Volume 14, No. 2
Provincial Perspective Just the other day, my predecessor and good friend, Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, who is highlighted on page 2, phoned and told me that he had bought tickets for us to attend the farewell tour of Topol in Fiddler on the Roof. Charlie knew that I was a fan of the play and knew that I would enjoy the matinee. I must admit, I wondered why he purchased tickets for the matinee performance until he mentioned that, by the way, I was “paying for dinner” later that evening. He had me hooked, and yes, I was happy to say, “Count me in!” A central theme in Fiddler on the Roof is the motif of a “journey” that Tevye’s family undertakes, both the physical journey of moving from their hometown of Anatevka to a new and vastly different life in America, and the interpersonal family journey which is encapsulated in their struggles with their religious and cultural traditions as these beliefs and customs are challenged by changing cultural and generational expectations. The theme of “journey” is central not only in the life of the fictional Tevye, but also in the real lives of each of us. As Viatorians, we are keenly aware that we are all “on the road,” that we are all on a “journey,” traveling and seeking ways to discover, to serve, and to love the Lord within the Church. In fact, all of us are fellow travelers along this path of life; we seek, we search, we question, we ponder, and we look for an ever deeper meaning. Viatorians throughout the world are discovering real meaning and relevance – finding new life and new ways of living and celebrating the good news of Jesus as risen Lord. You will read about one of our associates, Glenda Francis, who co-founded the local “HelpAge” in order
to meet the needs of senior citizens in Corozal Town, Belize. You will discover that several of our students from Saint Viator High School, in Arlington Heights, IL, volunteered during their spring break to assist in the construction of a residence for teachers in the village of Chunox, Belize. You will learn about a new venture, in the spirit of international solidarity, which our community has undertaken, that will engage the members of our province in a process of opening our hearts and spirits to our sisters and brothers throughout the world. And hopefully, you will share in our joy as we welcomed, this past winter, several young men, who truly believe they can make a difference in our world, into various stages of our formation program in Bogotá, Colombia. These young men continue on their life journey, continue to respond in the affirmative to the Lord’s invitation, “Come, follow me,” and continue to discern their vocation to Viatorian religious life. Yes, travelers we ALL are … together discovering life and meaning anew. Finally, I invite each of you to travel with us as we journey together in this life. Like Tevye, we cherish the rich and vibrant tradition that has forged and deepened our relationships. In St. Viator and Fr. Querbes,
Rev. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Provincial
Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV At a time when many priests his age are thinking about retirement, Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, looks ahead to his next challenge which he will assume in July — the pastorate of St. Viator Parish in Chicago. St. Viator Parish is located at 4170 W. Addison Street, on the northwest side of Chicago. The Viatorians have continually staffed this 120-year old parish since its founding.
who are new immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America. “They bring with them a strong and vibrant faith,” Fr. Bolser says. As he looks forward to this new challenge, he points to a credo embraced by his confreres, that as Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV “Viatorians, we are called to raise up communities where faith is lived, deepened, and celebrated.”
Some challenges Fr. Bolser faces include determining the myriad of venues in which he can work together with his parishioners to build a faith community and enrich the life of the old Irving Park neighborhood. In preparation for this pastoral leadership role, Fr. Bolser says he is still “boning up” on all aspects of the parish, including the actual number of families involved and/or registered in the parish and the profile of the students in its elementary school. However, this much he knows: as a Viatorian, he feels called to work collaboratively with every one of them. “I am a strong believer in the ministry of the baptized,” Fr. Bolser says. “All the baptized are called to mission, not just the clergy. As Viatorians, we bring a particular character to our mission.” Last spring, Fr. Bolser was honored at “The Night of the Lion” gala, hosted by Saint Viator High School supporters and alumni, in advance of the school’s fiftieth anniversary year. He was selected for this honor because of his previous work both as a former provincial of the Clerics of St. Viator and as a former president of Saint Viator High School. While he was the high school president, he guided its transition from an all-male school, through its merger with Sacred Heart of Mary High School, into its present mission as a co-educational institution. (www.saintviator.com)
SMdP students on retreat
However, these are just some of his many educational leadership accomplishments. Fr. Bolser recently completed his term as president of St. Martin de Porres High School in Waukegan, IL, part of the Cristo Rey Network of schools. St. Martin de Porres is a college preparatory high school for low-income students in one of Waukegan’s toughest social and economic regions. (www.smdpwaukegan.org) “It’s such a great project,” Fr. Bolser says. He oversaw its first four-year class graduate last year; a class in which 95 percent of its members planned to attend college, and included six students who earned $20,000 scholarships from the Schuler Family Foundation. In preparing for the pastorate of St. Viator Parish, he plans to continue his work in social justice, working with families much like those whose children attended St. Martin de Porres,
Fr. Bolser chatting with SMdP students 2
Viatorian Associate Empowering Local Seniors Associate Glenda Francis is a perfect example of the saying that “retirement” means embarking on a new stage of life. After completing her long tenure as a primary school teacher in and around Corozal Town, Belize, she started “HelpAge,” a non-governmental agency dedicated to outreach to local seniors. She began “HelpAge” in 2001 at a local convent and has directed its growth so that it now has its own center, a van to transport the seniors who cannot drive, and a coordinated series of activities designed to enhance their quality of life.
The underlying philosophy of “HelpAge” is that seniors play a vital role in society and they best actualize this role when they come together in a supportive and caring atmosphere. This spirit is keenly reflected in the theme for this year: “We are not aging, we are increasing in value.”
