Viator Newsletter 2007 Winter

Page 1

Viatorian Community

Winter 2007

Volume 12, No. 1

Provincial’s Perspective his issue of Viator inaugurates the 125th anniversary celebration of the Province of Chicago. Throughout the next several months, various celebrations will be held to commemorate the foundation of the Viatorian Community in the United States. Our celebration will culminate with a Mass and dinner on the actual anniversary date, August 2, 2007, at our founding parish, Maternity BVM Church in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Our Superior General, Fr. Mark Francis, CSV and the members of the General Council, along with the provincial superiors of every province throughout the congregation, will join us at this special event as we gather to celebrate the life of our province in the United States.


Each issue of Viator during this anniversary year will focus on a specific area of Viatorian ministry as lived out over these past 125 years. This issue will highlight our most traditional and fundamental ministry, that of “catechist and educator” in the Church. Viatorians have been involved in numerous educational ministries throughout our history. Responding to Fr. Louis Querbes’ call “to go out and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the young and impoverished,” Viatorians of the Chicago Province have taught in elementary schools, high schools, universities, and seminaries throughout the United States. Viatorians, as teachers and administrators, have also operated a school for the deaf, opened

schools in foreign missions, worked with troubled youth in Chicago and Georgia, while always attempting to live the mission as educators and catechists of our time. Today, Viatorians continue the educational apostolate at all levels of education. As we look back upon our history, we are very grateful for the many blessings we have received by ministering and collaborating with so many outstanding lay educators and administrators. We are also thankful for the support of such wonderful parents, alums, and benefactors over these past 125 years. Through our combined efforts, thousands of young men and women have heard the Gospel, been sent out as leaders of their generation, and have made a difference in our world. We happily share our stories with you, the Viator readers, as we celebrate this milestone in our province. Please join with us through your prayers and support during this special jubilee. We look forward to continuing our mission as catechists and educators in the Church for decades to come! In St. Viator and Fr. Querbes,

Reverend Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Provincial

Celebrating 125 Years of Educational Ministry 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 Viatorian Development Office 1212 East Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights, IL 60004 847-637-2124 You can either designate where your gifts will be used or delegate us to distribute the funds where they are most needed. 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

The Viatorian impact is especially strong in Arlington Heights, IL; Bogotá, Colombia; and Corozal Town, Belize - each city has a high school named in honor of St. Viator, the Viatorian patron. While each school is unique, they all share the characteristics common to Viatorian schools. They provide a strong academic curriculum that takes place in a Catholic environment that challenges the students to live their faith more deeply each day. This tradition began in 1865 when three Canadian Viatorians arrived in Bourbonnais, IL to serve the French-speaking residents. They established a primary school that later developed into St. Viator College, which soon earned a reputation for academic excellence and for graduating many distinguished alumni. The administration later expanded the curriculum to include a seminary that trained many priests for the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Peoria. The alumni included Bishops Fulton J. Sheen of New York, Gerald Bergan of Omaha, Bernard Shields of Chicago and William O’Brien of Chicago. The 1920s were a particularly difficult period for the college. The gymnasium and dining hall had burned to the ground and the reconstruction costs were extremely high. Secondly, the Great Depression of 1929 further compounded the debt to the point that the Viatorians were forced to close the college in 1938.

The Nazareth League of Prayers

provides an opportunity to share in the Viatorian prayer life. Prayer requests are inscribed in a special book and then placed in the chapel at the Province Center. When Viatorians gather daily in communal prayer, they specifically remember the intentions of their friends and gratefully thank everyone who has so generously supported the Viatorian ministries. To participate in the Nazareth League of Prayers, simply list your intentions in the envelope provided and mail them to us. You can also request specific cards by calling 847.637.2124 or online at

This decision was especially painful because most Viatorians were located on or near the campus and because the school had a proud seventy-three year history. However, this loss provided the opportunity for a rebirth as the Viatorians branched out and collaborated more closely with the laity and other religious throughout the United States. Some learned new ministerial skills. For example, a group of Viatorians learned sign language and taught hearing impaired students at St. Joseph School for the Deaf in New York City. Others taught at St. Thomas Vocational School in Savannah, GA and Mercy Home for Boys in Chicago. Through the sponsorship of Arthur J. Schmitt, a respected entrepreneur, Fournier Institute of Technology in Lemont, IL opened in 1943. His support enabled the school to recruit an 2

