Volume 17, No. 1
Viatorian Parish School Wired for Success
Sixth grader, Ramsey Johnson, works quietly on her literature assignment at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Grade School in Bourbonnais, IL. But she’s not reading a book or working on a paper. Instead, she sits at her laptop, with its split screen open to her calendar, current assignment, and a third screen showing an email from her teacher. Surrounding Ramsey during her study hall are her classmates, each with their laptops open and working on different subjects. The room is quiet and the students engaged. In fact, says Principal Terry Granger, they’re wired. This Catholic grammar school is part of the first Viatorian parish in the U.S. It celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, yet its administrators remain firmly focused on the future. “We are committed to providing an education that will support the 21st century learning style and skills of our students,” Terry says. While schools across the country wrestle with how to incorporate technology in the classroom – and stay 2
one step ahead of its technologically savvy students – Maternity BVM leads the Joliet diocese in this area. Indeed, seven years ago, school officials launched its 1:1 laptop initiative, providing a laptop for every sixth, seventh and eighth grader. The school purchases the computers and leases them to students for $54 a month, and this year the school added desktops for each fifth grader as a means of transition. Students use Microsoft OneNote to take notes on their laptops, read their assignments on electronic books and take tests – all on their computers. They are proficient in creating PowerPoint presentations, circular graphs and Excel spreadsheets. During the same study hall class, sixth grader Jack Arno works on flip cards on his laptop to go over his science terms before a test while his classmate, Matthew Carroll, diagrams sentences by shading the different parts of speech. “I like doing it on the computer better,” Matthew says. “My teacher emails me my assignment and I work on it and send it back.” Continued on page 2
Viatorian Parish Wired for Success... continued from page 1
Maternity BVM was the first in the Joliet diocese and the only school in the region to use computers exclusively. Last year, diocesan officials named it School of the Year, and in September, the grammar school made front page news with its cutting edge vision of incorporating technology in the classroom. Terry pushed for the bold conversion, after hearing technology expert, Ian Jukes, address an education conference eight years ago. Ian called for a change in the way schools think about engaging students and embracing technology. A Maternity BVM student uses flip cards on her laptop to review science terms.
He described students as having “digital cultural brains” that had been profoundly affected by the digital culture into which they were born. The goal for educators was to think creatively about incorporating technology in furthering 21st century learning.
“I am constantly amazed at what the students are able to do using the technology we make available to them,” Steve says. “By the time they graduate, they are as proficient on a computer as many adults in the business world.”
Terry talked about the initiative with Fr. Richard Pighini, CSV, pastor, and Fr. James Michaletz, CSV, associate pastor and liaison to the school. “It was easy to say, ‘Full speed ahead.’ " Fr. Michaletz says.
Fr. Michaletz believes that with the advanced technology education and Catholic formation gleaned at the school, Maternity BVM students will be prepared well for the global society in which they face.
“There was no question about the need for a computer facility as we moved into the future," Fr. Michaletz said. "But he kept us, and the parents, informed as he explored and developed the idea.”
“The school leads the area in so many ways in terms of technology, but it also is an excellent example of Catholic identify and witness,” Fr. Michaletz adds, “and quality education all around.”
Ultimately, Fr. Michaletz says, they respected Terry’s knowledge of creating a quality education and of being a leader in its delivery. After a summer spent installing the infrastructure in the school for its wireless network and giving the teachers their laptops to get started, the school then “took a leap of faith” and launched.
Eileen O’Grady Daday
“Lots of schools start with one or two grades, but we did all three grades at once,” Terry says. “Everyone learned at once. We got a cycle going so students could progress.” Teachers played a big part in the conversion. Math teacher April Langelett says that while it was intimidating at first, she has adapted and readily accepts any input from the students. In a recent class, she took her students “shopping.” On a closely supervised spree, they learned about sales taxes, pricing scales and discounts. Student web access, however, is limited – there are no games, no YouTube and no instant messaging. Instead, student use is monitored remotely by technology director, Steve Langelett, who obtained his technician certification since the school adopted the program.
One of the Three ‘Fundadorés’ Returns to Colombia to Celebrate 50 Years of Viatorian Ministry over the years. Their success, he added, can be seen in its current administration, with Viatorian priests and brothers – all but one from Colombia – running the school. Throughout the weekend festivities, school officials honored Fr. Crilly as one of the fundadorés and showered him with celebrity status. At the opening reception, graduates, now in their 50s, came up to Fr. Crilly to thank him for changing their lives. One graduate, Fr. Crilly particularly remembers, got down on his knees and made a passionate appeal: “You are our father and we are your family. Come back and stay with us.” Many graduates thanked Fr. Crilly for his vision in creating a school that admitted students who could afford a private education with those who needed scholarship help. “Our whole purpose in going was to have a school for Colombian boys and to have a mix of social classes,” Fr. Crilly says. “The normal custom was to open a paying school and another one right next to it for those on scholarships.”
Frs. Adalbert Mayr, CSV, James Crilly, CSV, and Thomas Wise, CSV, process out of St. Viator church after their commissioning ceremony.