Based on the philosophy that seniors have much to offer, “HelpAge” offers a variety of programs that include enjoying each other’s company, embroidering arts and crafts, visiting the sick and shut-ins, and donating food to the poor. Associate Glenda Francis
Seniors from throughout Corozal Town gather every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, and the center hums with activity as members chat with one another while creating their many unique handicrafts. Periodically, they have special celebrations to honor the birthday of a member. Dedicated volunteers regularly visit over sixty shut-ins. The work is an extension of Glenda’s commitment as a Viatorian associate. Part of the Viatorian mission is to reach out to those who are often considered of little or no importance by mainstream society. Two key ways she encapsulates this aspect of the Viatorian mission is by working with people individually and ensuring that “Help Age” is managed correctly. Her individual outreach includes taking the Eucharist to shut-ins; they have the opportunity to visit, to share their faith, and to pray together. Moreover, it is under her leadership that the agency has grown to where it is today.
HelpAge members working on a project
She is a member of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Corozal and Fr. Christopher Glancy, CSV, invited her to become a pre-associate in 2004. She attended the introductory session and soon realized the bond between the religious and laity is the desire to make the world a better place based on Gospel values.
Glenda with a HelpAge member who is proudly displaying her handiwork
While preparing to become an associate, she discovered more deeply the unique Viatorian spirit. While studying the life of Fr. Louis Querbes, the Viatorian founder, she noted his sensitivity to the needs of people and to the Church, a vision she makes alive today through her work of listening and of sharing with the elderly. The atmosphere she promotes at “HelpAge” is that of mutual respect; even though the seniors are from a variety of religious traditions, everyone benefits and learns from each other.
Viatorian Vocations Vocations for the Viatorian Community are increasing in the Latin American country of Colombia, after seven young men entered various states of religious formation in January.
Br. Villalobos, currently working on a degree in communications, was attracted to the Viatorians because of their emphasis not only on community life but also their emphasis on serving others through their various apostolates. With Christ as his model, he anticipates “sharing what I have and what I am with others” as a religious in an international community that seeks to address the needs of the world.
“We’re thrilled; we have much to celebrate,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial of the Viatorians of the Province of Chicago, which includes the Foundation of Colombia.
The following day, the community welcomed additional vocations, this time three pre-novices.
The community gathered in the chapel at Colegio San Viator on January 17th to witness the profession of first vows of Br. Edwin Ruiz, CSV, and Br. Daniel Villalobos, CSV. In front of family, friends and the Viatorian Community, they Brs. Edwin Ruiz, CSV, and Daniel promised to live a life of Villalobos, CSV, receive a copy of the poverty, chastity, and Constitution of the Viatorians from obedience for the next Fr. Pedro Herrera, CSV, while three years. Fr. William Carpenter, CSV, delegate Fr. William Carpenter, CSV, recites a prayer. of Superior General Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, received their vows.
Oscar Javier Gutiérrez is studying communications and journalism at La Universidad de Los Libertadores while working at the National Federation of Merchants. Yuri Albert Mora is studying philosophy at La Universidad Minuto De Dios, in addition to working as an (L-R) Prenovices Yerhys Leonardo administrative assistant Obregón, Yuri Albert Mora, and at Colegio San Viator. Yerhys Oscar Javier Gutiérrez Leonardo Obregón, who is also studying philosophy, is a student at La Universidad Santo Tomas. During the next two years, they will be introduced to religious life by living in community, sharing their faith, and learning more about the Viatorian Community.
In his homily, Fr. Carpenter stressed that “the commitment these young men make today is countercultural.” He added that “they realize that there are other ways to live their lives than what is offered by mainstream society. In addition to their vows, they are promising a life of service to others.”
Earlier in the month, Br. Carlos Eduardo Diaz and Br. Carlos Arturo Romero left Bogotá in early January to begin their (L-R) Brs. Carlos Eduardo Diez novitiate in Santiago, Chile. (Colombia), David Mayto For one year, they will study (Bolivia), Carlos Arturo Romero Viatorian history, mission, and (Colombia), and Neicer Joel spirituality. Additional courses Delgado (Perú) in music, prayer, scripture, and theology, as well as ministerial experiences, will round out their formation program.
Br. Ruiz, who earned his degree in theology and is currently teaching religion to third, fourth, and fifth graders at Colegio San Viator, was drawn to the community by its emphasis on evangelization to both the young and adults. He looks forward to growing in his vocation and more readily “renouncing material attachments and dependencies in order to live in community and to be receptive to others.”
Prior to entering the novitiate, Br. Diaz and Br. Romero studied for degrees in psychology and sociology, respectively. Upon successful completion of their novitiate year, they plan to return to Bogotá to profess their first vows and continue their education before entering the ministerial apostolate at one of the Viatorian ministry sites. “We’re hopeful about our future as a religious community” stated Fr. Luis Eduardo Lopez, CSV, superior of the foundation. “With it comes the hope of expanded ministries that will serve the people of Colombia.”
The Colombian Viatorian Community 4
Jubiliarians 2009 advised George’s widowed mother to send her young son to a boarding school directed by the French speaking Clerics of St. Viator in Canada. He began as a student and later entered the novitiate of the Viatorian Province of Joliette, Canada, in 1948. While in Canada, Fr. Auger received his Bilingual Teaching Certificate from Ecole Normale, at Rigaud in Canada, in 1954.
Fr. Thomas Wise, CSV Fr. Thomas Wise, CSV, celebrates his sixtieth year as a Viatorian religious on August 15, 2009. Fr. Wise graduated from Our Lady of the Angels Grade School in Chicago, IL, attended St. Ignatius High School, entered the military, and after discharge, joined the Viatorians. While teaching at Spalding Institute in Peoria in 1958, the tragic fire at his grade school occurred where three teachers and over one hundred students perished.
