Volume 16, No. 1
Viatorians working in youth ministry Youth ministry at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Corozal Town, Belize, encompasses an extensive educational system of 13 preschools, 19 primary schools, and Chunox St. Viator Vocational High School. The combined school enrollments equal more than 5,000 students. Furthermore, the parish
While the principals are responsible for the day-today operations, Francisco oversees the direction of the schools and ensures that academic standards are maintained. His methods include periodically visiting the schools, talking with the personnel, and studying the school records and teacher evaluations. Francisco describes the school system as a community of principals, teachers, parents, and students working together for the children’s benefit. The results sometimes manifest themselves in pleasantly surprising ways. For example, Francisco related that he
Students putting the roof beams in place
sponsors a very active parish youth ministry program. For the success of such a diverse program, dedicated and competent leaders are required; they are found in Associate Francisco Magaña and Br. John Eustice, CSV. Francisco Magaña directs the schools—all but three are located in the rural areas and are staffed by 225 teachers. Having over 25 years of educational experience and working together with the 20 school principals, he ensures that the schools run efficiently. 2
Francisco Magaña with the Fireburn School graduates
was recently driving and encountered a roadblock. The soldier walked up to the window and immediately recognized Francisco from his student Continued on page 2
Youth Ministry... continued from page 1
days. The soldier pleasantly greeted him by name and sent him on his way. His ministry has also enabled him to develop construction skills. With so many schools in scattered areas, the need to construct and maintain the buildings is crucial. Many parents respond by readily volunteering their time and effort to the construction projects from which their children will benefit. To ensure the best use of their time and effort, Francisco coordinates their efforts and has become very adept in reading blueprints and directing the pouring of concrete.
with prayer and communion services, and being supportive in whatever way he is needed. He also serves on the high school’s board of management. While John is very
John contacted a group of local youth, all dressed in dark colors, many wearing earrings, and at least one sporting a tattoo. John quickly saw through that supposedly grim façade knowing that they were typical adolescents who were craving acceptance from their peers while at the same trying to assert their individuality. He invited them to help repair the house and they readily agreed.
From 9 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., they worked patching the roof, building interior walls, and plastering the inside walls with concrete; these repairs blocked the airflow that was causing so much discomfort. As typical of energetic teens, Visiting the schools entails they ate all the food put in driving, walking, and taking front of them and the day After a hard day’s work, the young people with their adult leaders gather a boat. The farthest school, around the woman whose home they remodeled. was filled with music and Fireburn, is three hours away laughter. The sacrificing of a day of their from Corozal and is located in an isolated busy with his assistance at the school, his Christmas vacation and enthusiastically village. Even though Fireburn’s enrollment primary focus concentrates on the parish giving of themselves resulted in markedly totals nine students, he says the school is as youth ministry in which he deals with young improved living conditions for an elderly equally important as the larger schools. people on a one-on-one basis and as a group. woman and her three grandchildren. A core belief of his is that Christianity must He sees his ministry as a continuation of the Francisco and John are two examples of be alive and action brings it to life. He vision of Fr. Querbes, the founder of the Viatorians working together with the laity to couples this belief with the young people’s Viatorian Community. Fr. Querbes taught bring about the Viatorian mission of raising youthful enthusiasm and idealism. children living in rural poverty and he up Christian communities where the faith is founded the Viatorians to continue this It was recently brought to his attention that lived, deepened, and celebrated. The positive work, which Francisco is presently doing an older woman was living in a thatched impacts of these young people's efforts will as an associate working in conjunction with house with stick walls that were in dire need live on for years. fellow laity and professed Viatorians. of repair. No central heating system, cracked Thomas Long, CSV walls that allow the wind to enter, and a Br. John Eustice, CSV, supports the schools leaking roof all contributed to her misery. by providing class mini-retreats, assisting
Viatorians working together 2
Saint Viator alums help rebuild a home The generosity of today's youth shows itself in many ways, and the recent trip by three Saint Viator High School alumni to Belize to help reconstruct a family home is but one example. Katie Dziedzic, Molly Farwell, and Richard Schwarz sacrificed their college vacation and traveled to Corozal District where they helped to rebuild a 10 x 20 ft. stick house that housed a 17-member family.
Molly, Richard and Katie also participated in the communal daily life. They attended a communion service at a village Catholic Church and witnessed a young woman being presented to the
Molly lugs a bucket of cement to mix it with water.
faith community while celebrating her Quincea単era (15th birthday), a right of passage into adulthood. During the reception, adults suspended a pi単ata from the ceiling that children then hit with a stick in the hopes of breaking it and enjoying the candy that would fall to the floor. The three Saint Viator grads later joined the family in their home where they enjoyed even more food and dancing. The host family especially honored them by seating them at the head table.