Fr. James Crilly, CSV, still remembers the day he and two confreres, Fr. Thomas Wise, CSV, and the former Fr. Adalbert Mayr, CSV, set sail on a ship from New York Harbor to Bogotá, Colombia, as missionaries. “When we saw the Statue of Liberty, we said a Hail Mary, asking for Our Lady to protect us,” Fr. Crilly remembers.
He and his two Viatorian confreres met with an advisory council made up of local dignitaries to begin making plans for the school, carved out of 80 acres of farmland. “We insisted that at least 20 percent be scholarship students,” he adds. “We figured if it didn’t work, they could always blame it on those ‘crazy gringos.’”
Their prayers were heard. The mission they established 50 years ago now includes a thriving school, Colegio San Viator, of more than 1,000 students and two surrounding parishes run by Viatorians.
Their experiment worked. More private schools began adopting the measure and now the Ministry of Education mandates that all schools offer scholarships to students.
Fr. Crilly returned for the 50th anniversary celebration in late September. The Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Ruben Salazar of Bogotá, drew more than 1,500. It was a culminating event for the school as well as its president, Fr. Pedro Herrera, Celebrants at 50th Anniversary Mass in Bogotá CSV. He was a member of the first graduating class, who ultimately entered the Viatorians and returned to lead the school. “I was lucky enough to have one Viatorian during each school year,” Fr. Herrera says. “I saw in each one their care for us as students and their equality in their relationships with all students.”
Fr. Crilly stayed in Colombia for 11 years before returning to the United States to work in parish ministry. But in An alumnus thanks Fr. Crilly for the impact a recent interview with he made on his life. members of the Viatorian Youth Congress, he described setting up the mission in Colombia as his one of his most profound experiences as a Viatorian. “Prior to leaving for Colombia, I was very much involved in teaching biology at Spalding Institute in Peoria and I thought I’d be there a long time,” Fr. Crilly says. “But God acts in mysterious ways.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
In his homily during a Mass for the Viatorians and their families, Fr. Crilly credited the many Viatorians who had served in Bogotá 3
From Barren Desert to Thriving Las Vegas Parish, St. Thomas More at 25 close-knit. You could get your arms around the parish community. People really felt like they belonged to something.” That simple need to worship together drove them, say the founding members of the parish. Today, with more than 6,000 parish families, St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Henderson is one of the largest parishes in the Las Vegas Diocese. Now, as then, the Viatorians run the parish. Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, serves as pastor, with associate pastors Fr. Robert Bolser, CSV, and Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV, and Viatorian Associates Ken Rosania as pastoral assistant, and Juliann Dwyer as the religious education director.
St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Henderson, NV
At first glance, a preschool and mortuary chapel would have little in common. But they came together 25 years ago in suburban Las Vegas, when young families in the Passion Sunday Mass new Green Valley subdivision searched for a place to worship. “Everything was new. We had no grocery store or gas station. And no church,” says Gail Todoroff. “I guess what drove us was the need to worship with our neighbors and friends.”
Parishioners recalled their pioneer spirit last October when they gathered for an outdoor Mass and parish picnic in honor of the milestone. Fr. Long returned to concelebrate the Mass, and he reflected how, right from the start, parishioners took ownerSt. Thomas More Community Center, the original ship and worked to build parish building, shortly after completion the faith community. “The dynamism of the laity made the difference,” Fr. Long said. “They knew what needed to be done and did it. They didn’t wait for the parish priest to come in and do it.” Early parishioners stepped forward to run religious education classes, set up training for Eucharistic ministers and established other ministries that reached out to needy residents. “Our parish, over the last 25 years, has been involved with those ‘held of least importance’ in the eyes of the world,” wrote Fr. Bolser in the bulletin as he reflected on the anniversary, “as we have reached out to the poor and disenfranchised.” At the same time, he adds, signs of growth and new life surround them, from the first community center they built back in 1988 to their new church in 1996. “Our liturgies celebrate life in its fullness and all of its wonder,” Fr. Bolser added. “We have spent 25 years of joyfully celebrating life as a true gift of God.”
(L to R) Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, current pastor, Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, founding pastor, and founding couple Gail and Doug Todoroff
The local preschool and later the Palm Mortuary Chapel offered them space. However, it wasn’t until the Viatorians sent Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, to serve as pastor that they established themselves as parish, in 1986 – all 125 families strong.
Fr. Render has served as pastor for more than 10 years and he continues to marvel at the number of ministries the parish supports. “We are a vibrant and faithful community within the diocesan church,” said Fr. Render in his greeting in the anniversary bulletin. “This is a day for celebrating and giving thanks, a day for counting blessings, a day of fun and friendship – all under the watchful care of a beneficent God.”
“We had a cardboard box that held everything for Mass,” says Gail, who with her husband, Doug, were among the first parishioners. “We used a card table with a tablecloth for the altar and people brought folding chairs and flowers from their gardens. It was small and
Eileen O’Grady Daday 4
Celebrating 75 Years in Religious Life Later this year, Fr. Francis White, CSV, will celebrate a rare milestone among Viatorians, when he reaches 75 years in religious life. Already he is the oldest member among his confreres – at 94 years young – he now adds another feather to his cap.
He arrived in Kyoto in 1949, less than five years after the end of World War II and the American bombings of Japan. “The people were wonderful to us,” Fr. White says. “They valued an education above all else.”