Fr. Auger later transferred to the Province of Chicago and pursued many educational opportunities. Between 1957 and 1961, Fr. Auger studied theology at the Viatorian Seminary and was ordained a priest in 1961. While studying theology, he completed his work for a Master of Arts degree in English literature from DePaul University. Always the perpetual student, he also earned a diploma from Lumen Vitae in Brussels, Belgium, in Theologie de la Vie Religious, and a Master of Arts degree in religious education from Loyola University in Chicago. His expertise in spirituality and religious life is apparent in the many retreats he has led for religious communities, and in the articles he has published in many periodicals, including Review for Religious.
Fr. Wise studied a variety of academic fields to prepare himself as a teacher and parish minister. His academic milestones include graduating from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, IA, with a degree in political science. He pursued theological studies at Regina Angelorum Theological Seminary in Arlington Heights, IL, which led to his priestly ordination. Moreover, he earned a Master of Arts degree in educational administration while teaching at Spalding Institute in Peoria, IL.
Fr. Auger taught at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights and Spalding Institute in Peoria from 1961 to 1971. During the 1970s, he served as associate pastor at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais, and St. Joseph Parish in Springfield, IL. From 1983 until 1988 and later from 2004 to 2007, he was pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Kankakee. From 1988 until 1994 he lived in Rome and served as a general councilor for the Viatorian Community. Fr. Auger has served the community in many other ways, including being master of novices, spiritual director to the formation house, director of archives, and director of the residence wing at the Province Center.
Fr. Wise taught high school students in the United States and Colombia. His first assignment was at Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield, IL, during the school year 1952-1953, after which he studied theology. After ordination, he taught at Spalding Institute from 1957 to 1961, a year that marked a major turning point in his life. He, along with Frs. James Crilly, CSV, and Bert Mayr, CSV, traveled to Bogotá, Colombia, to found Colegio San Viator. As the school grew over the years, he served as assistant principal, dean of studies, and assistant superior. In 1970, Fr. Wise returned to the United States and taught for one year at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights. He began his work in parish ministry in 1973 at St. Viator Parish in Chicago as associate pastor. In 1979, he became its pastor, a position he held until 1985. His later assignments as associate pastor were at St. Viator Parish in Las Vegas, and then at Holy Family Parish in Granite City, IL, where he retired in 2002.
Br. John Dodd, CSV Br. John Dodd, CSV, is celebrating his fiftieth year as a Viatorian. Like several Viatorians, Br. Dodd comes from Springfield, IL, where he spent his high school years and came to know the Viatorian brothers and priests at Cathedral Boys High School. Br. Dodd, like his classmate Fr. Robert Erickson, CSV, was impressed by his teachers and was drawn to enter the community after high school graduation in 1958.
Fr. George Auger, CSV Even though Fr. George Auger, CSV, officially began his life as a religious of the Clerics of St. Viator sixty years ago, his anniversary of being part of the Viatorian Community goes back well before then. He was born in Detroit to a French speaking family and while a child, the local pastor
After he had completed his novitiate year in Arlington Heights, Br. Dodd attended Loyola University in Chicago where he …continued on page 6 5
Jubiliarians 2009 …continued from page 5
earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. He then pursued graduate studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., earning a Master of Business Administration degree in management. Thus, Br. Dodd became well prepared for a lifelong career in financial management. In 1964, he began his high school ministry by teaching for one year at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights. The next year he was assigned to work in the Diocese of Peoria, first as teacher and treasurer at Spalding Institute and later as the financial officer for the Peoria Area Catholic High School Board, whose oversight included Spalding Institute, Academy of Our Lady, and Bergen High School. In 1972, Br. Dodd returned to Saint Viator High School as its business manager, a position he held for two years before becoming provincial treasurer for the Clerics of St. Viator for the following twenty years. During this time, he became known for the good stewardship and management of the community’s material resources. His other tasks included maintaining the grounds and buildings of the community in Arlington Heights in good condition and in supervising the construction of the province’s retirement wing. In 1995, Br. Dodd was assigned to Las Vegas, NV, to become the chief financial officer for the Diocese of Las Vegas, a position he currently holds.
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 Office of Mission Advancement 1212 East Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights, IL 60004 847-637-2142 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
Fr. Robert Erickson Fr. Robert Erickson, CSV, has been a Viatorian for fifty years. He is one of sixteen current members of the community who graduated from Cathedral or Griffin High School in Springfield. After graduation, he entered the Viatorian Novitiate in Arlington Heights and he pronounced his first vows in 1959. Fr. Erickson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Loyola University in Chicago in 1963. He then earned two degrees from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.: a Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 1967, and Master of Teaching Science and Mathematics in 1969. During subsequent summers and during his sabbatical year, Fr. Erickson attended seven more universities. In his role as a lifelong student and as a native son of Springfield, IL, he has a keen interest in the life and work of Abraham Lincoln. After completing theological studies at the Viatorian Seminary in Washington, D.C., he was ordained a priest in 1967 and then was assigned to Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights where he taught mathematics and religion. In 1972, he served as assistant principal at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, IL. He returned to his alma mater to serve as principal from 1978 to 1988. Moreover, for the following three years, he was vice principal and director of development for the merged Sacred Heart – Griffin High School in Springfield. Before becoming provincial treasurer for the Province of Chicago, he spent two years working in campus ministry at St. John’s Catholic Chapel at the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL. All during his forty-two years as teacher and administrator, Fr. Erickson has been an active priest in the parishes of the cities where he has been assigned. He has directed many retreats and workshops and has often been a guest speaker on topics of theology and spirituality.