Richard, Molly, and Katie are getting the forms ready.
Collaboration was the project hallmark as they worked with four local young adults, a construction contractor, Associate Rafael Cob, many family members, and me. The mother and daughters cooked lunches over an outdoor fire while the father, who is ill and nearly blind, helped to hoist buckets of water from the well. Other volunteers then mixed the water with the cement. Even the four-year old daughter moved After a hard day at work, everyone enjoys a game of soccer. small pieces of lumber.
Reflecting on their experience, they soon discovered the similarities in all of us: parents caring for their children, children dreaming dreams about their futures, and everyone enjoying sports, especially soccer. What they are especially grateful for is they went beyond their comfort zones and gained a deeper understanding of the family of humanity. John Eustice, CSV
viatorian commitment 3
Viatorian volunteer shares his reflections John Leahy offers something of a first to the Viatorian Community: he is the first long-term volunteer working in Belize, and he started writing a blog (www.viatorianservicecorps.blogspot.com) about his experiences. Both have helped the Viatorians advance their ministry and reach a greater audience with their international mission work. Yet, after posting multiple blog entries from his first months on the job, John still finds it challenging to describe a typical day.
animal husbandry, which are the main occupations of the region, John has taken on the challenge of shoring up the writing skills of the students. “I had one mission this whole semester, and it was to drill the need for a topic sentence and some semblance of organization into their writing,” John wrote in a blog entry at the end of his first semester. “It was largely accomplished.”
“That’s really hard, because there is no typical day,” he says. “They have no problem filling up though!” Six months into a volunteer commitment with the Viatorians, John sees his role shaping up as a teacher, youth minister and mentor, and meeting the needs of parishioners of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Corozal Town, Belize, and for those who live in the 23 surrounding villages. He works side by side with a pair of Viatorians staffing the parish, Fr. Christopher Glancy, CSV, and Br. John Eustice, CSV, who serve as pastor and pastoral associate respectively. For the most part, John works with the young adults in the parish. Three afternoons a week, he teaches a communications skills class at Chunox St. Viator Vocational High School in the fishing village of Chunox. It takes him 45 minutes to get to the school provided that the roads are not washed out and the two ferries are working properly. While the school combines core academic subjects with studying agriculture and
Drawing on his days at Saint Viator High School and his involvement with the campus ministry department, John also helps to organize Quest retreats at the parish and lead service projects. Both he and the young people derive much satisfaction from these events. Although John graduated from Saint Viator High School in 2005 before attending the University of Notre Dame and working in legal research for a Chicago law firm, he never lost touch with his Viatorian roots. Acting on a whim, he contacted his former high school English teacher, Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, to ask about volunteer opportunities within the Viatorian Community. “That to me is the amazing part,” John says, “that I felt comfortable enough to contact him, probably five years after I had last seen him. I hope other Saint Viator graduates feel that way about their former teachers.”
One of John’s many tasks is tutoring students.
He also works with the parish’s youth ministry program. One of the first things he did when he arrived in August was to plan monthly youth nights at the church, giving young people a safe environment to relax and have fun. “Unfortunately, violence, gangs and drug use are on the rise, and that causes many parents to grant their children less and less freedom,” John says. “These youth nights are a healthy social outlet, and they seem to fill a need. They’ve been well attended so far.”
His email came at a good time. Viatorians stationed in Belize were in need of extra hands, and their superiors had looked to incorporate more volunteer opportunities for their supporters and partners in mission. “I wondered when else would I ever get an opportunity to do something like this,” John says. “Volunteering and traveling both have the potential to expand your horizons. It takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to confront realities that you never would have seen otherwise. “I’m all for both,” he adds. Eileen Daday
Fr. Erickson shares his passion for Scripture Fr. Robert Erickson, CSV, has spent more than 50 years as a Viatorian, including the last 16 as treasurer of the Province of Chicago. However, with that term ending in July 2010, a new career drives him: working full time as a retreat leader, preacher and spiritual director. And there seems to be a growing demand for his talents. Already, he teaches a pair of Scripture classes to adults at Holy Family Parish in Inverness, IL and offers days of recollection every month for a women’s guild at the Cenacle Retreat Center in Chicago, where he led a New Year’s Eve retreat for lay people last month. He also expects to become more involved with retreats and preaching at the suburban parishes where he provides sacramental ministry on a regular basis, including Holy Family Parish, St. James in Arlington Heights, St. Julian Eymard in Elk Grove Village, St. Hubert in Hoffman Estates and St. Theresa in Palatine. All these parishes are located nearby the Viatorian Province Center where he resides. “Studying the Scripture and theology has been an ongoing interest for me,” Fr. Erickson says, “but the more I study, particularly the gospels, the more they
resonate with me. The gospels are such magnificent narratives that resonate with me psychologically, emotionally and spiritually,” he adds. “And when you share it with people, they seem to be hungering for it.” Fr. Erickson doesn’t purport to be a Scripture scholar. Despite his multiple degrees, including one in sacred theology from Catholic University of America, he describes his approach to preaching as a literary-spiritual approach. “This is not deep scholarship,” he says, “but it is more about uncovering the spirituality underneath the gospels, which are the literary devices. If you can get underneath the story to see what the spiritual dynamic is,” he adds, “it helps people transform their lives.” Fr. Erickson knows something about transformed lives. By his own account, he entered the Viatorian Community in 1959 to emulate the priests and teachers who taught him at the former Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield. In fact, the first 25 years of his ministry were spent in education, teaching mathematics and religion at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights and at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, before serving as principal of his alma mater, Griffin High School in Springfield.