Founders of St. Viator College

Administration Building, St. Viator College

The Viatorian faculty at Saint Joseph School for the Deaf before the faculty/student baseball game outstanding lay faculty to teach the business and technical courses while the Viatorians administered the school and taught general education courses. Viatorians also continued teaching at the university level and were noted scholars in their respective fields. They taught at Holy Name Technical School (Lewis College), Lockport, IL; Dowling College, Des Moines, IA; St. Ambrose College, Davenport, IA; University

of Dayton, Dayton, OH; Gannon College, Erie, PA; Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI; Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN; Dominican University, River Forest, IL; and Loyola University, Chicago. Today, Viatorians teach at DePaul University, Chicago and St. Anselm College, Manchester, NH. Viatorian teachers have always taught at the high school level. At Bourbonnais they conducted an academy until the faculty was transferred to Springfield, IL in the 1930s to begin Cathedral Boys High School. After the closing of the college, Viatorians collaborated at various high schools which included Archbishop Stepinac, White Plains, NY; St. Benedict, St. Gregory and St. Philip, Chicago, IL; Marian, Chicago Heights, IL; and Fenwick, Oak Park, IL. Recognizing the high quality of the Viatorian teachers and administrators, bishops requested the Viatorians to administer and staff their diocesan high schools. The Viatorians generously responded and assumed duties at Bishop McNamara High School, Kankakee, IL; Spalding Institute, Peoria, IL; Allemen High School, Rock Island, IL; Sacred Heart-Griffin High School (previously Cathedral Boys High School and Griffin High School), Springfield, IL; Bishop Manogue High School, Reno, NV; and Bishop Gorman High School, Las Vegas,NV. The early 1960s was a significant period for the Viatorians. In 1961, they opened St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, IL, and in 1963 they opened Colegio San Viator in Bogotá, Colombia. These events were especially significant because this was the first time since 1938 the American Viatorians owned, administered and staffed schools that carried the name St. Viator.

Both schools have grown and are important assets to their local communities. St. Viator High School is a coeducational school with

Like St. Viator High School, Colegio San Viator in Bogotá is a thriving school with a strong academic reputation. When Frs. James Crilly, Bert Mayr and Thomas Wise went to Colombia in 1961 to begin the colegio, they had a vision similar to the Viatorians who traveled to Bourbonnais in 1865 – to provide a quality education to children from poor families.

Br. Robert Ruhl, CSV and student over 1000 students that challenges them to be committed Catholics with a keen sense of social justice. For example, the Student Social Action Tribe sponsors speakers and raises awareness about peace, justice and other world issues. Some students have participated in foreign exchange programs with other Viatorian schools. All students are required to do one hundred hours of community service.

Frs. Thomas Wise, Bert Mayr and James Crilly They instituted a scholarship program that ensured at least 20 percent of the student population was from the lower economic stratum. The program provided a unique opportunity for students from different social classes to intermingle in academic and social settings while receiving a college preparatory education. The overall program goal is to break the cycle of poverty and the attitude of social class rigidity.

Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV and student St. Viator High School is often described as a place that "feels like family" by those who walk through its doors. Classes are small enough for students to get to know everyone, yet large enough to enable a competitive curriculum. Students perform a native dance. Today, the school has a student population of over 1200 ranging in age from 4 to 17. The three core values of the school are a strong sense of self-identity, acknowledgement of our interdependence with each other and faith in the transcendence.

St. Viator High School, Arlington Heights, IL

Students welcome visitors to Colegio San Viator. 3

Continued on page 4

Celebrating 125 Years‌ Continued from page 3

Playground at Colegio San Antonio Maria Claret Students greet the photographer after participating in an Ash Wednesday service. In 2004, Chunox St. Viator Vocational High School opened in Belize. Before its opening, Fr. Chris Glancy, CSV discussed with parents and community leaders the educational needs of the children from rural communities. Collectively, they agreed that a vocational high school would address these needs because it would prepare the children to work as adults in tourism and agriculture, two principal sources of employment.