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 847-637-2125 or online at viatorians.com/prayers.
Viatorian International Solidarity Viatorians in the United States gathered regionally in February and March to discuss international Viatorian solidarity, one of two priorities established by the 2006 General Chapter. In his circular, International Viatorian Solidarity, Superior General Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, states, “Together with a concern for justice and peace issues, the desire of the general chapter to promote international Viatorian solidarity marks an important development in our understanding as a community.” He points out that the community is shrinking in the global north while it is growing in the global south, bringing about a change in the focus of the community. Following the well-known methodology of “See, Judge, Act,” members of the province have committed, over the next three years, to study ways they can connect on a significant international level with their confreres and associates who live and minister throughout the world. Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial of the Province of Chicago, initiated the “See” process in the regions by offering a PowerPoint presentation on the sixteen countries where Viatorians live and serve. Afterwards, group discussions took place during which individual members commented on their experience of international solidarity. Members listened attentively to one another’s experience of visiting, working, and/or living in one or more of the congregation’s provinces or foundations. Phases two and three, “Judge” and “Act,” will occur in 2010 and 2011, during which time members will be asked first to identify ways for local communities to relate to the international community and then to concretize steps for building solidarity throughout the community. The fruit of the these discussions will be presented and discussed at the 2012 General Chapter, a consultative and deliberative body comprised of representatives
from the international congregation. Delegates from all the other Viatorian provinces and foundations will share their findings as well. As stated by Fr. Francis, the long range goal is to discover “new ways of belonging to each other and promoting interdependence” in order to help us “determine how best to share human and material resources in order to satisfy particular needs.” In doing so, the community will be able to better build communities of faith, educate youth, and reach out to those accounted of little importance.
Websites Belize: Bolivia: Burkina Faso: Canada: Chile: Colombia: France: Haiti: Honduras: Italy: Ivory Coast: Japan: Peru: Spain: Taiwan: United States:
www.viatorians.com www.viator.cl www.viateurs.ca www.viateurs.ca www.viator.cl www.viatorianos.com pro.wanadoo.fr/viateur.france www.viateurs.ca www.csviator.es www.csviator.net pro.wanadoo.fr/viateur.france www.viateurs.ca www.viateurs.ca www.csviator.es www.viateurs.ca www.viatorians.com
A sampling of the myriad of ministries of the international Viatorian Community reflects the following: • • • • • • •
57 Parish Communities; 71 Small Faith-Based Communities; 2 Shrines; 3 Retreat Centers; 30 Elementary and Secondary schools; 2 Non-Governmental Organizations; A House of Faith for the Deaf; 7
• A Center for Faith Formation and Social Justice; • An HIV/AIDS Hospice; • A Faith and Social Action Center for Youth; • Numerous Outreach Projects for the Marginalized.
Spring Break 2009 Spring break took on new meaning for a group of students from Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, IL. Instead of lounging on the beach, they found themselves embracing an alternative spring break program, which included doing hard, manual labor throughout their week long “vacation.”
“Our students arrived with a sense that they had something to offer,” says Br. John Eustice, CSV, one of the campus ministers who traveled with them, “but they were surprised to return with much more.” Right from the beginning, they realized they were not at the Saint Viator High School they knew in Arlington Heights. Just getting to the work site was a challenge because it One of the ferries the students had to cross entailed traveling for when they traveled to Chunox an hour over dirt roads and crossing two rivers via car ferries. These ferries are wooden structures powered by hand cranking.
And they loved it. “I feel very fortunate,” says junior Sarah Liedlich of Barrington. “This took us outside our little bubble here, to see how other people live.” In all, nine students and three campus ministers traveled for a week in March to Chunox, Belize, in Central America, to the remote campus of St. Viator Vocational High School. The campus of the four-year old agricultural school includes barns and sheds as well as the traditional classroom building and dining hall. Its curriculum has students spending half their time in the fields where they practice plant and animal husbandry, which they learn in the classroom. What drew these students in Arlington Heights was the chance to replace the teachers’ housing in Belize - a primitive dwelling lacking electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing - with a three-bedroom unit equipped with modern amenities. During this year’s Lenten campaign at Saint Viator High School, called “Building a Foundation of Faith,” the student body raised $10,000 to cover the initial construction costs through each student contributing roughly one dollar per school day during Lent. The students from St. Viator Grade School in Las Vegas, NV, partnered with them and raised $500 for the project. They envisioned the project as a “Habitat for Humanity” trip, only in a foreign country.
Moving the ferry from one side of the river to the next
However, when they arrived, they found only the foundation was poured. “By the end of the week, most of the four walls were up, so we all felt great,” Sarah added. The Arlington Heights students worked side by side with their Belizean counterparts on the days that they would normally be working outside.
The Student Body of Chunox St. Viator Vocational High School with students from Saint Viator High School, Arlington Heights
“We divided into two camps, the building group, which loaded cinder blocks in place, and the hole digging group, which dug holes for the septic system,” says junior Jim Thomas of Palatine.
Preparing for the installation of the septic tank
Jim reflected that “the classroom was surprisingly similar, with class periods during the day and a computer lab. But what I will take away from the whole trip is the cultural experience and how appreciative they were.” The walls are going up. 8
Parishioners from St. Francis Xavier in nearby Corozal prepared authentic Belizean meals each night for the group. On the weekend, the students found time to tour local Mayan ruins, go snorkeling in the Caribbean, and visit Old Belize City.
