of us struggle to develop a collaborative process with the laity, recognizing that the entire baptized are called to discipleship and to proclaim the Gospel together. As clergy, we still at times give in to the temptation to be the controlling agency and tend to struggle with the mindset that when we are in charge, we are not required to listen carefully to the wider community. It is through the sin of clinging to our positions of authority and power that we close our ears and eyes. But; we are engaged in the struggle on the community level and our Associates continually call us to accountability. The greatest sin of clericalism is the lack of accountability to those that we are called to serve, all the while trying to please those who hold positions of power. In this, power and control become the over-riding goals and the path to destruction. But; again we are engaged and dedicated to resolving the struggle. It has been most evident to me that those few, working in Belize and Colombia; in small parishes and large; as teachers and pastoral leaders; are able to succeed because of a common effort and a visible community of support; working together as Viatorian brothers and sisters. The friendships and common efforts; the coming together for community events and celebrations; being open to new possibilities and divergent ideas all have contributed to the success of each Viatorian no matter where they live or work.

At times during these past four years, I felt very alone. It was at these times when I would be able to receive the food that was in front of me all along. In a very real way, I have found the community to be the Eucharist – the incarnate food that nourishes and gives life. It is easy at times to forget that Christ has risen from the dead and is alive in human flesh and blood. I am most grateful to all of you for reminding me of that at critical times throughout these past years. It has been nourishing to observe each of you in your own special way be a sign and source of life for those that you have dedicated your lives. For this, I thank God and you.

A major shift that is taking place in our church and our community is a shift of emphasis from being the primary agent of evangelization; the teacher in the classroom, the youth minister, etc., to becoming the change agent. Our changing church requires that in order to enable our lay brothers and sisters to accept

Viatorian opens new ways of learning Students are often fascinated by the Heighway’s dragon fractal, shown here in its tenth iteration. Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV and his sister Faustine Perham were recently published as the cover article of Mathematics Teacher – a journal sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. In it, they demonstrate a strategy for producing line fractals, such as the one shown, using freely available Internet software. Previously, Fr. Perham’s work, coauthored with his sisters both of whom were college mathematics teachers, has appeared in Mathematics Teacher, publications by the


International Congress on Mathematics Education, and Addison Wesley. The Addison Wesely publication was written in collaboration with Fr. John Milton, CSV who currently teaches in the Physics Department at DePaul University.

Four interlocking 12-th order Dragon curves Copyright (c) Davis Associates, Inc. 1997

Fr. Perham’s 40 plus years of teaching have been spent in Illinois schools, namely, Cathedral/Griffin, Loyola University, and Saint Viator High School. continued on back page

The Service of Leadership continued from page 1

Fathers von Behren, Robert Erickson, John Linnan, and Daniel Nolan, for their years of service. At the end of the meeting, Fr. Francis, in the name of the international community gave thanks to Fr. Bolser. He expressed gratitude for Fr. Bolser’s work and leadership, for his vision, for his provocative thinking and for his openness to trends in both the Church and in the International Congregation. Fr. von Behren was born in Springfield, Ill. in 1953. He attended Griffin High School in Springfield, Ill. He Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, pronounced his first vows as a Cleric of St. Viator on CSV, Elected Provincial June 17, 1978. After seminary studies at Chicago Theological Union, he received his Master of Divinity Degree and was ordained priest on April 30, 1983. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Theology from Loyola University, Chicago, and a Masters Degree in Private School Administration from the University of San Francisco. Among his assignments in the last 22 years have been: Director of Vocations, President of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, and in 1999 he became President of Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights.

From 1882, the establishment of the United States Province, until 1969 the provincials were appointed by the Superior General of the Community. Beginning in 1969, members of the Province have elected the Provincials. Fr. Edward Anderson was the first elected provincial. Fr. Kenneth Morris, Fr. Patrick Render, Fr. Robert Egan and Fr. Charles Bolser followed. The installation ceremonies for Fr. von Behren and his Councilors will take place on May 22, 2005.