The dream becomes a reality. The community quickly banded together to make the school a reality. The first story of the main building is completed and construction is now proceeding on the second. The building will have a full kitchen so that the students can learn culinary arts that will enable them to work as chefs at the local hotels and restaurants. Since the school is in an agricultural setting, the campus includes a barn, chicken coop, vegetable and banana fields and an orchard. The school sells its harvests, which help support the school.

Chunox St. Viator students proudly display their watermelon crop.

Students at Colegio San Antonio Maria Claret complete their class projects.

Associate Michael Bourgeois from Kankakee offers a course on agriculture. Besides the three schools named in honor of St. Viator, Viatorians work in two other high schools that specifically reach out to the poor. Four Viatorians minister at St. Martin de Porres High School in Waukegan, IL, a college preparatory school that reaches out to qualified students from lower income families. The tuition is affordable because every student participates in the Corporate Internship Program, a partnership between the school and the local business community, whereby each student works five days a month to offset the tuition cost. The program also provides an opportunity for the students to take responsibility for the cost of their education.

Students at St. Martin de Porres High School 4

In Libano, Colombia, Fr. Pedro Herrera, CSV, a Colombian Viatorian, is the rector of Colegio San Antonio Maria Claret. The coeducational school has an enrollment of approximately 250 students and provides a quality educational foundation for children living in circumstances that are often marked by poverty and local insecurity. Viatorians have always been keenly interested in primary education. In the latter part of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Viatorians taught at the primary level in Bourbonnais and at Cathedral Boys School in Chicago. Today, Viatorians collaborate with the personnel in the local parish schools where the Viatorians administer. The schools include Aquinas Catholic Academy, Kankakee, IL; Maternity BVM, Bourbonnais, IL; St. Boniface School, Edwardsville, IL; St. Viator School, Chicago; and St. Viator School, Las Vegas. The Viatorian presence in the United States is marked with outstanding achievements in the educational field. Viatorians are faith educators who build up communities of believers who espouse the values of Jesus in their life and work. In each educational institution that Viatorians have been privileged to work in, they have worked toward this ideal, which they are now celebrating as they commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Chicago Province.

In the Footsteps of Our Founder Approval, First Religious, First Foundation November 3, l831 is the true birth date of the International Congregation of the Clerics of St. Viator. Archbishop de Pins, having reversed his previous disapproval, summoned his council on November 3 and “approved and accepted…the institution of the Clerics of St. Viator.” (Robert, Life of Querbes, p. 108) It was more than five years since Fr. Querbes first conceived the idea of the society, three years since he proposed the idea to the Archbishop, and two years since he obtained government approval. On November 5, following a Mass of Thanksgiving, while kneeling before the altar, Fr Querbes signed a formula in which “he devoted and consecrated himself to the Society of the Clerics of St. Viator.” He signed his pledge as “Querbes, Priest-Catechist,” thus becoming our first member. Six days later, November 11, Fr. Querbes received Brother Pierre Magaud and Pierre Liauthaud into the society as minor catechists. Magaud was well-known to him because he had been the parish teacher at St. Bonnet in Vourles since l824. Liauthaud, age thirty-eight, had been the school master for twenty years in Saint-Bonnet-de-Gray and secretary to the mayor. After reading the Royal Ordinance (1830), he wrote to Fr. Querbes seeking admission. He received no response. In l831, he wrote again and then came to Vourles for an appointment. He stayed for the summer and was in Vourles when the society was approved.

were unaware of the reason for his absence and expected his return. He arranged his affairs and on August 11, l832, he returned to Vourles to spend the rest of his life as a Viatorian. Fr. Querbes had annexed a small school to his parish school where he was preparing three men of the parish for religious life. With these two groups being cramped into his small rectory, he immediately saw the need for a new home for these men and future aspirants. Immediately behind the church was a highly desirable property, but with multiple owners. Despite being penniless, Fr. Querbes negotiated the purchase. He begged and borrowed the necessary 22.000 francs, even agreeing to burdensome terms and conditions. August 31, l832, the Society of the Clerics of St. Viator had its first foundation – the Berseau (literally “the cradle”). Today it remains part of Viatorian patrimony and is a retreat center and memorial museum to our founder, Louis Marie Querbes.