Building a Foundation of Faith Income Saint Viator High School, Arlington Heights Saint Viator Grade School, Las Vegas Donations from Winter Issue of Viator Total Donations The plans for the new residence
10,000 500 3,500 14,000
Expenses Materials Foundation Flooring
Roof Doors and Windows Interior Work
Students begin their work.
3,277 470 1,405
Outside Work Septic System Exterior Painting Total Outside Work
The students are seeing the results of their work.
1,500 500 2,000
Contingency (5% of Total)
To make a contribution to this cause, please check the box marked "Belize" on the attached contribution envelope. Their last day ended with an all-school celebration that included cakes baked by the home economics classes, as well as songs and dances, and prayers written by students for their safe return home.
The students can justifiably look with pride at what they had accomplished.
However, Br. Eustice sees the lasting impact of the service trip going beyond the cinder blocks they loaded. “It was the students from both schools working side by side and sharing their life experiences with one another,” he says. “In scripture, we are told we are all part of the body of Christ. This week, indeed, allowed two different parts of the body to come together and recognize each other.”
Viatorian Mission Advancement A new group of advisors met in April to discuss some possible new venues to raise awareness about aspects of the Viatorian Community to its various publics. Besides Viatorian representatives, the members of this new advisory group include marketing and development professionals and members from other religious communities.
He added that he sees the possibility of lay volunteers to be a viable extension of Fr. Louis Querbes’ original mission when he founded the Clerics of St. Viator, and it would be both enriching and fulfilling for everyone involved to move this issue forward. “This is an exciting moment to see the community mission being carried on by all of us together,” Br. Rob added, “and in new ways that are truly outside the parameters of our ‘traditional’ model of priests and brothers, only.”
This Mission Advancement Advisory Council [MAAC] assembled at the invitation of Associate Randy Baker, who undertook the role of coordinator of mission advancement for the Clerics of St. Viator in November 2008, after a twenty-five year career in marketing in the corporate arena.
Plans are underway to establish this lay Viatorian volunteer corps by next year.
Viatorian Community Mission Advancement Advisory Council Members
This first meeting took place at the Province Center in Arlington Heights; its importance drew the Superior General Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, and Provincial Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, to attend.
Name Mr. Randy Baker
Affiliation Viatorian Coordinator of Mission Advancement MAA Chair Ms. Karen Cutler Viatorian Coordinator of Programs and Special Events. Recording Secretary MAAC Mrs. Eileen Daday Free-Lance Writer Saint Viator High School parent Fr. Scott Donahue President, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls Chicago, IL Br. John Eustice, CSV Campus Minister Saint Viator High School Arlington Heights, IL Mrs. Connie Gerber Viatorian Lay Associate Las Vegas, NV Mr. Terry Granger Principal Maternity BVM Bourbonnais, IL Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, CPPS Director of Mission Advancement Society of the Precious Blood Fr. Greg Jones, CSV Food For the Poor Ms. Carmie Linden Development Director Divine Word Ministries Techny, IL Mrs. Linda McKinley Bishop Gorman High School Las Vegas, NV Ms. Bridget Moore Assistant Director of Advancement Bishop Gorman High School Las Vegas, NV Mrs. Marilyn Mulcahy Pastoral Associate St. Patrick Parish Kankakee, IL Ms. Lorraine Nelson Strategic Management and Fundraising Specialist Mr. Jim Polark Saint Viator High School Parent Br. Rob Robertson, CSV Counselor Saint Viator High School Mr. Joe Romanowski Saint Viator High School Parent Mr. Mark Teresi VP Institutional Development Mundelein Seminary Mundelein, IL
“We are beginning something new,” Fr. von Behren said, “that goes along with the initial intuition of Fr. Louis Querbes, of including lay men and women as equal partners in the community.” Members of the advisory council spent the morning learning about the international Viatorian community--- its five provinces and ten foundations that spread the mission of this truly international community literally around the world. Since most of the advisory members were surprised to learn how far the community reached across the globe and how the community served in so many developing countries, they acknowledged that it was quite probable that the casual supporter of the Viatorians did not know about these international dimensions and global ministry orientations either; this recognition only underscored the objectives of the Mission Advancement Advisory Council. During the working sessions in the afternoon, the members tackled some of the pragmatic dimensions of mission advancement, which included a review of the Viatorian newsletter and website as well as a discussion of the crucial importance of relationship building through donor partnerships. It was not until the end of the meeting that Fr. von Behren announced the one issue that left everyone wanting to know more: the concept of a lay Viatorian volunteer corps. He described the community’s desire to offer volunteer opportunities — both short term and longer, one to two year immersion programs — in some of the locations where Viatorians currently minister. These range from the proximate site of St. Viator Parish in Chicago to the distant sites of the foundations in Belize and Colombia. The idea resonated with Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, who serves as a counselor at Saint Viator High School and who has worked in its campus ministry office over the past years. He knows first hand of the benefits of serving others. “The volunteer program is something many of us have been wanting for a long time,” Br. Rob said, “since we see it as the true meaning of mission advancement.” 10
In the Footsteps of Our Founder Fr. Querbes Received by Pope Gregory XVI The indefinite return to Rome of Cardinal Sala, the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars, created an unexpected opportunity for Fr. Louis Querbes. He undertook a pilgrimage to Loretto, leaving Rome on May 30th. He alerted his parish and religious in Vourles that he would celebrate Eucharist for them at Loretto on June 4th, 1838. He asked them to be spiritually united with him that day. Returning to Rome on June 10th, he discovered the Cardinal was still absent. Fr. Querbes had exhausted his modest resources. He appealed to his priest friend, Fr. Vincent Pater, Pastor of Vaise, for funds. He would do so often in the future. He was awaiting his audience with Pope Gregory XVI. The Master of Chamber advised Fr. Querbes on June 18th that he was scheduled to be presented to the Pope on June 20th. Fr. Pierre Robert, Viatorian Superior General (1919-1922), in his biography entitled The Life of Louis Marie Querbes, provides details of that audience. (Robert 169) Fr. Querbes read Pope Gregory XVI an account, in Italian, of his society which further explained points previously included
I v o r y
(1) That the Society was a religious community, with members pronouncing the simple vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; moreover, a small number of the society would be priests “for the direction of the principal establishments” and/or “for the missions, which it would please the bishops to entrust them with.” (Robert 169) (2) They would be called Parochial Clerics because, following the intention of the Council of Trent (Session 23, Chapter 17), they would concern themselves with chant, sacred ceremonies, and care of the holy altar. (3) They would teach Christian Doctrine drawn from the Roman Catechism, especially in rural primary schools. (4) The Society would be under the patronage of St. Viator, a cleric of Lyon, in the order of lector, under Bishop St. Just (circa 380). Canada
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in his Latin petition. What were the points he emphasized?