That immersion into the study of Scriptures and theology, he says, changed the way he looked at things and gave him a deeper awareness of the spirituality in life. “Once I started working with it,” Fr. Erickson says, “I wanted to share it.” Always one to be of service to the Viatorian Community, this March, Fr. Erickson will direct a retreat that will prepare both Viatorian associates and professed members for their Lenten journey. In June, he will preach the annual Viatorian Congregation retreat at the Viatorian Province Center. Clearly, Fr. Erickson actively shares his passion for the word of God in multiple venues—local suburban parishes, workshops for adult lay women and men, and retreat work. He is a true gift not only to the Viatorian Community but also to those with whom and for whom he ministers. Eileen Daday
When the school merged at the end of his tenure, in 1988, he stayed on for three years to help with the transition. Afterwards, he went on a one-year sabbatical at the Jesuits’ School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass.
spiritual journey 5
Q & A with Patty Bailey This year, Patty Bailey began her 10th year working in youth ministry at Maternity BVM parish in Bourbonnais, IL. And her efforts are turning heads. Monsignor Gregory Ketcham, director and chaplain of the St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois in Champaign came to one of the parish’s teen liturgies, just to see where so many of his youth ministers honed their skills.
Q. How did you become so involved with youth ministry?
A. I taught CCD for years and
slowly began to do some things in youth ministry. When Br. Belanger was preparing to go to the seminary, he suggested I work with him for two years, before taking it over. At the time, I was teaching religion at Bishop McNamara High School.
Patty, who is married and the mother of five adult children, takes no credit for their leadership. But she concedes there is a secret ingredient at work: the Viatorian charism, which she has come to embrace as her own. The fact that their passion for their faith resonates when these teens go off to college doesn’t surprise her. They continue to stay involved in youth ministry even after they return. In fact, of the 750 young adults she works with, 150 of them are college students.
Q. So you drew from your experience as a mother and as a teacher, in
Over their Christmas break, Patty gathered some of the college students at her home for a Mass on New Year’s Day, before leading them on a Habitat for Humanity trip in Georgetown, South Carolina.
A. Yes, that and experience on the job. I just kept trying to raise the
order to shape your role as a youth ministry director?
bar and get the kids to do more service.
“They have a month off, so you have to get them when they’re home,” Patty says. “They love it. It builds character.”
Q. Your signature service project, Camp Mosh, is it modeled after
Working in a parish led by Viatorians, including Fr. Richard Pighini, CSV, pastor, and Fr. James Michaletz, CSV, Patty sees herself clearly in partnership with them. “I am living the Viatorian mission,” she says simply. “And it’s a busy mission, at that.” We caught up with her recently, just long enough for her to answer some of our questions.
Catholic Heart Work Camps?
A. In some ways, but mostly I kept thinking about it and dreaming about it. In my mind, I wanted to design a week where the kids did service projects during the day — right in their own community — and a revival-type event, for the whole parish, with lots of good motivating speakers and music, at night.
Q. When did it occur to you that you were in fact living out the Viatorian mission of working with young people in the formation of their faith?
Q. It worked out so well and drew so many people to become involved; will you do it every year?
A. Although I worked in youth ministry with Br. Daniel Belanger,
A. No, I don’t want to burn everyone out. We did it two years in a
CSV, for a number of years, it wasn’t until we held our first Kairos retreat, that I felt I could say, “I am Viatorian.”
row, but now we’ll do it every other year. This summer, we’ll head to Chicago for a week of service, where the kids will stay in the International Youth Hostel. It’s affordable and it offers them a different slice of life, and they still get to visit Chicago.