Brother Liauthaud pronounced promises for one year. Fr. Querbes advised him to return to Saint-Bonnet-de-Gray because people

- Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV

In Memoriam Father Joseph B. Tremonti, CSV died on August 24, 2006 in Kankakee at the age of 94. His parents, two brothers, and six of his sisters preceded him in death. He is survived by his sister, Mildred Colombo, of Michigan. Fr. Tremonti entered the Viatorian Community on September 7, 1933. He began his ministry by serving as the purchasing agent at Mission of Our Lady of Mercy in Chicago. After completing his undergraduate studies, he taught high school science and mathematics at various Viatorian high schools. After completing his doctoral studies in secondary school administration, he taught in the education departments at several universities throughout the U.S. In his later years, he was Director of Special

Education at Kankakee State Hospital and was considered a court expert on annulments for the Tribunal of the Diocese of Joliet. After he retired in 1980, he continued to celebrate Mass in the parishes and nursing homes in the Kankakee area. Many remember Fr. Tremonti as a forward thinker who was always open to new ideas. Most of all, he was a man who cared about people and always treated each one as a unique individual. We will miss him.


Feast of St. Viator 2006 October 21 is the feast day of St. Viator, the patron saint of the Viatorian Community. On or near this day, members gather to honor St. Viator and celebrate Viatorian life and ministry both locally and internationally. This year we also welcomed associates and honored jubilarians.

Associate Daniel Lydon makes his three-year commitment.

St. Viator High School Alumni Chapel on October 19. The Community welcomed Associate Daniel Lydon, a 1973 graduate of St. Viator High School who teaches Spanish at his alma mater, as he made his first commitment for three years. Associates Cathy Abrahamian, Randy Baker, Lynda Connor, Donna and Timothy Schwarz renewed their commitments. Jubilarians Fr. Simon Lefebrve, CSV, Fr. William Mayer, CSV, Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV and Fr. Thomas Wise, CSV celebrated fifty years of priesthood. Fr. Lefebrve also celebrated sixty years of religious life. Maternity BVM Church in Bourbonnais, IL was the site for this year’s gathering of associates and professed from the Kankakee region. On October 20, the Community welcomed two couples as associates who have been dedicated ministers in their parish communities. St. Patrick (Kankakee, IL) parishioners Michelle and Kenneth Barrie and St. George (St. George, IL) parishioners

Associates from Las Vegas

Frs. Crilly, Rinn and Lentz Susan and David Surprenant made their first commitments for three years. Associates Henrietta Chamness and Patty Wischnowski of Maternity BVM parish renewed their commitments.

Frs. Wise, Lefebrve, von Behren, Mayer and Perham

On October 23, associates and professed from California and Nevada gathered at St. Viator Church (Las Vegas) for evening Mass. Associates John Berger, Marlene and Joseph Caprio, Connie Gerber, Paula and Thomas Hannon, Maggie Saunders, and Kathy and Michael Underwood made their first commitments. All are involved in Viatorian parishes in Las Vegas and Henderson. Associates Warren Craig, Marie Feeney, Loretta Gabby, Margery Gill, Leona Iglinski, Joseph Lomanto, Marie and James May, and Marie Segal renewed their commitment. Fr. James Crilly, CSV celebrated his golden jubilee as a priest while Fr. Lawrence Lentz, CSV and Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV celebrated their silver jubilee as priests.

Associates and professed from the Arlington Heights and Chicago regions gathered at

Although there were no jubilarians to honor or new associates to welcome in Viatorian communities in BogotĂĄ, Colombia and

Associates from Arlington Heights with Fr. Thomas von Behren

Kenneth and Michelle Barrie, Susan and David Surprenant

Patty Wischnowski and Henrietta Chamnes 6

Corozal Town, Belize, each chose to gather on October 21 to remember St. Viator.

Parishioners of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Corozal Town, Belize joined associates and religious in their remembrance of St. Viator at the 6:00 p.m. parish Mass. Parishioners brought food to share while they watched a video presentation of the life of Fr. Querbes. Two Viatorian institutions bearing the name St. Viator commemorated the feast of our patron with special celebrations.

Fr. Pedro Herrera, CSV, Fr. Carlos Luis Claro, CSV, pre-novice Fredy Contreras, and Fr. Edgar Suarez, CSV, Colombia In BogotĂĄ, the community of twelve professed members and two pre-novices celebrated Mass at which time the professed renewed their vows.