His call to religious life goes back nearly a lifetime ago, but he vividly remembers the details and, he enjoys sharing them with students who visit the province center in Arlington Heights. “Someone has to ask you,” Fr. White says simply of his calling.
Some 60 years later, the school he worked to open, Saint Viator Rakusei High School in Kyoto, continues to be ranked among the top 20 private schools in Japan, with more than 1,000 students.
He remembers when it came. He was a student at Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield, where many of his teachers were Viatorians. One of them, Br. Charles Carlon, CSV, asked him to consider becoming a novice with the Viatorians. It was in the early 1930s, during the Great Depression, Fr. White recalls. “Br. Carlon asked me to think about the novitiate. I didn’t plan on going to college, so I was taking typing and bookkeeping.” Fr. White says. He entered the novitiate out of high school in 1936 and professed his first vows one year later, in 1937.
Fr. Francis White, CSV
He still laughs when describing the students who eagerly served as altar boys at Mass, participated in the annual Christmas pageant, and took optional religion classes, all while their parents remained practicing Buddhists. “The people of Kyoto considered it an honor to send their sons to the Viatorians for a high school education,” Fr. White said.
For someone who didn’t see himself earning a college degree, he went on to earn two – one in Latin from the former St. Viator College in Bourbonnais and another in philosophy from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, IA – before earning his master’s in school administration from the University of Illinois.
Fr. White remained in Japan until 1956, before returning to this country where he taught at his alma mater, Cathedral Boys High School, among others, Fr. Francis White enjoys sharing experiences with students. before serving as spiritual director for novices in the early 1960s.
By the late 1940s, when Viatorians arrived in Japan, Fr. White was one of the few Viatorians holding an advanced degree in administration. Consequently, he was sent to the Far East as the new superior of the delegation and principal of a new boys’ school. He was 34. Looking back, Fr. White comments that serving in Japan made the deepest impact on him, as he reflected on his years as a Fr. White with a family in Japan in the 1940s Viatorian. However, once again, he never saw it coming. At the time of his assignment, he was working with students at St. Joseph School for the Deaf in the Bronx, New York. “I loved that work,” Fr. White says. “I thought I’d be there forever.”
His later years in active ministry were spent in Las Vegas, including serving as pastor at St. Viator Church and nearly 20 years as associate pastor at Guardian Angel Cathedral. “The people in Las Vegas absolutely love him,” says Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial. “He is a giant of a Viatorian.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
In the Footsteps of Our Founder... Fr. Querbes Pronounces his Vows before Gregory XVI During the September 27, 1838 farewell audience, Pope Gregory XVI extended to Fr. Querbes a unique personal privilege. During this final papal audience, Fr. Querbes asked the Pope to bless his parish, community, benefactors and collaborators, to which the Pope was pleased to grant. But he asked no specific privileges for himself, only a blessing. At the conclusion of the audience, Pope Gregory XVI proposed that Fr. Querbes pronounce his vows to God as the principal director, or Superior General of the Clerics of St. Viator, in his presence. Fr. Querbes was honored and did so in these words:
Vow In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen I, the undersigned, priest of Lyons and principal Director of the Catechists of St. Viator, promise in the presence of God, no longer conditionally, but absolutely and unreservedly, poverty and regular obedience to you, Supreme Pontiff, Vicar of Christ, according to the statutes confirmed by our Holy Father Pope Gregory XVI. And may God so help me.
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.
Done at Rome, in the Palace of Quirinal and in audience with His Holiness. This 27th day of September, 1838. J. Louis J. M. Querbes, Priest. (Pierre Robert 178) The original vow was signed “J(ohn) Louis J(oseph) M(arie) Querbes, Priest”. The vow document is in the archives of the Sacred Congregation of Religious in Rome. An artist conception of this papal ceremonial event was painted by Felix Urbini, a Chicago artist, and is among the collection of religious art held by the Province of the United States This painting is prominently displayed at the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights. At baptism on the day of his birth, August 21, 1973, Louis Querbes was formally given the names: John Louis Joseph Marie Querbes. John Louis, (for the King, since the Querbes’ were Royalists), Joseph (from his father) Marie (honoring the Blessed Virgin) and the Querbes family name. The next day August 22, his birth was recorded on the civic register. Fr. Querbes used the name, Louis Marie Querbes for many years. Later he abbreviated his name to Louis Querbes. Fr. Querbes had originally intended, after securing Papal Approbation for his new community, to intone his Nunc Dimittis and turn over the reins of governance of the Clerics to others. The Jesuit Fathers, the Cardinals of the Sacred Congregation, and, finally, the Pope himself urged him to remain as director of his young religious society. These urgings and recommendations Fr. Querbes accepted under obedience as he pronounced his vows before the Pope. Father Louis Querbes vowed to retain perpetually the leadership of the Parochial Clerics of St. Viator. Henceforth, for twenty-one years, from September 27, 1838, to his death on September 1, 1859, Fr. Querbes served as both founder and Superior General of the Clerics of St. Viator. Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV 6
Q & A with Erin Cox Partnering with the Viatorians on Social Justice Q. How do you see your ministry as part of the Viatorian vision? A. Working to achieve justice is an integral part of the Viatorian
vision. I see myself not just as the social justice person but as an extension of the Viatorian ministry. For example, I worked with Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, to present a workshop on the issue of torture and one of the presenters was a torture survivor. The session provided an opportunity for people to hear both the facts and the personal stories and then to make up their own minds. We presented it at St. Viator Parish in Chicago and the workshop is available to other parishes.