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The statues submitted by Archbishop de Pins had already been examined and approved by one of the consulters, Father Roisavan. Fr. Querbes hoped that His Holiness would immediately approve his statues. “He was fully determined not to withdraw until he heard, ‘Go, and be it done unto you according to your faith.’” Pope Gregory XVI received his petition “with a very marked interest and kindness.” (Robert 169) From June 20th, 1838, forward, the Sacred Congregation really began to take active interest in the petition of Fr. Querbes. Brother Leo V. Ryan, CSV France
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In Memoriam: Fr. Thomas J. Pisors, CSV Countless students, faculty, staff, religious, family, and friends have witnessed the love of Christ through their encounters with Fr. Thomas J. Pisors, C.S.V. The physics laboratory at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School is but a tangible reminder of the legacy of Fr. Pisors, and of the tremendous impact he made in the lives of so many young men and women over the course of his forty-four years of teaching and ministering in Springfield, IL.
retired from Sacred-Heart Griffin High School in 2006. Sr. Kathleen Ann Tait, OP, who served as principal of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, brought Fr. Pisors and his physics equipment over to her school from the former Griffin High School. She laughs at the thought of having to build all of those cabinets, especially because they held only donated equipment. Fr. Pisors left behind all of his older equipment at the former Griffin High School when he moved down the block to the new building of Sacred Heart-Griffin. “He was the consummate teacher,” she says. “He set high expectations for his students and never wavered from them. People still tell me he was the best teacher they ever had.”
This physics laboratory is surrounded by a series of fully-stocked cabinets. School officials had them built in order to accommodate all of the physics equipment donated to his classroom/laboratory by former students; innumerable students of Fr. Pisors followed his inspiration and have gone on to pursue careers in science. “You challenged me to be more analytical and detail-oriented, and you helped create a desire within me for lifelong learning,” wrote Bridget Lavin, a former student who is now pursuing a Ph.D. in health-systems management.
Members of the Viatorian Community remembered him not only as a scholar and a teacher, but also as someone who was dedicated to the Scriptures and religious life. They remembered and reflected on the many ways that his presence had been felt from the subtlety of a prayer or a thoughtful note to the strength of his dedication to God, family, students, staff, and to Catholic high school education. Members of the Viatorian Community remarked that what really stood out, however, in the life of Fr. Thomas Pisors, was not only the “work” he did but rather the pastoral care and presence with which he lived. His deep faith and the grace with which he addressed those in his life and the things of life are the lessons he taught to the very end.
Fr. Pisors died on April 25, 2009, at the age of 76. His brother, Fr. John Pisors, CSV, who has been stationed in Colombia for the past forty-two years, preached at his funeral mass. In his homily, he spoke of his brother’s deep faith: “Tom is happy today, and at peace. In fact, I could say that he was longing for it anxiously. His waiting and longing for death was a healthy desire to be with the Lord.” Yet, even before his death, heartfelt notes of gratitude were mailed to Fr. Pisors, once the news of his terminal cancer became known. “You challenged me, yet encouraged me,” wrote Bill von Behren, now a lawyer in Los Angeles. “You brought out talents and intellect that I never knew I had.”
“He was deeply committed to the spiritual life,” said Fr. Robert Erickson, CSV, “and utterly faithful to the end.” Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, who lived with him both in Springfield, and again at the province center in Arlington Heights, mentioned that the entire community misses his prayerful manner. “We will miss his quiet and gentle presence,” Fr. von Behren said, “that reminded all of us to be men of prayer and to strive for excellence in ministry.
Fr. Pisors began his secondary education at Fournier Institute in Lemont, IL, with the intent of becoming an electrical engineer. However, after graduation, he entered the Viatorian novitiate and pronounced his first vows in 1952; he was ordained a priest in 1961. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from Loyola University in Chicago, and a Master of Arts degree in physics from Northwestern University in Evanston; in addition, he spent countless summers taking postgraduate courses at an astounding fifteen universities.
For his part, Fr. Thomas Pisors accepted his passing gracefully. “I'm kind of getting used to the idea of beginning the next life before very long, and am rather anxious to try it out,” he wrote to his many supporters. “I have nothing but gratitude for the life God gave me, especially in Springfield, so I'm sure I can trust Him for the rest of eternity.”