More than 600 people gathered on October 21 at St. Viator Church (Chicago) to celebrate A Taste of St. Viator. This first annual event began with a Mass that incorporated English, Polish, Spanish and Tagalog, the four main languages of the parish. A dozen parishioners of all ages, dressed in clothing traditional of their culture, took part in the entrance procession. Former staff members Fr. Robert Bolser, CSV and Fr. Thomas Long, CSV joined Br. Dale Barth, CSV, Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, Fr. John Eck, CSV and diocesan deacon Antonio Rodriquez in the sanctuary while Br. Moises Mesh, CSV and Br. Jason Nesbit, CSV celebrated with the community.

Fr. Chris Glancy, CSV, Belize

Preparing for the entrance procession

The youth band members tune their instruments.

Young people demonstrate a Latin dance routine. A parish ethnic and talent fest followed in the parish recreation center, which had been decorated with banners made by students from the school and teens from the youth group. Nearly ninety parishioners contributed food that represented their cultural background. Several parishioners and parish groups provided entertainment that included youth demonstrating Latin dance routines, a 7th grader wowing the crowd with Amazing Grace and the Spanish charismatic choir leading praise songs. The diversity that makes up St. Viator Parish was highlighted throughout the celebration. Many commented on the richness of the parish community because of the respect and appreciation of one another’s culture. Continued on page 8

Fr. John Peeters, CSV, Belize

Entrance procession at St. Viator Church 7

Feast of Saint Viator‌ Continued from page 7 Over 1100 students, faculty and staff celebrated our patron’s feast at an all-school Mass held at St. Viator High School Cahill Gymnasium on October 23. Fr. Robert M. (Mick) Egan, CSV, joined by seventeen associates and professed from the area, presided at the liturgy. In his homily, Fr. Egan spoke of the international dimension of the Viatorian Community. He encouraged those present to think of themselves as being part of Viatorians gather after the St. Viator Day Mass. a much larger group of Viatorians whose members can be found on five continents as reflected by the banners hanging from the ceiling that highlighted the sixteen countries where Viatorians live and minister. Fr. Egan noted that in each one of these countries, people of all ages were celebrating St. Viator Day. As Viatorians, we value gathering on our feast day to reflect on the past, to give thanks for the present and to look to the future.

Fr. Mick Egan, CSV speaks to the St. Viator High School community.

Remembering Those Who Have Gone Before Us On November 2, the feast of All Souls, Viatorian associates, brothers and priests assembled at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, IL and Paradise Memorial Gardens in Las Vegas, NV to conduct prayer services and honor the deceased community members. At Queen of Heaven Cemetery, members first placed carnations on each grave. Fr. Daniel Nolan, CSV then led a prayer service at which time the names of the 211 deceased Viatorian religious and associates were read. At Paradise Memorial Garden, Fr. James Crilly, CSV conducted a similar prayer service where they prayed for the five Viatorians buried there and for the thirty-five deceased Viatorians who ministered in Las Vegas.

Prayer service at Hillside, IL

Associate Gerry Roller places carnations on the graves.


Prayer service at Las Vegas, NV

The Viatorian Jubilarians of 2007 Different connections and circumstances shape our lives. Strong and slight ties link us to our vocations. We speak of a religious vocation as a call to dedicate one’s life to living the Christian virtues. In 2007, Viatorians celebrate significant anniversaries of five men who have spent many years bringing the Gospel message to multitudes in different parts of the world. Fr. Francis P. White, CSV Fr. Francis White met the Viatorians when, as a young freshman, he entered Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield, IL, his hometown. In September 2007, he will celebrate the 70th year of his religious life. Ordained a priest in 1944, he served as a teacher and pastor in Japan, New York, Chicago, Springfield, and Peoria. After many years of serving the people of Nevada as pastor of St. Viator Parish and associate pastor of Guardian Angel Cathedral, Fr. White recently retired to the Province Center in Arlington Heights, IL. He enjoys living with his confreres and recently said that his 89th birthday (Sept. 17, 2006) was the nicest of all times. He keeps his sense of humor and maintains his interest in everything and everybody. Because St. Viator College is so important in the history of the Chicago Province, it is worthy to note that Fr. White is the last Viatorian to have attended St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, IL. He is now the dean of the Viatorian Community. Fr. Kenneth R. Morris, CSV Fr. Kenneth Morris hails from St. Lucy parish on the west side of Chicago and is a graduate of the Christian Brothers’ St. Patrick High School. While a student, he learned about the Viatorians from a neighbor and schoolmate, Fr. Hugh Robbins, CSV. Fr. Morris pronounced his vows as a Viatorian on January 16, 1947 - 60 years ago. Little did