Q. What are your major areas of focus? A. Presently, I am concentrating on the issues of immigration
and torture. Previously, I worked on the School of Americas Watch, Colombia, Anti-War and mountaintop removal.
Erin speaks with children in Colombia during an international delegation.
Q. You are working both with the Viatorians and Our Lady of
The Viatorian Community and the Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters jointly support Erin Cox as an advocate for peace and justice, as well as an 8th Day Center for Justice staff member in Chicago. Since beginning the position in October 2010, Erin has added much vitality to Viatorian social justice work.
Victory Missionary Sisters. Can you talk more about that?
A. The sisters do much work for immigrant rights. They operate a center for immigrants in Chicago where they offer ESL classes and job training. In the past, they also conducted a survey of various agencies to help determine what the resources are for immigrants seeking help.
Working alongside the Viatorians, Erin has spoken with the students at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights and St. Martin de Porres High School in Waukegan on immigration issues. Her work in Waukegan is especially important because immigrants make up a significant percentage of its population. Not surprisingly, she vigorously advocated for the successful passage of the Illinois Dream Act.
Every Monday a group of religious sisters and laywomen get together for shared reflection. I find it a wonderful way to get to know them on a personal basis and to learn how, although our backgrounds may be different, we complement each other for a shared vision.
Q. With Viatorians being a community of educators, how do you Q. How do you see your work within the Viatorian vision? understand education? A. When I was at the Viatorian assembly last summer, I was impressed by the Viatorian collaboration between the laity A. I see education as a way of making justice visible. For example, and vowed religious, on an equal basis. I think this partneron Human Rights Day a group of us participated in a demonstration demanding an end to torture. Through such actions, the issue is raised in a conscious way in order to begin a dialogue.
ship is very healthy and working together enhances the work that we do. Fr. Thomas Long, CSV
peace advocate 7
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Viatorians Address an Immigration Tragedy
Guillermo Campos-Ojeda says goodbye to his wife Adela and daughter Paloma before boarding a deportation flight chartered by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2010.
A core Viatorian principle affirms the dignity of each human being – especially those who are accounted of little importance – and acknowledges the need to work for systemic change that respects the human rights of everyone. One way that the Viatorian leadership decided to implement this principle is by advocating for comprehensive immigration reform. The need is obvious given the current statistics that point to a devastating human tragedy.
The Ministry of Accompaniment focuses its attention on such vulnerable people. Sponsored by a group of religious men and women along with committed laity, people take turns being at the detention center exit to offer help to those leaving the center. They make arrangements to provide shelter, clothing and food, as well as moral and spiritual support as they begin to make employment, mental health and legal appointments. They are afforded respect and dignity as they make the transition from detention to independent living.
1. In fiscal year 2011, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported 397,000 people.
The ministry attempts to meet the basic human needs of these vulnerable men and women, while offering them a safe environment. Sharing with one another on an equal basis and acknowledging the other’s common human worth are hallmarks of accompaniment. The detention system frequently tramples on and breaks their spirit. The ministry stands in contradiction of that form of degradation.
2. Between January and June 2011, ICE deported more than 46,000 parents of U.S. born children. These statistics represent the breakup of thousands of families, with many children being placed in foster care where they suffer the crippling feelings of confusion, loss and abandonment, while the parents face the possibility that they may lose their parental rights. As ICE continues to perpetuate such human sufferings, its acronym becomes an ever-growing reality for many people.
The ministry began last fall and the Viatorians have partnered with others to enthusiastically endorse it, including Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV; Viatorian representative at 8th Day Center for Justice, Erin Cox; Fr. Christopher Glancy, CSV; Br. Michael Gosch, CSV; Br. Daniel Lydon, CSV; and St. Viator (Chicago) parishioner, Ivy Vera.
When people leave the detention center, either as a released detainee or as someone who has just visited a loved one, they are often lost and penniless. For example, one man had his own landscaping business, but after ICE detained him for over 10 months, he lost his business, home and savings - making him homeless when he left the center. Having no legal documents from his country of origin due to war, he was a man without a country. Thousands have similar stories and the common denominators include having little or no money to return home, buy food or rent a room for the night; their clothes are worn and not knowing anyone, they can easily succumb to despair.
Working in collaboration with other religious and laity, Viatorians seek to enact a key element of the Viatorian Charter: “As Viatorians of the Province of Chicago, we resolve to expand and deepen our prophetic role as a community of associates, brothers, and priests by addressing contemporary social issues.” Fr. Thomas Long, CSV
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Viatorians Launch Service Corps and Immersion Experiences
Both programs are aimed at helping young adults from Viatorian schools and parishes realize their importance to the future of the Viatorian charism. Bart Hisgen, assistant director of Vocation Ministry, will direct both. Consider inviting a young adult you know to contact Bart or Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, director of vocation ministry firstname.lastname@example.org, 847-637-2129, for more information. Fr. Corey Brost, CSV
Students at one of the 19 schools at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Corozal Town, Belize
The Viatorian Vocation Office is launching two new programs to help young adults grow in faith while living out the Viatorian charism.