Q. Why is that? What did the Kairos retreat have to do with it? A. Our students traveled to
Q. Finally, was there anything about the Viatorians that drew you to work with them? A. I teach the kids about Fr. Louis Querbes and how he felt a
Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights in groups of threes and fours, to attend Kairos and later to be trained as leaders. If it wasn’t for campus minister Betsy Fons and the campus ministry department there, we could never have held our own Kairos retreats. This summer, we will hold our seventh Kairos and we’re still the only parish in the Diocese of Joliet to hold one. I’m pretty proud of that.
calling to work in faith formation with young people. I realized that I am working on that same mission. I know that it is such an important part of the charism, and I feel honored to be able to carry it on. Eileen Daday
In Memoriam – Fr. Kenneth R. Morris, CSV Fr. Kenneth R. Morris, CSV, held a rare distinction among his Viatorian confreres: he was elected as their provincial for three consecutive terms — from 1974 to 1984 — which continues to be unprecedented.
demanding obedience,” Fr. Egan said. “It was about sharing in decision making with individual priests or brothers and coming to a shared vision of what was best for the individual and the church.”
His long tenure as community leader was no coincidence. By all accounts, Fr. Morris brought his background as a Scripture scholar and director of novices to the role, as well as his gentleness, patience and accessibility.
Confreres who served on the provincial council with Fr. Morris concurred that his style was one of consensus building and of listening to the advice of those around him.
“He personified the term, servant leader,” said Fr. James Michaletz, CSV. Fr. Morris died on Nov. 12, 2010 at the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights. His last few months were spent in the retirement wing; a wing he predicted would be needed while he was provincial. He was 82. His death touched the entire community, from the many members he had taught as a teacher and rector at the Viatorian Seminary in Washington, to his years as their pastor and provincial. “He just stands out in the community,” said Fr. Robert Erickson, CSV. “He had this great pastoral presence — that covered decades.” His funeral on Nov. 17th drew mourners to Saint Viator Church in Chicago, where Fr. Morris had served as parochial vicar from 1991-1994. “He was a mentor to me and other young men who were entering religious life and discerning a vocation as a religious or priest,” said Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, who preached at his funeral. “His gentle spirit, deeply grounded faith and common-sense approach to religious life was a real gift to the community,” Fr. Egan added. “It’s the end of an era.” Fr. Egan pointed out that Fr. Morris’ leadership with the Viatorians came after the Second Vatican Council, when Catholic leaders examined ways to renew the church and involve lay members more in its leadership. “His vision of leadership was not about simply issuing orders or assignments and
Fr. John Linnan, CSV, served as provincial councilor during two of Fr. Morris’ three terms. “Ken inspired confidence in people,” Fr. Linnan said. “He was fair and extremely patient. Sometimes I thought he was too patient! But it was his kindness and gentleness that drew people to him.”
years in Rome were the finishing touch. “He was just fun to be with — no matter what the age difference between him and his younger brothers,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV. “We will miss him very much, his kindness, his calm approach to life, and his faith in God and in the Viatorian Community.” Eileen Daday
Br. Donald Houde, CSV, a close friend for many years, still wonders how Fr. Morris did it, leading the community during some tumultuous years in the church. “It’s not easy being superior general of a group of men,” Br. Houde said. “All of us knew what was best.”
Fr. Morris shares a light moment with a parishioner.
“That’s where his infinite patience came in,” said Fr. Daniel Nolan, CSV, who served with Fr. Morris at St. Thomas More Parish in Henderson, NV, from 1994-2004. “He taught me more about the Gospel by the way he lived his life,” Fr. Nolan said. “He was a powerful example of what a Christian should be.” After leading the community in Arlington Heights for 10 years, Fr. Morris returned to Rome where he served as vicar general of the congregation and acting superior general.
Fr. Morris warmly communicates with his youngest family member.
Together with his undergraduate and graduate studies as a seminarian in Rome, Fr. Morris spent more than 10 years there, where he picked up a love of its culture and of its cooking. “He became a Renaissance man,” Br. Houde added. Fr. Morris was known for making his own pasta and a rich sauce to match, coupling it with a pot of soup and classical music in the background. His boundless stories of his 7
Fr. Morris served the Viatorian seminarians as their Scripture teacher, rector, and spiritual adviser.
In the footsteps of our founder... Awaiting the archbishop’s response During the “Agonizing Interlude” of August 1838, Fr. Rosaven, the French Jesuit Relator at the Sacred Congregation of Bishops and Regulars, processing Father Querbes’ petitions counseled him to have “patience, persistence and prayers.” Despite deteriorating health and the suffocating August heat of Rome, Fr. Querbes was “determined to remain in Rome to the very end.” (R. Bonnafous, Louis Querbes, p. 107.) The Congregation was scheduled to resume plenary sessions in September. Fr. Querbes prayed unceasingly. His physical exhaustion was complicated by two anxieties. First, at home, not knowing how his Archbishop might respond to the request that he relinquish control over the society. Second, a complication developed in Vourles. Word reached Fr. Querbes that problems developed between Fr. Charles Faure, his temporary replacement, and his parishioners.