Fr. Pisors began teaching mathematics and physics at Griffin High School, in Springfield, IL, in 1962. He continued teaching after the school merged, in 1988, with Sacred Heart Academy, a high school administered by the Springfield Dominican Sisters. He
Forever the educator, Fr. Thomas Pisors’ lessons remain for us all; lessons of work and prayer, lessons of living and dying, and lessons of faith, hope, and love. We will miss him. 12
Around the Province The 2006 Vision Statement of the Viatorian Community states that “we resolve to expand and deepen our prophetic role as a community of associates, brothers, and priests by addressing contemporary social issues.” The ministry of Associate Glenda Francis, highlighted on page 3 and the Saint Viator High School mission trip, highlighted on pages 8-9 are just two examples of Viatorians addressing some salient social issues. In addition, many more Viatorians engage in this crucial social justice ministry as seen through the selected examples highlighted below.
Immigration Attentive to the plight of immigrants and the call for Catholics from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (www.usccb.org) to stand in solidarity with immigrants, Viatorians participated in a March 14th demonstration in the Pilsen area of Chicago to call attention to the current war on immigration evidenced by increased INS raids and racial profiling. Several other Viatorians have advocated for sane immigration reform with their U.S. and state senators and representatives.
Chicago police prepare for the peaceful demonstration on March 14 in the Pilsen neighborhood.
The Mentally Challenged As part of his ministry practicum for his Master of Divinity degree, Br. Jason Nesbit, CSV, ministers to the chronically mentally challenged through the Faith and Fellowship program Br. Jason Nesbit, CSV, enjoys his lunch housed at St. Catharine/ with participants of the Faith and St. Lucy parish in Oak Fellowship program. Park, IL. In addition to building a community where participants can share their faith, the program offers support on a group and individual basis. Br. Nesbit hopes that by raising awareness of the mentally challenged, he can help alleviate the stigma that is often associated with it.
Genocide/ Child Soldiers
Earlier this year, the Viatorian Community partnered with twentyfour other religious communities of women and men and the Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform in Chicago to help fund the St. Toribio Immigrant Center that will serve immigrants who live predominantly in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods in Chicago. The center, operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago, provides educational, pastoral, legal, and social services. It is hoped that Viatorians will be able serve as volunteers at the center in the near future. At press time, the center was due to open on May 20th. In a similar same vein, Associates Henrietta Chamness and Patty Wischnowski from Bourbonnais, IL, reach out to migrant workers, many of them immigrants, by offering monthly wellness checks in nearby Momence. They also provide emergency clothing, food, and medical assistance.
The Province of Chicago has had a long history of siding with immigrants. For example, a crucial fact in Viatorian history is that, in 1864, Canadian Viatorians left their home in Quebec for Bourbonnais, IL, to minister to French-speaking Canadian immigrants who settled there.
Associate Henrietta Chamness and co-workers in Momence, IL
Encouraging the next generation to take a stand on behalf of those without a voice, students at Saint Viator High School continue to raise awareness about a number of social justice issues through the SVHS student Student Action Tribe moderated by Fr. Corey Brost, CSV. Concerned about the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan, students designated March 31st -April 5th as Save Darfur Week. They painted www.SaveDarfur.org on more than 150 rear windshields of cars belonging to students and teachers who were willing to be a “rolling demonstrator” for the week. Moreover, accompanied by Viatorians, they took part in the April 19th Youth United for Darfur rally at the Federal Plaza in Chicago. Here, they listened to speakers from Sudan, wrote postcards to President Obama …continued on page 14 13
Around the Province… continued from page 13 encouraging him to do more to end the genocide, and sent video messages to Sudanese teens living in refugee camps. For additional information on the rally, please visit www.youthunitedfordarfur.org. In a related global situation, for the past twenty-three years, the government of Uganda was been waging a war with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Nearly two million civilians have been caught in the middle of this armed conflict. In order to replace rebels who have been killed, the LRA has resorted to abducting children, indoctrinating and coercing them to be child-soldiers.
the Cross, this spiritual exercise highlighted several injustices found in the world today. This year’s theme, Who Will Carry the Word? To Remember, To Speak, To Act, To Imagine, focused on rights of children, workers, immigration, gender based violence, the environment, the displaced people of Colombia, torture, and injustice in the Church.
SVHS students at Youth United for Darfur Rally
8th Station – Stripped: Torture
Poverty Whether it is participating in campaigns such as Catholics Confront Global Poverty www.usccb.org/globalpoverty or Catholic Charities USA Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America www.catholiccharitiesusa.org, leading service groups to impoverished areas, sponsoring food and clothing pantries, educating the underserved, or preaching at Sunday Masses, Viatorians have been confronting poverty both here and abroad.
SVHS students participate in the letter writing campaign on behalf of the refugees in Uganda.
On May 1st and 2nd, SVHS students participated in the second annual Displace Me demonstration to raise awareness of and to stand in solidarity with the nearly 1.5 million St. Viator High School student displaced people living in painting a picture. refugee camps in northern Uganda as well as the plight of childsoldiers in the country. This year’s demonstration was organized by SVHS junior, Steven Patzke. He became involved because he is amazed that “the conflict has been going on for twenty-three years and so few people know about it.” In addition to living in tents and consuming only crackers and water for twenty-four hours, participants wrote letters to the presidents of Uganda and the United States, as well as their U.S. senators, in order to call for an end to this horrific war and violence.
6th Station – Falling
In one such case, Associates Michelle and Ken Barrie and the St. Patrick/St. Teresa Youth Group (Kankakee, IL) have been volunteering Associate Ken Barrie and youths in through Sacred Heart Mission Hopkins Park, IL Church in Hopkins Park, IL, for the past ten years. Located in Pembroke Township, one of the poorest townships in Illinois, Sacred Heart provides outreach services to the residents of the area. Not only has the youth group rehabbed the church, a social center of the area, they have also spent several hours painting and repairing the homes of the elderly of the area. Through such projects, the youth come face-to-face with those living at or below poverty level. Such encounters force them to examine their lives and question their role in making the world a better place for all.