he know then that one day he would study in Rome, teach at the Viatorian Seminary, serve as novice master, provincial of the Chicago Province and vicar general of the Congregation of the Clerics of St. Viator. From 1994 until his retirement, he served at St. Viator Parish in Chicago and St. Thomas More Parish in Henderson, NV. He currently lives at the Viatorian residence on Belden Avenue in Chicago. He has not really stopped working. Among other things, he makes a contribution to the life of the Sisters of the Cenacle by presiding at their liturgies and leading a group in monthly scripture study. Fr. William C. Mayer, CSV Fr. William Mayer knew the Viatorians well before he chose to become one. He was a student of the Viatorians during his freshman and sophomore years at St. Patrick High School in Kankakee, IL. During his junior and senior years, the Viatorians were his teachers at Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield, IL. In the 1960s, he became principal of his alma mater in Kankakee. In the 1970s, he was a teacher at his alma mater in Springfield. After ordination in 1956, Fr. Mayer taught at Spalding Institute in Peoria, St. Philip High School in Chicago and Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee. From 1978 until 1991, his work was in adult religious education, after which he became parochial vicar at the Church of the Holy Ghost in Wood Dale, IL. Fr. Mayer now lives at the Province Center in Arlington Heights and continues to assist at the Church of the Holy Ghost. On August 19, 2007, Fr. Mayer celebrates 60 years as a Viatorian. Fr. Thomas P. McCarthy, CSV In Boston, a chance meeting between a young Tom McCarthy and Fr. John Burke, CSV at the home of their violin teacher was the beginning of the 9

history of Fr. Thomas P. McCarthy’s 60 year life as a Viatorian. After his ordination in 1952, Fr. McCarthy taught at Alleman High School in Rock Island, Spalding Institute in Peoria and Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. From 1973 until 1992, he served as pastor or associate pastor in Reno, NV; Las Vegas, NV; Morgan City, LA; Chicago, IL; Marlborough, MA; and South Boston, MA. In 1992, he retired to the Province Center in Arlington Heights where he served as local coordinator until 1996. In 2004, he published a book entitled A Priest Forever, which tells much of his story. Now, after a long hiatus, Fr. McCarthy is back to playing the violin. Among the things that keep him busy during retirement is entertaining at residences for seniors in the Arlington Heights area. He is especially busy at Christmas time. Fr. Daniel R. Hall, CSV Fr. Daniel Hall was a member of the United States armed forces and served in Vietnam, where he was severely wounded. After he completed his military service, he traveled the world. “Viator” in Latin means traveler, and he was indeed a traveler. While working in Hawaii, he met the Viatorian vocation director, and his life took a new turn. On July 31, 2007, Fr. Hall will celebrate 25 years as a Viatorian. He taught at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights and Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. In 1990, Fr. Hall returned to the military to serve as a chaplain for the marines at Camp Pendleton, CA; Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean; Camp Lejeune, NC; and Kuwait. When his tour as a chaplain ended, he was asked in 1998 to be pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Corozal Town, Belize, a new Viatorian mission. He served there for four years before returning to St. Viator High School, where he chairs the Social Studies Department, teaches history, and coaches football and wrestling.