In his remarks, Fr. von Behren thanked the Community for the confidence and support they had shown him. He said he has great hopes for the Province and looks forward to nurturing its growth and development.

In the Footsteps of our founder Bonnet stressed the Fundamentals of the Faith and the principal obligations of the Christian life. He made vehement attacks against reigning abuses, against Voltarian and Jacobean ideas. Severe words characterized sermons of that era, but Fr. Querbes mingles his with “strength and gentleness, severity and unction” combined with the evident sincerity of his zeal. (Robert, p, 75)

Fr. Louis Marie Querbes arrived in Vourles October 31, l822 and was installed as pastor on All Saints Day, November l, l822. A priest of lesser ability, commitment and zeal would have been overwhelmed by the challenges of St Bonnet parish and Vourles. He arrived to find the church in deplorable condition and falling into ruins; the rectory a low, poorly lighted peasant house; the parishioners few and Vourles unwelcoming. Fr. Querbes quickly realized that most of Vourles had rebelled against religion, rejected the church, were anti-clerical and many personally antagonistic. Unlike St. Nizier where he had priest companions, here

Many women of the parish responded quickly. Toward the end of Advent he enrolled a large number of women in the Confraternity of the Perpetual Rosary. The men did not respond and “remained deaf to his voice.” (Robert, p. 75)

Fr. Querbes was alone in a hostile environment. He faced the question: ”Where do I begin?” He first met with a few loyal parishioners. Viatorian biographer, Fr. Robert wrote: “At his first contact with his parishioners he removed many of their prejudices” and “won the sympathy and confidence of the greater number by the straightforwardness of his character.” He developed friendships with the Mayor, M. Magaud; with a parishioner, M. Magneval, and the three Comte sisters “whose piety was enlightened as it was profound and who were sincerely devout” (Pierre Robert, CSV, From This Root, p.74). These early collaborators remained faithful friends to Fr. Querbes throughout his 38 years in Vourles.

Fr. Querbes looked ahead to Lent l883. He developed nine instructions around the theme “Motives for Conversion”. He began with “The Meaning of Lent” as a preparation for Easter, penance and a time for reconciliation. Next were reflections on “The Proper Use of Time”. He offered seven specific motives for conversion. They were: God Himself, God as Creator, Preserver, Redeemer and Sanctifier, and he concluded with two sermons, one each on the “Certainty and Uncertainty of Death”. His Lenten instructions, his sincerity and zeal were blessed. Easter l883 brought a large number of parishioners – but not all – back to the church and the sacraments. His ministry in Vourles could now be said to have truly begun.

Fr. Querbes immediate efforts focused on encouraging the villagers to return to church and the sacraments. He foresaw Advent l882 as the opportunity to inaugurate his Vourles ministry. His Advent sermons at St.


- Leo V. Ryan, C.S.V.

Viatorian Tradition Around the World

Belize The Faith and Justice Commission from the diocese of Corozal, Belize sent a team to present a workshop on forming a group in our parish. This Commission will be working to encourage more members of the parish to learn about and get involved in working for justice. Youth Gathering in Sta. Clara / San Roman: The youth of the Corozal District met on Saturday, February 19 at the church and school in Sta. Clara / San Roman villages. The Youth Council approved the theme, “Enter into the Mystery: Year of the Eucharist 2005”. Presentations were made on the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation. Thanks to the youth and adult leaders in St. Clara / San Roman, and to the other leaders who gave presentations. San Andres Village Catholic Community has begun the construction of a new chapel. On Sunday morning, February 12, over 40 men in the community came out to pour the foundations of the new church. All of the funds used for the building thus far have been raised in the community.