The Belize Immersion Program will give young adults the opportunity to spend a week in Corozal District, Belize, working in Viatorian ministries while dialoguing about the faith with Viatorians and young adults from that culture. The trips will take place each June and December during Christmas break. Further information is available at http://viatorians.com/immersion. The second program, the Viatorian Service Corps, will give young adults the opportunity to spend a year in ministry with the Viatorians (http://viatorians.com/vocations/vsc.asp). Three to five young adults will live together in Christian community in Kankakee while working daily in ministries supported by the Viatorian institutions in that region. The year will be structured so that the young adults involved will focus a great deal of time in dialogue and prayer with Viatorians and each other about where God is leading them in their lives. Two student interns from Las Vegas at last summer's Viatorian Youth Congress
In Memoriam – Fr. Thomas Langenfeld, CSV (1932-2011) In the course of one summer, Fr. Thomas Langenfeld, CSV, went from being the incoming principal of Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights to being elected a worldwide leader, the superior general of the Clerics of St. Viator.
Fr. Thomas Langenfeld, CSV
“It was a complete surprise,” said Fr. Donald Fitzsimmons, CSV, a counselor at the school at the time and his classmate. “No one saw it coming.” Br. Langenfeld teaching at Spalding Institute in Peoria, IL
Fr. Langenfeld died on Oct. 1st, after complications from a fall near his home in Las Vegas. He was 79.
Pope John Paul II and Fr. Langenfeld, CSV
He was unable to see the changes implemented at Saint Viator, but at age 39, Fr. Langenfeld took his organizational skills to lead Viatorians around the world. His colleagues said Fr. Langenfeld promoted a collaborative way of governing, including promoting decision making at the grassroots level and greater collaboration among community members. “I think his biggest contribution was the whole idea of decentralization,” Fr. Fitzsimmons added. “Before that, all of those things were decided for us in Rome.”
In 1972, Fr. Langenfeld was being groomed as the next principal of Saint Viator High School and as the one to lead its groundbreaking “school within a school” model of education. He left briefly that summer to travel to Rome for the congregation’s general chapter meeting, held every six years, and he came away as the new superior general and head of more than 1,300 priests and brothers around the world.
“He took the reforms of the second Vatican Council to heart and promoted a new spirit of religious life.” Fr. Langenfeld was born on Aug. 13, 1932, in Springfield, one of 11 children born to Clifford and Bessie (Newman) Langenfeld. He attended Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield where his Viatorian teachers made a deep impression on him. Fr. Langenfeld eventually joined the Clerics of St. Viator, professing his first vows in 1951. He was ordained a priest in 1960.
“He was the first American elected and the youngest,” said Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, the current superior general. “But more than that, he took the reforms of the second Vatican Council to heart and promoted a new spirit of religious life.”
Fr. Langenfeld spent the last years of his ministry in Las Vegas, where he retired in 2002.
Prior to that life changing summer, Fr. Langenfeld had previously served as principal of Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee before becoming assistant principal at Saint Viator High School, where he had helped redesign its curriculum. Students were placed in one of four programs designed around their different learning styles. “It was a seismic shift in the organizational structure of the school that would last for 15 years,” said Br. Donald Houde, CSV, an administrator at the time.
“He was a true pastor of the congregation,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial. “He wanted us to bring a human aspect to the way we ministered, to be the face of Christ and not just of the institutional Church.” We will miss him. Eileen O’Grady Daday
Associate Margery Gill (1942-2011) A freak accident in November took the life of Margery Gill, one of the first lay Viatorian associates in the Las Vegas region. She was killed, reports say, by a UPS delivery truck near her home when she went out for the mail. Investigators declared it to be an accident. However, her sudden passing, at the age of 69, left her colleagues at St. Thomas More Parish in Las Associate Margery Gill Vegas and the Clarke County School District stunned and saddened. “She is deeply mourned here in the parish,” said Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, pastor of St. Thomas More Church. Her untimely passing came less than one week after she had recommitted to the Viatorian Community as an associate for another five years, during an All Souls’ Day ceremony led by Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, and by Fr. Render. Part of the loss for parishioners stemmed from her many years of service. Margery had been an elementary teacher in the Clark County School District for 41 years and all but the last three years had been spent teaching second graders.
Margery was a native of Wisconsin, but she spent more than 40 years, or nearly two thirds of her life, in Las Vegas, worshipping in parishes led by Viatorians. In 2004, when members of the Viatorians extended their community to include lay associates, Margery was one of the first they invited in the Las Vegas region. Her commitment was unwavering and reverent right from the start, her colleagues say. “She felt her commitment to the Viatorian Community so keenly and deeply,” said Associate Connie Gerber. “When she made her re-commitment to the community a few years ago, she became so teary, she had to excuse herself for a few minutes before she could continue.”