Gracious God, be forever blest for your gift in Fr. Louis Querbes, dedicated pastor in the education of youth, and in the service of sacred liturgy, and founder of the Viatorian Community.
Biographer Pierre Robert, CSV wrote that the “piety and virtues” of Father Faure “had not succeeded in making him acceptable. He did not have the lovable frankness of character nor the winning eloquence of Father Querbes. The faithful did not like his sermons.” (Robert, From This Root, p. 175) The long absence of Fr. Querbes was affecting his parishioners but he was determined to see his mission to conclusion. While admitting to Fr. Faure “I have hardly enough strength to hold the pen and must rest after every sentence.” Fr. Querbes composed a long letter which Fr. Faure read to the Congregation September 9, 1838. He reassured his parishioners of his longing to be with them, that at the “holy places of Rome” and “everywhere Vourles is in my prayers.” He exhorted them to pray for him. His letter had a unifying effect among St. Bonnet parishioners. (Ibid., p.176) Then, on August 23, a courier brought the answer dated August 15. His Excellency and the Vicars-General “receive with humble thanks all the changes and suppression, all the modification which the Sacred Congregation will be pleased to make in your Rule. What is essential is to obtain from the Holy See the approval which we justly regard as a certain pledge of the prosperity of the Clerics of St. Viator.” (Ibid.) Fr. Querbes ascribed the August 15th date as “A signal mark of Mary’s intervention …” He remarked “Never has confidence in God and in His Holy Mother failed me.” (Ibid.) For Fr. Querbes the only remaining task was to persuade the Congregation to vote on his Petition at their September Plenary Session.
Leo V. Ryan, CSV
Thank you to our partners in mission Thank you to all who have responded to our Partners in Mission Advent Appeal with prayers, financial support, and by responding to the question: How are you a Viatorian partner? It is through you, our generous partners, that we are able to continue our mission of educating youth and raising up communities of faith in the United States, Belize, and Colombia.
Response samples include:
Viatorians at Cathedral Boys High School from 1953-1957. I had a priest or brother every class for all four years. Those four years were among the best in my life! The Viatorians who left a lasting impression were Fr. Thomas Nolan, Fr. Hugh Robbins, Fr. Eugene Sullivan, Fr. Eugene Lutz, and Fr. Arnold Perham. Fr. Perham was the best teacher I ever had including college. Fr. Lutz was the finest example of a priest. I owe the Viatorians much.
my husband found Maternity BVM and started attending Sunday and weekday Masses. We have warm memories of Viatorians who served at Maternity. They gave us so much spiritual direction through homilies, programs and conversations. For example, we wanted our relationship to include God. Our good memories will always be connected with the Viatorians who were part of our early years of our relationship and married life that included God.
-Ray and Marilyn Del Mastro
Father Richard Rinn was Fletch’s history teacher at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. He married us in 1990 and came back to Las Vegas to baptize all three of our children. We have considered Fr. Rinn and the Viatorians part of our family ever since. We love their spirited and devoted desire to educate today’s youth.
I believe that my Viatorian education at Griffin High School in Springfield continues to be a basis, a foundation upon which I make decisions in life. Although I graduated more than 30 years ago, what I learned is still pertinent to today’s world.
All four of our children attended Saint Viator High School. Three graduated. This was the best investment I ever made.
-Tracy L. Brunelle
I have been associated with the Viatorians since first grade at St. Joseph School in Springfield. They staffed the church from1930 until their departure around 2005. I was taught by the
My husband and I met and married at Maternity BVM Church in Bourbonnais, IL. Fr. Larry Lentz officiated at our wedding. Looking for spiritual growth, depth and direction
Once again thank you for being Partners in Mission with the Viatorian Community. If you would like to learn more, please visit our website at www.viatorians.com.
Associate Randy Baker
thank you 9
Viatorians join in the demand that the Five Viatorians – Fr. Corey Brost, CSV; Br. Michael Gosch, CSV; Fr. Thomas Long, CSV; Br. Daniel Lydon, CSV; and Br. Rob Robertson, CSV - joined thousands of other peace activists at Fort Benning, Georgia, to demand that government close the School of Americas (SOA) - a military training site specializing in counterinsurgency that has resulted in thousands of atrocities against innocent people.
“fall to Communism” and this must be stopped, no matter what the cost. Part of that cost included:
Currently known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, SOA was founded in 1946 to fight Communism in
The shooting of Bishop Oscar Romero in March 1980. Two of the three identified killers graduated from SOA.