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Everyone recalled and celebrated the story of what happened almost 500 years ago. On December 9, 1531, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, a Native American peasant, was walking from his village to Mexico City when he saw on the Hill of Tepeyac an apparition of Our Lady. Speaking in his native Nahuatl, she said that she wanted a church built on that site in her honor. He went to the local bishop, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, and related what she told him. The bishop did not believe him and asked for a sign. When he returned to Tepeyac and told the Virgin of his predicament, she told him to gather flowers from the hill. Even though it was winter and nothing was blooming, he found Spanish roses in bloom and put them in his tilma, a poncho-like cape made of cactus fiber. He then returned to the city, presented himself to the bishop, opened his tilma and released the roses. The bishop saw an icon of the Virgin imprinted on the tilma and realized that the apparition was true. Since that time, twenty-five popes have honored Our Lady of Guadalupe. Pope John Paul II had a special devotion to her. In Rome he visited the shrine dedicated to her and had a chapel within St. Peter’s Basilica named in her honor. At special ceremonies, he named her as the patron of the Americas and canonized Juan Diego, whose feast day is December 9. At the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, the tilma is on display, and each year millions of pilgrims venerate it. Some consider it miraculous that the tilma has maintained its structural integrity after nearly 500

The pilgrims especially remember that the apparition took place at a very painful moment in Mexican history when millions of indigenous people were dying of plagues, other diseases and harsh work. At this dark moment when the native culture and population were being annihilated, Our Lady, with a mestiza face, appeared to Juan Diego. Her message was to invite the native people and the Church to a profound conversion. By choosing a humble native peasant to carry out this message, she “lifted up the lowly” (Luke 1:52) and invited him and the millions who came after him to be transformed from crushed, self-defacing and silenced persons into messengers and artisans of God’s plan for America.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Fr. Robert Bolser, CSV delivers the homily. Belize Bolivia Burkina Faso Canada Chile Colombia France Haiti Honduras Italy Ivory Coast Japan Peru Spain Taiwan United States

Viatorians Around The World

In honor of this special day, Viatorians, friends and the sisters gathered at the Province Center for a special Mass followed by a festive meal. Father Robert Bolser, CSV presided at the bilingual Mass, and the sisters renewed their vows.

years, despite an ammonia spill in 1791 and a bomb blast in 1921.

Clerics of St. Viator

December 12 is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a special time for the Viatorians and the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Our Lady of Guadalupe. The sisters, whose motherhouse is in Mexico, have been collaborating with the Viatorians for over fifty years.

Our priests and brothers ministering in parishes and schools give witness to Jesus Christ in our modern world.

Vocation Ministry 1212 East Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, IL 60004 847.398.0685 •


Viatorians Around the World United States On November 12, St. Viator Parish (Chicago) sponsored a forum entitled Immigration Reform: The Christian Response? Parishioners heard personal stories from immigrants, reflected on biblical and Catholic teachings on immigration, and discussed legislation pending in Washington, D.C. Several members of the parish formed a working group to advocate for a sane and just U. S. immigration policy. The Provincial Council of the Province of Chicago endorsed the Chicago Priests for Justice for Immigrants statement calling for “responsible, respectful, and comprehensive immigration reform, inclusive of respectful, humane border controls” as well as a moratorium on non-felony deportations that separate families. Viatorians joined Bishop George Rassas and several students, faculty, staff and guests of St. Martin de Porres High School (Waukegan, IL) to dedicate SMdP’s new school building on November 17. In his remarks, President Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV recognized the Gorter Family Foundation for their gift that enabled the purchasing of four mobile classrooms. On the weekend of November 17-19, Fr. Corey Brost, CSV joined St. Viator High School students and faculty member Mr. Thomas Nall at the 16th anniversary demonstration of School of Americas/ Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation at Fort Benning, GA. Over 22,000 joined forces to call for the closing of this institution which is responsible for the torture and death of countless people in Latin America. Bishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador is one such victim. Viatorians have been present at this human rights event for the past several years. For more information, please visit France Fr. Mark Francis, CSV of the Province of Chicago was

Council. Fr. Millàn and his council will serve the Chilean province for the next four years.