“She always reminded us, 'Are we following in the footsteps of Fr. Querbes?’ She quoted it to candidates, to other associates and at regional gatherings. It was her constant question and challenge.” Margery served her parish as a lector, catechist, Eucharistic minister, member of the RCIA team, and of the liturgical environment committee, as well as volunteering in the parish and religious education office. Outside the parish, Margery tutored at-risk students, delivered backpacks and clothing to homeless families, and designed creative art projects for students with behavior challenges in Clark County schools. Among her local Viatorian Community, Margery served on the regional leadership committee as well as on the pre-associates admissions team. Just last summer, she was elected by her peers to serve on the new Viatorian Community Council to address issues of concern to members across the country.
“Her love of children was always evident,” Fr. Render added, “especially as she lined up First Communion processions. Kids’ faces lit up when they saw their teacher here in the parish. Squeals of ‘Miss Gill’ would often be heard.”
“She always reminded us, 'Are we following in the footsteps of Fr. Querbes?'," Fr. Render said. “She quoted it to candidates, to other associates and at regional gatherings. It was her constant question and challenge.” We will miss her. Eileen O’Grady Daday
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Diverse Urban Parish Shares Rich Latino Traditions The church building at St. Viator Parish in Chicago dates back to 1927 and features high Gothic ceilings, rich stained glass artwork and a beautiful stone-carved sanctuary. But increasingly, parishioners’ Latino culture brings the historic church alive.
José and Gemma Candido Rangel along with Antonio and Virginia Gallegos already provide leadership in various ways. Throughout the year they collect and prepare food and serve it to those in need. At Thanksgiving, they served more than 400 people. Realizing that service must be continually nourished spiritually, they provide retreats for various groups such as young people, adults and singles.
With its lively music, hand clapping and pageantry at Masses celebrated Mass celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spanish, the parish’s diversity and vibrancy is on full display. Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, pastor, recognizes that and he is partnering with members of the Latino community to deepen parish unity through lay empowerment and peer ministry. He recently invited six parish members to consider becoming Viatorian pre-associates. Fr. Bolser envisions that with lay associates and professed Viatorians working together in ministry – on equal footing – the parish life will continue to grow and become stronger.
Reenactment of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego of Tepeyac
Each week, José, Antonio and Virginia lead the music for the Sunday Spanish Mass and for the Thursday night charismatic prayer session. Their enthusiasm Antonio and Virginia Gallegos and José Rangel lead the music at the Thursday evening prayer sessions.
From the Archives… Access and Preservation of Viatorian A Digitization projects are the big push for archives, museums, historical societies and libraries these days. In today’s world of Internet access and Web 2.0 technologies, researching in person is happening less and less. Finding entire collections and catalogs online is happening more and more.
rich with Viatorian history of events and people in the community during those early developing years of the province. And most are in good condition – having been preserved in a controlled environment. Access to these online, with browse and search capabilities, will promote research of the Viatorian Community in the United States.
So how does a small, religious, nonprofit archives handle this? Well, this past summer the Viatorian Community Archives acquired state-of-the-art equipment, an Atiz BookDrive Pro scanner, to aid in this task. This scanner is equipped with overhead cameras to capture the images and software that flattens the curvature of the pages of bound books that sit in its cradle. Joan Sweeney
At the moment, there are two long-term book digitization projects happening in the Viatorian Community's archives: The newspaper from the St. Viator College collection, The Viatorian, consists of 48 bound volumes (approximately 13,000 pages) dating from 1883-1938. The newspapers are
Joan Sweeney carefully scans a book from Belize dating back to the 1860s with the Atiz Book Drive Pro scanner for the Viatorian archives.
reaches out to the congregation as people join in lively singing accompanied by rhythmic clapping. They are living out the dictum: “The one who sings prays twice.” Sitting down after the charismatic prayer session, they shared their thoughts about their roles within the parish and as pre-associates. They expressed gratitude for being part of the St. Viator Community and having the opportunity to share their time and talent with the community at large. Interestingly, they noted that when they first arrived at St. Viator, the parish felt different from what they were accustomed. Nonetheless, the welcoming spirit of the parish motivated them to keep coming back. Pre-association carries with it a responsibility to take their ministry even more seriously. However, that is a joy because of the simple truth that when you give, you receive so much more, especially in faith. Proper formation of young people and adults in the faith is vitally important. For these important tasks, Linda Nishi works extensively in the Rite of Christian Initiation program for adults.
religious education. A native of Peru and a Catholic Theological Union graduate, Hector is committed to involving the family in the educational programs. While at CTU, he participated in the Peacebuilders Initiative, which he is incorporating at St. Viator. Hector Obregon-Luna All of the talents and work of these pre-associates take place in an ethnically diverse urban parish, which offers a unique opportunity for parishioners to know and appreciate each other’s culture and traditions. Recently, the parish hosted the traditional Posada, a Latino tradition of re-enacting Joseph and Mary seeking shelter in Bethlehem. They invited everyone to participate, to which many non-Latinos accepted.
The pre-associates are but one way that lay members are assuming their role as church leaders. Working with the professed Viatorians, they are building up communities of believers where the faith is lived and celebrated.