For more information on Displace Me demonstrations that have taken place throughout the country and the ongoing struggle in Uganda, please visit www.invisiblechildren.com.
Faculty and students at Colegio San Viator in Colombia addressed poverty and hunger by collecting non-perishable food items during Lent. The food was then distributed to families living below the poverty level in San Juan María Vianney and San Basilio Magno
As cosponsors of and participants in the 8th Day Center For Justice’s 29th annual Good Friday Walk For Justice held on April 10th, the Viatorian Community sought to promote awareness of several global social justice issues. Based on the Christian tradition of the Stations of 14
parishes; both parishes are administered by the Viatorians. Food was also donated to Ancianato San José of Girardot, a home for the elderly, located three hours south of Bogotá. The facility relies entirely on donations to feed the residents. Like their counterparts at Saint Viator High School and the St. Patrick-St. Teresa Youth Group, and other Viatorian parishes and grade schools in the United States, such actions give these young Colombian students an opportunity to reflect on the many ways they can reach out to others who are less fortunate and who are accounted of little or no importance by mainstream society.
Sisters, Staben House for homeless women and children, Northern Illinois Food Bank, and The Harbor, a residence for persons with HIV/AIDS.
SMdP students at Northern Illinois Food Bank
In February and May, several Viatorian associates and professed interviewed prospective students for the coveted spots for the 2009-2010 academic year. Enrollment is limited since the school is outgrowing its current space. Funding is needed to build a new facility that will meet the educational needs of the 21st century. For Viatorians, providing quality education for at-risk youth is a continuation of the mission inaugurated by Viatorian Founder, Fr. Querbes, in the 1830’s in Vourles, France.
Believing that education can break the cycle of poverty, Viatorians are committed to St. Martin de Porres High School in Waukegan, IL, www.smdpwaukegan.org. As endorsers of the school, the Viatorian Community continues to support the school for underserved students with funding and personnel. Students are not only offered a quality education, they are also placed in entry level jobs with corporate partners to help pay their tuition and to gain professional work experience. In addition, they are encouraged to give back to their community through SMdP’s People For Others project by volunteering at local organizations such as Big Brothers Big
These categories and stories of social justice ministry are illustrative of just a few of the myriad, daily, activities of Viatorian associates, brothers, and priests, who embrace the marginalized in our contemporary society in the spirit of Gospel Beatitudes. For further information about the Viatorian Community, please go to www.viatorians.com.
Viatorian Responses to the Unemployment Crisis The current economic crisis severely impacts each one of us, a fact amply demonstrated within Viatorian parishes. Many parishioners have stories of someone they know or that they themselves have personally experienced the shock of a sudden job loss. An unfortunately common example is that of office workers being unexpectedly given their severance pay at 5 o’clock and being told for the first time that the office is now closing for good. The ripple effects include foreclosed mortgages, vacant homes, and people requesting government assistance who never before asked for it. The anxiety caused by these events is often compounded by the classic American values of pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, being a rugged individualist, and measuring one’s self-worth by one’s position in the work world. Each Viatorian parish has a variety of programs which include working with other agencies to best respond to the parishioner’s needs, collecting and distributing food, and paying a portion of utility bills and mortgage payments.
A psychologist, who is a parishioner at St. Thomas More, facilitates a support group for those who lost their jobs, the focus being on what they need to do to reenter the current, very slim, market.
St. Thomas More Church in Henderson, NV, has a program called a skills bank whereby the parish matches parishioners with specific skills to those who need them. These skills include resume writing, job search techniques, and retraining for another position.
A serious concern among many parishioners is that their children remain in the parish grade schools. In each Viatorian parish that has a …continued on page 16 15
Clerics of St. Viator 1212 E. Euclid Avenue Arlington Heights, IL 60004-5799
NON-PROFIT US POSTAGE
Newsletter – Spring/Summer 2009
PERMIT NO. 7160 PALATINE P&DC, IL
Viator is published three times a year by the Office of Mission Advancement for the Clerics of St. Viator, Province of Chicago. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.viatorians.com Our purpose is to present the mission, ministries, news and needs of our community to those who are interested in and supportive of our works.
Provincial: Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV
Editor: Fr. Thomas E. Long, CSV
Editorial Board: Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Br. Michael T. Gosch, CSV Br. Donald P. Houde, CSV Fr. Thomas G. Kass, CSV Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV
Contributing Journalist: Eileen O’Grady Daday
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Viatorian Responses… continued from page 15 school, the parish staff works with these parents toward that goal by subsidizing part of the tuition for some students and directing financial aid to them from the contributions of other generous parishioners. Often the families who receive aid respond by helping others through service to the parish and/or school. Pope Benedict XVI recently expressed his concern toward those who are suffering the most from this crisis in his letter to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in preparation for the G-20 summit in London this past April 2nd-3rd. In that letter, he urged those leaders to stabilize financial markets without excluding families and the poor, reminding them that the solutions must seek "to offer security to families and stability to workers and, through appropriate regulations and controls, to restore ethics to the financial world." The U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference reiterated this with its statement: “Society as a whole, acting through public and private institutions, has the moral responsibility to enhance human dignity and protect human rights … government does have a positive moral responsibility in safeguarding human rights and ensuring that the minimum conditions of human dignity are met for all.”
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