Frs. Pierre Demierre, Mark Francis and Gregorio Esquibel installed as the Superior General of the Congregation of the Clerics of St. Viator on September 3 during a parish Mass at St. Bonnet Church in Vourles, France, the “berceau” (birthplace) of the congregation. Fr. Francis was joined by Fr. Gregorio Esquibel, CSV (Spain), who was installed as Vicar General, Br. Pierre Berthelet, CSV (Canada) General Treasurer, Fr. Andre Crozier, CSV (France) General Secretary, and Fr. Alain Ambeault, CSV (Canada) General Councilor. Canada Congratulations to Fr. Claude Roy, CSV who was elected the third provincial of the Province of Canada on October 28. Fr. Gaston Perrault, CSV (Assistant Provincial), Br. Gérard Whissell, CSV (Provincial Treasurer), Br. Leandre Dugal, CSV (Councilor) and Fr. Leonard Audet (Councilor) make up the rest of the Provincial Council. This new council, which will serve the Canadian province for the next four years, was installed on November 19. Chile Congratulations to Fr. Eduardo Millán, CSV who was elected the second provincial of the Province of Chile on November 18. Fr. Marcelo Lamas, CSV (Assistant Provincial), Fr. Txomin Lezama, CSV (Treasurer), Br. Juliàn Moro, CSV (Councilor) and Fr. Claudio Rios, CSV (Councilor) make up the rest of the Provincial 11

Belize Chunox St. Viator Vocational High School recently received significant gifts as it began its third academic year this past August. Mr. and Mrs. Bernie Hardiek of Moline, IL donated a new John Deere tractor complete with a plow, harrow, mower, loader and bucket. The

The blessing of the tractor before its use Ministry of Agriculture donated a bull and promised to donate coconut trees, grass seed, and a heifer. These generous donations will add greatly to the agricultural and animal husbandry programs of this innovative school. Colombia On September 25, Viatorians celebrated the 45th anniversary of the arrival of founders Fr. James Crilly, CSV, Fr. Thomas Wise, CSV and former Viatorian Mr. Bert Mayr in a special Mass held at the formation house. Prayers of thanksgiving were offered for these men who generously gave their time and talent in establishing the Foundation of Colombia. Congratulations to Fredy Contreras and Juan Fernando Londoño who have been accepted into the novitiate last month in Chile. Welcome to Luís Enrique Cubillos, Fabio Arley Prieto López, Edwin de Jésus Ruíz Montes, Jorge Andrés Salgado Hernández, Jorge Mauricio Taborda, Jorge Vargas Gelvez and Daniel Mauricio Villalobos Velásquez who were accepted into the pre-novitiate program beginning this month in Bogotá. Continued on back page

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



Newsletter – Winter 2007


Viator is published three times a year by the Development Office of the Clerics of St. Viator, Chicago Province. Email: Website: 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.


Provincial: Rev. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV

Editorial Board: Rev. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Br. Michael Gosch, CSV Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV Br. Donald P. Houde, CSV

Layout and Design: Dianna Ehrenfried, Visualedge Creative Services, Inc.

Editor: Fr. Thomas Long, CSV

If you are receiving multiple copies of this newsletter and/or wish to be removed from the mailing list, please call the Development Office at 847-637-2124 or fax your request to 847-637-2145.

Viatorians Around the World… Continued from page 11 Ivory Coast Established as a foundation by the Province of France in 1955-1956, Viatorians have ministered in the Ivory Coast the past fifty years. Despite a civil war that began in September 2002, pitting a rebel group comprised of disenfranchised Ivorians and immigrants in the North against the government whose offices are located mainly in the South, 29 professed Viatorian religious, 5 novices, 10 postulants and 27 Viatorian associates continue their

Fr. Bill Carpenter, CSV with students at Collége Saint-Charles Lwanga

educational, parochial, and pastoral work at Collége Saint-Charles Lwanga in Ferkessédougou, Collége Saint-Viateur in Abidjan and Collége Saint-Viateur, Notre Dame de Nazareth Parish, Foyer Jeune Viateur Retreat Center, and Le Maison des Bebes, a respite and residential center for women and babies with HIV-AIDS, in Bouaké. In order to avoid added difficulties, the Viatorian Community remains neutral relative to the war as it serves people from Br. Antoine Aloue with babies from Le Maison both sides of the conflict. Superior General des Bebes Fr. Mark Francis, the General Council, the

provincials from the five Viatorian provinces, Fr. Bill Carpenter, CSV and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV were present as the Ivorian Viatorians, buoyed by their faith in God, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their foundation and the ordination of Ivorian Fr. Jean-Marc Kouassi Brou on December 17, 2006. For more information on the Viatorians of the Ivory Coast, please visit

Br. Michael Gosch, Fr. Jean-Marc Kouassi Brou, Fr. Thomas von Behren and Fr. Bill Carpenter

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