Carrying out the Viatorian mission to youth, Hector Obregon-Luna works with young people as the youth minister and director of
Fr. Thomas Long, CSV
Archival Materials The record books from the Foundation of Belize are another story. St. Francis Xavier Parish in Corozol Town, Belize, holds 40 register books of handwritten sacramental records from 1848 to the present. “Time and the elements have taken their toll on our records,” says Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, pastor at St. Francis Xavier Parish. Tropical conditions are not the ideal environment for storing anything made of paper or wood. Not only is the heat and humidity a problem, but termites are as well. Many of the books are in a fragile state – pages are brittle, ink is bleeding or fading, and termite holes run through the pages. These books need to be handled with great care and much patience. Digitizing these books will save the contents from being lost forever, making the time and effort worth it.
Scanning to aid access to materials and help preserve content is the goal of the Viatorian Archives. Along with an HP Scanjet 8300 flatbed scanner that can handle single documents, as well as, slides and negatives, the archives is making strides in its digitization efforts. Stay tuned for progress reports on these projects and others…from the archives.
Further information is available on the archives webpage: http://www.viatorians.com/archives/ and the archives news blog: http://www.csv-archives-news.blogspot.com/ Joan Sweeney Viatorian Associate and Archivist
Around the Province... Fr. Daniel Belanger, CSV, pastor of St. George Parish in Bourbonnais has been appointed to serve on the board of directors of Provena St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee, the first hospital to be built in Kankakee. As a board member, he will help “guide the hospital’s development in a way responsive to community needs consistent with the mission and direction provided by Provena Health.” In early September, Morning Sun Books published Viatorian Br. James Lewnard’s third book, Trackside in the Land of Lincoln with Richard Ward, which is the latest in a series about trains that crisscross central Illinois. In addition to his writing, Br. Lewnard teaches history at Saint Viator High School and is an instructor in Concordia University’s education department in River Forest. In response to the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, Fr. Corey Brost, CSV and the Children of Abraham, a Chicago suburban group of Muslim, Jewish and Christian teens and adult religious leaders, led an interfaith prayer service in downtown Arlington Heights that drew hundreds of people. Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, (center) with teenage
members of Children of Abraham The Feast of St. Viator, October 21, was celebrated by the province members in a variety of ways including Taste of St. Viator festivals, special Masses and prayer services at Viatorian parishes and schools, and the welcoming of 16 men and women into pre-association. All have entered into a discernment program where they will study and reflect on the history, mission and spirituality of the community. The Province of Chicago has a total of 83 associates who are critical in furthering the vision and charism of Fr. Louis Querbes, Founder of the Clerics of St. Viator.
Community who work or reside at the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights. The scholars are in the process of compiling firsthand accounts of the present and past ministries of active and retired Viatorians. Br. Donald Houde, CSV, and Br. Leo Ryan, CSV, were inducted into the Fifty Year Club at DePaul University. In October, they attended the DePaul University Reunion Luncheon where Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, CM, university president, welcomed them to the select group. (L to R) Br. Donald Houde, CSV, Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, CM, and Br. Leo Ryan, CSV Br. Houde earned his undergraduate degree in 1958 and his master’s degree in 1964, while Br. Ryan earned his MBA in 1953. Members of the Viatorian Community in Las Vegas conducted their traditional observance of All Souls’ Day by remembering deceased Viatorians buried at Davis Memorial Park Cemetery. Afterwards, they gathered at St. Thomas More church for a commitment and recommitment ceremony. Associate Marion Roos made her first commitment; Associates Juliann Dwyer, Rosy Hartz, Dick Hofacker, Kim Martinez, Bridget Moore, and Clairmarie Slaveck renewed their commitment for three years; and Associates John Berger, Paula Hannon, Mary and Daniel Miller, Maggie Saunders, Kathy and Michael Underwood renewed their commitments for a period of five years. Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, co-led a Bridges Retreat for 35 students from St. Martin de Porres High School and Saint Viator High School on December 1-2 with their respective campus
Several Querbes Scholars from Saint Viator High School spent part of their school day on the Feast of St. Viator interviewing members of the Viatorian Several Querbes Scholars interviewed Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV.
Participants of the Bridges Retreat enjoy a light moment of fun.
Viatorians Promote Issues of Justice
ministers Jim Dippold, Tim Masterton and Kelly Wilda. They were inspired with the manner in which these young people from different communities came together and shared their experiences of prejudice, discrimination and racism. Mr. Sean Tessmer entered the pre-novitiate on January 1. Sean, who is 25 and has completed a B.A. in philosophy and a Certificate in Ethics from Arizona State University, will spend this period of formation discerning religious life as he lives and ministers with Viatorians at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights.
In its ongoing effort to promote issues of justice, the Provincial Council of the Clerics of St. Viator added its signature to three sign-on letters in the fall of 2011. The first letter, written by the National WIC Association, was sent to Washington Senator Patty Murray and Representative Jeb Hensarling, co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on the Deficit Reduction. The letter requested that funding for the Women, Infant and Children Program not be cut. WIC is a “short-term preventative public health nutrition program… targeted to high-risk populations.” The second letter, written by Bread for the World and signed by leaders of Christian congregations across the Chicago area, was sent to Illinois Senator Mark Kirk regarding the U.S. government budget. Specifically, Senator Kirk was asked to “create a circle of protection around programs that meet the essential needs of hungry and poor people at home and abroad.”
International News Br. Frank Enciso, CSV, of the Foundation of Colombia was ordained a transitional deacon on Oct. 28 at Parroquia San Basilio Magno Church in Bogotá. He will complete his diaconate internship at the same parish while continuing his ministry as vocation director for the foundation.