Belize Medical Mission Medical Mission Teams were in the Corozal District in February providing clinics in almost all of the villages, and in the Altamira neighborhood of Corozal Town. Two Medical Mission groups visited the Corozal District at the same time this year. One from Illinois and the other

from Cincinnati, Ohio. Those from Illinois spent the night at the Province Center in Arlington Heights, Ill. and flew out of O’Hare International Airport well before the sun came up the next day. This year’s team from Illinois consisted of two physicians, seven nurses, a paramedic,a physical therapist, and 13 assistants. They worked as two efficient teams that saw and treated about 200 village people each of the six working days in the 12 villages of Chunox, Sarteneja, Cristo Rey, Louisville, Alta Mira, Ranchito, Santa Clara/San Roman, Libertad, Copper Bank, Progreso, Chan Chen and San Joaquin. In all, 2,300 children and adults were treated. The most frequent illnesses seen were Upper Respiratory diseases, fungal infections, Diabetes and Hypertension. Those with chronic illnesses were given about a month’s supply of the proper medication (brought by the teams) and referred to their own local physician for continuing medication and follow-up care. The nurses were always busy instructing in health teaching for proper nutrition, hydration and protection from the sun. There were several severe wounds cleaned and patients were given antibiotics when needed. Mrs. Soraya Rosado, a parishioner of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Corozal did an extraordinary service in coordinating the translators and drivers, and in communicating with the district health


officials. The Honorable Vildo Marin, the local representative and the Minister of Health, greatly helped in processing requests for tax and duty exemptions for the medicines the groups brought. This is a wonderful example of the servant church reaching out to the needy in our midst. The teams were definitely tired at the end of each day, but all felt a great deal of satisfaction too. At least half of the team has joined this mission for up to five of the six years of its existence. All pay their own transportation and lodging plus help to gather medications and money for the trip each year. They plan to return to Corozal February 2006 - God willing.

Q&A Viator

Reflections of Religious Life By Fr. William Haesaert, CSV One of our Jubilarians, Fr. William Haesaert, CSV reflects on his 40 years as a religious and priest with the Clerics of St. Viator. I was in high school when I first realized I had a calling to religious life. I was taught by Viatorian priests and brothers at Alleman High School in Rock Island, Ill., and Fr. William through them I saw how men were able to live Haesaert, CSV together, pray together, work together, have fun together, and care for one another. Father Ed Anderson, CSV my teacher and later my mentor, invited me “to come and see” the Viatorian way of life. I joined the Viatorians after graduating high school in 1963, and I took my first vows in 1965. For the next 15 years I lived out my vocation in various ways and places: from the novitiate, to retreat work, to being a child-care counselor, to working in a parish as a Viatorian brother. During those years I was involved in parish ministry, the people of the parish called me to deepen my commitment to service. It was at that time I realized my vocation as a priest.

Answers to your questions.

The recent election of Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV. as Provincial of the Chicago Province, has given the opportunity to introduce a new column to VIATOR. Q&A will be dedicated to answering questions whose answers we here at the Province Center take for granted as general knowledge as well as explaining other subtleties of the Viatorian Community. When we use terms like charism, discernment, provincial, and remittance we assume that the nuances of those terms are understood. However, on a personal level, this past Christmas I was to learn otherwise . . .


When asked, my older sister reported: “Yes, I read VIATOR, but I don’t understand all the terms you use. What exactly IS a provincial? Is he similar to a bishop?”

The Viatorians have always supported me in my response to God’s calling to spread His word. I continue to receive their support personally, educationally, and spiritually. As a brother, I was able to spread God’s word through retreat work, working at a children’s home, and through my involvement in parish ministry. The Viatorians gave me the education and tools I needed to help spread God’s word through sharing my faith with those I was called to serve as a priest. The Community sent me to the Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago. There the faculty shared with me their own experiences of priesthood, religious life, and ministry. I learned, grew, and came to appreciate the gift of ministry.