Four churchwomen were raped and murdered in December 1980. SOA trained three of the five found responsible for this crime.
Over 900 people in the village of El Mozote were killed in December 1981. Of the 143 bodies identified in the laboratory, 130 were children under ten, including three infants. Ten of the twelve officers found responsible for the killing graduated from SOA.
Symbolically giving the dead who have disappeared a dignified burial
Latin America. Today, the cause is “narco-terrorism.” Though the mantra has changed, the method remains the same: eliminate any perceived threat to U.S. interests. The SOA manual, declassified in 1996, instructed students to use “fear, payment of bounties for enemy dead, beatings, false imprisonment, executions, and use of truth serum.” A Pentagon memo included detailed interrogation techniques and “neutralization,” i.e. illegal execution. The “subversives” targeted by SOA graduates included educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and other human rights advocates.
Marchers proceeding to the Fort Benning gate, each one carrying a cross bearing the name of a person killed by an SOA graduate.
Six Jesuits, along with their housekeeper and her 15-year old daughter, were killed in 1989. Nineteen of the 26 men who were found responsible had graduated from SOA.
Similar stories are heard throughout Latin America. In Guatemala, SOA graduate, Efraín Ríos Montt, pursued a scorched earth policy against indigenous villages and is responsible for thousands being
One particularly horrific example is El Salvador in the 1980's. The myth that was perpetuated in the U.S. was that El Salvador may
School of Americas be closed
Mexican military personnel and their training at SOA quickly qualifies them to carry out any order from the cartels. Former members of Guatemala’s elite Kaibil military unit traveled north to join their fellow alumni in the cartels. Like their Mexican counterparts, SOA has trained them well because the Kaibil is infamous for its many atrocities during Guatemala’s four-decade civil war. The SOA graduates also protect the multinational interests in Latin America to the detriment of their citizens’ well-being. For example, women working in sweatshop conditions make much of our designer-brand clothing. The low prices we enjoy are at the expense of the workers who earn substandard wages, who are fired should they become pregnant, and who are forced to work overtime without just compensation. When they try to form a union to bargain collectively with management, the leaders often “disappear.” Thousands of union leaders have and continue to “disappear.”
(L to R) Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, and Br. Daniel Lydon, CSV
The International Monetary Fund demands that countries reduce their social services in order to service their national debts; these cutbacks hit the hardest those who are living in squalor . When the poor exercise their right to assembly and protest these inhuman conditions, the military often responds brutally, using tactics learned at SOA and using arms sold by the U.S.
massacred. Leopoldo Galtieri, an Argentina junta leader, also caused thousands to “disappear.” Manuel Noriega, the former Panamanian military dictator, graduated from SOA. SOA maintains that it has no control over their graduates’ future actions and that the atrocities are the work of “a few bad apples.” Furthermore, the school has revised its manuals, has incorporated the study of human rights in its curriculum, and now ensures that the implementation of human rights is incorporated throughout the warfare training. The training includes such topics as leadership, intelligence analysis, and counter drug operations.
Democracy requires that its citizens hold the government accountable because it receives its authority from the people. A common myth is that U.S. is the beacon of democracy and SOA forms relationships with foreign leaders so that they can achieve U.S. political standards. The facts demonstrate that the graduates often prop up right wing dictatorships subservient to the U.S., protect the interests of the multinationals through brutal tactics, and commit shocking crimes against their own citizens.
The cosmetic changes have not changed its legacy. Recently, the elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was dragged out of his bed and flown out of the country. The leader of the coup was SOA graduate, General Romero Vasques. His fellow alumni include two past Honduran dictators: Juan Melgar Castro and Policarpo Paz Garcia.
Pope Paul VI stated that if we want peace, we must work for justice. Indeed, the Old Testament book of Psalms states: "justice and peace shall kiss." Through these nonviolent demonstrations at the gates of Fort Benning, people demanded justice for the untold thousands of SOA victims so that peace may become a reality in Latin America.
The current violence by the Mexican drug cartels rivals the Nazi era horrors in its vicious barbarity. The U.S. facilitates this violence through easy access to guns within the United States and through a pool of well-trained recruits. The drug money lures many former
Thomas Long, CSV
The Viatorian Community continues to
Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, Provincial, traveled to the Foundation of Colombia to witness a professed religious and two associates renew their commitments and fourteen people begin their journey as Viatorian Associates. Br. Fredy Contereas, CSV, renewed his vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience for another three years as a Viatorian. Brother Fredy is a social studies and religion instructor at Colegio San Viator in Bogotá. At the same Mass, Associates Francisco Murillo and Gloria Pérez renewed their commitments for one year while Yolima Ariza, Ninfa Barrera, Sofía Espita Beltrán, María Patricia Borda, Erlinda Caro, William Castillo, Claudia Fonseca, Libia Rivera, María de los Ángeles Perdomo, Dorys Rodríguez, Rebeca Rodríguez, Julio Rojas, Luz Marina Ruíz and Luz Stella Serrano Ramírez made their first commitments as associates for two years. The new Colombian Viatorian associates minister in a variety of ways with professed Viatorians at the colegio in Bogotá. Óscar Gutiérrez and Leonardo Obregón, of the Foundation of Colombia, have been accepted into the international Viatorian novitiate in Santiago, Chile. Their novitiate year will include an in-depth study of the spirituality and history of the Viatorian Community as well as pastoral experience. Óscar and Leonardo will be mentored by Fr. Marcelo Lamas, CSV, a member of the Province of Chile.