The third letter, written by Jubilee USA Network, and signed by religious leaders across the nation, was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The letter urges them not to support a “repatriation tax holiday” which allows “U.S multinational corporations to bring home offshore profits at a reduced tax rate.” This tax avoidance measure “benefits extremely wealthy corporations, their executives and shareholders while other taxpayers bear the hefty expense.”
The Viatorian members of the Province of Canada The diaconal ordination of Br. Frank Enciso, CSV ended a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of College Champagneur. The college, presently directed by Br. Sylvain Brabant, CSV, is known for providing an excellent education. For more information, please visit www.champagneur.qc.ca The Viatorian Foundation of Japan celebrated the 60th anniversary of Viatorian ministry last October. Superior General Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, was present for the celebration which coincided with the diaconate ordination of Br. Tomoaki Sugawara, CSV, the first Japanese Viatorian to be ordained. During the same weekend, Fr. Francis celebrated St. Viator Day with the 1,300 students at St. Viator Rakusei Junior and Senior High School. Less than a week after Br. Sugawara’s ordination, the Province of Chile celebrated the diaconate ordination of Br. Carlos Arancibia, CSV. Congratulations, Tomoaki and Carlos! Br. Michael Gosch, CSV
These are concrete ways the administration of the province advocates on behalf of those accounted of little importance. Br. Michael Gosch, CSV
Viator Newsletter is published three times a year by the Office of Mission Advancement for the Clerics of St. Viator, Province of Chicago. Email: email@example.com Website: www.viatorians.com Provincial: Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV
Editor: Fr. Thomas E. Long, CSV
Director of Communications: Eileen O’Grady Daday
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
Layout and Design: Dianna Ehrenfried, Visualedge, Inc.
Clerics of St. Viator 1212 E. Euclid Avenue Arlington Heights, IL 60004-5799
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Newsletter – Winter 2012 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
PERMIT NO. 7160 PALATINE P&DC, IL
Provincial Perspective Last night was New Year’s Eve and I was safely tucked in my bed by 10:30 p.m. As I was falling asleep I reminisced a bit about the holidays just past, about previous New Year’s Eves and about the year 2011 coming to an end. And in those moments between wake and sleep, I was filled with gratitude thanking God for all of the many blessings bestowed upon my family, the Viatorian Community and upon me, personally. Over the past weeks, I have been reflecting upon the word gratitude. And in my readings and reflections, I have discovered that gratitude is more than being thankful for the “things” we have. Rather, I have begun to realize that gratitude is a profound emotion, a personal realization, that goes beyond feelings or sentiments. Gratitude moves an individual into a deep sense of appreciation, of acceptance of God’s graciousness in one’s life. Gratitude practiced becomes a way of living that acknowledges our utter dependence upon God’s goodness, a goodness that expresses itself as a blessing. In this issue of Viator, you will read about the Viatorian Community and discover various ways in which Viatorians live out their call to serve our Lord, Jesus Christ. And in particular, you will meet a special Viatorian, Fr. Francis White, CSV, who celebrates his 75 years in vows in 2012. When I think about Fr. White, I am filled with gratitude to God for giving our community a man who has faithfully lived out his life as a religious in the modern world. Here is a man who 75 years ago heard the whisper of the Holy Spirit and responded to the call to serve. And for 75 years, Fr. White has walked in service as a Viatorian.
Inside From Springfield, Illinois to the Bronx, from Kyoto, Japan to Las Vegas; Fr. White has touched the lives of thousands of people, many who became his friends, as he followed in the footsteps of our founder, Fr. Louis Querbes. As teacher and catechist, as a priest and spiritual director, Fr. White lived out his Viatorian commitment. As I reflect upon the service of Fr. White and the service of so many other Viatorians in our community, yes, I am indeed grateful. I am filled with gratitude to God for blessing our community and the Church with men, and now women, willing to reach out to those in need and share the gospel so that the faith can be lived, deepened and celebrated. And so, as we enter into 2012, I pray that we may become women and men of gratitude, depending more upon the blessings of God and less upon our own inventions and concerns. I pray that we may enter into a more profound sense of awe of our God and of God’s goodness, as we live seek to live a life in service to others. May our gift of service be a way of thanking God for the gift of life. Happy New Year and blessings from the Viatorian Community. In St. Viator and Fr. Querbes,
Page 1 Viatorian Parish Schools Wired for Success Page 3 One of the Three ‘Fundadorés’ Returns to Colombia to Celebrate 50 Years of Viatorian Ministry Page 4 From Barren Desert to Thriving Las Vegas Parish – St. Thomas More Page 5 Celebrating Our Jubilarian Page 6 In the Footsteps of our Founder Page 7 Q & A with Erin Cox Page 8 Viatorians Address an Immigration Tragedy Page 9 Viatorians Launch Service Corps and Immersion Experiences Page 10-11 In Memoriam Fr. Thomas Langenfeld, CSV Associate Margery Gill Page 12-13 Diverse Urban Parish Sharing Rich Latino Traditions From the Archives... Access and Preservation of Viatorian Archival Materials Page 14-15 Around the Province
Rev. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Provincial 2
Viatorians Promote Issues of Justice