“No, no no” I retorted knowingly. “International religious orders are divided into provinces, each province elects a provincial at act as an executive and bishops are the organizational head of a diocese – granted religious priests minister in dioceses by and with the consent of the bishop and therefore have a relationship with him but only through their provincial.” . . . she just stared at me. After better explanation, she posed more questions. When recalling this incident to others I was consistently met with similar responses and further inquiries. These included:

The Viatorians have given me the opportunity to grow my vocation as a person, a religious and priest. They have enabled me to take the risks and challenges I needed to change and grow. Reflecting on my 40 years as a religious, 25 of those a priest, I find the ability to serve my brothers and sisters in so many different ways to be the most rewarding accomplishment. To share my faith with all whom I come in contact with and for them to share their stories with me is a gift and a blessing.

■ Why are some Viatorians priests and others brothers? ■ Do the Viatorians have a parish? How many? Where? ■ What is the Viatorian charism? What does it mean? ■ Which vows to the Viatorians take? ■ Do the Viatorians have a corresponding order of women religious? ■ Are all Viatorians teachers?

The beginning of my life as a religious as compared to someone entering the religious life today is in some ways the same and yet so different. I joined the Viatorians to live, work, and pray with others who wanted to serve God through our vocations as brothers and priests. We work in our schools and in our parishes and with the people of God in all kinds of ministries. That is the same reason why others join us today. The Church has changed, religious life has changed, but what hasn’t changed is the vocation itself. A vocation is a gift from God; a calling from God. I thank God every day for the gift of my vocation as a Viatorian brother, and now priest to serve God with all my brothers and sisters who have come into my life.

■ What is the relationship between Viatorians & Saint Viator High School? ■ What is the relationship between the Viatorians and St. Viator Parish? ■ How many Viatorian schools are there? This quarter’s question: “What is a Provincial?” is answered in the sidebar on the cover page, which welcomes Fr. Von Behren, defines his roles and answers some common questions. Adam N. Clementi VIATOR Editor Do you have questions you want answered? Please submit them and we will address them in a subsequent newsletter. 847-398-6805, •

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Clerics of St. Viator 1212 E. Euclid Avenue Arlington Heights, IL 60004-5799 847-398-6805


Quarterly Newsletter - Spring 2005 If you are receiving multiple copies of this newsletter and/or wish to be removed from our mailing list, please call our Development Office at 847-398-6805 or fax your request to 847-398-6247.



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 ministries, Viatorians work with Christian communities to live, deepen and celebrate their faith.

Fr. Dan Nolan, CSV, Vocation Director 1212 E. Euclid Avenue, Arlington Hts., IL 60004 • 847-398-0685 Viatorian opens new ways of learning continued from page

In recent years, Fr. Perham has been an innovator while team-teaching with the geometry department at Saint Viator High School. Using their home computers, students utilize available geometry construction software Online. This has opened new ways of learning and has cultivated much interest in geometry. Most of Father’s classroom advancement has been first tested with the members of the Math Club. They currently are working on Causal Feedback Loops in System Dynamics. System Dynamics can be used to analyze just about anything from falling bodies to economics to Hamlet’s behavior. Undoubtedly, these Math Club projects will soon work their way into the classroom. On Sunday mornings, Father can be found helping out in a nearby parish; in the afternoon, he can usually be found checking out materials at the Arlington Heights Public Library.

Report from Rome: With the death of Pope John Paul II on April 2 and his funeral on April 8 the Church has entered into a period of transition. For twenty-six years this Pope has guided the Church, and his absence is keenly felt by many here in Rome. His contributions were many: his integrity and holiness, his outreach to people of other faiths, especially Jews and Muslims, the way he bore his suffering toward the end of his life as evidence to his unshakable trust in God. We now pray for the College of Cardinals who will choose his successor that they many discern the kind of leadership the Church needs under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Viator Newsletter 2005 Spring  

Vol. 10, No. 2

Viator Newsletter 2005 Spring  

Vol. 10, No. 2