Br. Freddy Contereas, CSV, renews his vows for an additional three years.
Associates Francisco Murillo and Gloria Pérez renew their commitments for one year.
Daniel Lydon, CSV
The new associates, those who renewed their commitments, and their mentors 12
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placed in the chapel at the
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Province Center. When Viatorians
gather daily in communal prayer,
You can either designate where your gifts will be used or
they specifically remember the
delegate us to distribute the funds where they are most
intentions of their friends and
gratefully thank everyone who has
As a non-profit and tax-exempt organization, the Viatorians are very grateful for your prayers and financial
so generously supported the Viatorian ministries.
support in â€œeducating for the future.â€?
To participate in the Nazareth League of Prayers, simply list your
For wills and bequests:
intentions in the envelope provided and mail them to us. You can
Clerics of St. Viator
also request specific cards by calling 847-637-2125 or online at
an Illinois Corporation
Around the province... Several Saint Viator High School and St. Viator Parish (Chicago) families generously donated gently used musical instruments for Corozal Community College (CCC) in Corozal Town, Belize where Viatorians have been ministering for the past 12 years. Last August, the governor general of Belize instituted a national marching band competition. Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, who served in Corozal Town Students pose with the instruments before for four years, and sending them to Belize. Mr. Thomas Seaman, SVHS band director, organized the instrument drive to replace many of CCC’s instruments that were in a state of disrepair and could neither be repaired nor purchased in Belize. Over fifty instruments have been donated. Quinlan & Fabish Music Company evaluated the instruments and offered $500 toward repairing and refurbishing them prior to shipment to Belize. The Clerics of St. Viator authorized a grant of $1,000 to assist with the repair of the remaining instruments. Along with 8th Day Center for Justice, the Education Policy Studies and Research Department of DePaul University School of Education, and Witness for Peace, the Viatorian Community sponsored a presentation by Colombian human rights activist Fr. Jesus Alberto Franco on November 5, 2010 at DePaul. Fr. Franco, who works with the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Fr. Alberto Franco Commission in Colombia, has accompanied the resistance processes of Afro-Colombian, indigenous, and mestizo farmers. During his talk, he highlighted Colombia’s peace process and how it is impacted by U.S. aid and corporate practices. Because of his work, Fr. Franco has received numerous death threats.
The Participants in the Bridges Retreat
The Viatorian Province Center hosted 38 students and staff from St. Martin de Porres High School and Saint Viator High School for a Bridges Retreat. The retreat, held on November 13, 2010, provided the opportunity for the retreatants to share their experiences of prejudice, stereotypes, discrimination, and racism. In the process, they were able to better understand the experiences of those who come from different cultural backgrounds. The retreat leaders have formed a steering committee to plan ongoing activities that will allow for ongoing dialogue and deepening of relationships. Viatorians from both schools participated in the retreat. In mid-November 2010, the members of the provincial council signed a letter calling on the sixteenth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) to establish “a fair global climate fund at COP-16 that will meet the needs and interests and protect the rights of the most vulnerable communities and people around the world.” For more information, please visit www.unfccc.int. On Thursday, November 18th, the Saint Viator High School community gathered to celebrate its all school Thanksgiving liturgy.
SVHS students pay tribute to Lance Cpl. Michael Stack. 14
viatorian charism After Mass, the staff and students lined Dryden Street and stood in solemn silence as the funeral procession of Lance Cpl. Michael Stack passed the school. Lance Cpl. Stack, a resident of Arlington Heights, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Fr. Robert M. Egan, President of SVHS, arranged the tribute. He reported that the school community was grateful for the opportunity to express appreciation and respect for Lance Cpl. Stack and his family. Br. Leo Ryan, CSV, returned home December 6th from a three month study program in the Holy Land on biblical geography, Judaism, scripture, and Islam sponsored by Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies. Br. Leo Ryan, CSV, getting ready to He especially enjoyed travel to Mt. Sinai spending the night in the Holy Sepulchre where Mass was celebrated at dawn within the inner tomb as well as a five hour camel ride at night to Mt. Sinai. On December 6th, the St. Martin de Porres High School and Saint Viator High School Immigration Advocacy Group, comprised of students from both schools and organized by Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, held a screening St. Martin de Porres HS students express their demands at the legislative posada. of Papers, a documentary on the plight of undocumented youth in the United States. Afterwards, two college students from Undocumented and Unafraid spoke about their experience of what is like to live in this country without “papers.” They were brought to the U.S. by their parents as young children from Mexico and the Philippines. On December 17th, Br. Gosch accompanied several SMdP students on a two-mile legislative posada that called upon the U.S. government to pass compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform.
Volunteer of the Year by Latino Union at its annual fundraiser held on December 10, 2010. Fr. Long has volunteered as an ESL tutor for immigrant day laborers on a weekly basis for the past four years. For more information about Latino Union, please visit www.latinounion.org. Associate Joseph Majkowski has been elected to the East Suburban Catholic Conference Hall of Fame. This is a distinct honor for Joe and recognizes not only his contributions to the conference but his overall success as a coach, mentor, teacher, and counselor at Saint Viator High School.
Congratulations to Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, and his sister, Faustine Perham, whose Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV article, Looking to Mars for Mathematics Connections: Kepler’s Laws and Beyond, was published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in its December 2010/January 2011 issue. The article is based on a year long project Fr. Perham facilitated with students at Saint Viator High School whereby students used Jet Propulsion Laboratory data to investigate Mars and its orbit. In early January 2011, the provincial council of the Viatorian Community, along with several other secular and religious organizations, endorsed the USA Migrant Resolution 2011 written by the Missionary Society of St. Columban. The resolution calls for the implementation of Gospel principles “as guidelines for a better world for immigrants in the United States.” For a copy of the resolution, please visit www.columban.org. Viator is published three times a year by the Office of Mission Advancement for the Clerics of St. Viator, Province of Chicago.
Congratulations to Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, who was named Fr. Thomas Long, CSV
Associate Joseph Majkowski
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Newsletter – Winter 2011 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
Provincial Perspective It’s that time of year again. As I sit in my office, this December 31, 2010, I recall that it was two years ago today that I wrote down my New Year’s resolutions and shared them with you in this, the “Provincial Perspective.” Many of you wrote or mentioned that you enjoyed reading my resolutions and have, over these past months, inquired as to my success. Well, I must admit, I did not succeed with every resolution, but I did succeed in many. So, allow me to give you an update and add a couple more resolutions for 2011. First of all, I did, indeed, worry less….but I can’t tell you that I prayed more. However, I did make strides of expressing gratitude, in listening more, and yes, talking less. I have begun an exercise routine, lost a little weight, and purchased even “better wine.” I saw Jersey Boys (twice) and traveled to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to see the fall colors and visited the City of Chicago - especially to see the White Sox. I am enjoying our new grill, relying more on God, taking more chances, and yes, visiting our senior Viatorians who are here at the province center and at nursing homes. Over the past two years, I have attended two community retreats and now I know much more about Fr. Querbes and the early days of the Viatorian Community. However, I must admit, I have failed to deepen my understanding of the plight of those suffering in Darfur, nor have I celebrated the sacrament of reconciliation more often, nor have I contacted my friends as often as I want or should. However, I do worry less … and still need to pray more.
And, now for 2011! My new resolutions are fewer, but my resolve remains strong. First of all, my sister, Donna, reminded me that I should contact my immediate family more often. And I remind myself that I need to continue to work on those resolutions listed above that have eluded me. I need to continue to worry less and pray more. And I need – no, I want – to be more connected to God in my day-to-day life. Resolutions are important. We may not attain all of them, but resolutions give us goals, stretch our hearts and souls, and take us beyond ourselves. Our resolutions should always include others; especially those who are in most need of our care … like those suffering in Darfur, the infirmed and the elderly, the homeless, and the immigrant. I pray that 2011 be a year of peace for our world, peace in the streets of Chicago, a year of welcome for those estranged, and a year that offers less worry and more hope. Happy New Year! In St. Viator and Fr. Querbes,
Inside Page 2 Youth Ministry contd. Page 3 Saint Viator alums help rebuild a home Page 4 Viatorian volunteer shares his reflections Page 5 Fr. Erickson shares his passion for Scripture Page 6 Q & A with Patty Bailey Page 7 In Memoriam Fr. Kenneth R. Morris, CSV Page 8 In the footsteps of our founder Page 9 Thank you to our partners in mission Page 10-11 Viatorians join in the demand that the School of Americas be closed Page 12 The Viatorian Community continues to grow Page 14 Around the province
Rev. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Provincial 2
Vol. 16, No. 1