Viator Newsletter Spring 2022

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Provincial Perspective Greetings from the Province Center,

us as we move into our assembly in July in the Kankakee/Bourbonnais Region. This has been a lengthy process, but I believe in the long run we will find that this additional time will have served us well.

This morning brought a wonderful blast of sunshine as I was making my way to the Province Center. I have to savor these moments because they are so fleeting. I see so many things occurring in our midst which bring hope and sunshine in a different way.

It is also sad that we mark the passing of some men who were leaders in our community: Br. Donald Houde, CSV, and Fr. John Milton, CSV, as well as Mr. Stephan Burks, a loyal layman who served our province well for over 40 years. They will be missed for each one had a tremendous impact and influence on our community life. We, as community members, are extremely grateful for their contribution over the many, many decades. Br. Houde and Fr. Milton would have been jubilarians this year, each celebrating 70 years of religious life.

I can’t remember the last time that we as a congregation in the United States had three seminarians at the same time. It truly is a sign and a symbol that we are not static but are moving forward with Br. Juan Carlos Ubaque, Br. John Eustice and Br. Jhobany Orduz. We are preparing our men to assume leadership roles in pastoral positions which will serve us and the Church well. On my last visit to Bogotá in early March, I had the opportunity to receive the vows of Br. Diego Carvajal, who had just completed his novitiate in Chile. I also had the opportunity to visit with the men who are in the pre-novitiate program and Br. Luis Pedroza, who is in temporary vows. Each one is a great gift to our community.

Joining them as jubilarians are Fr. Daniel Mirabelli, CSV, who completes 70 years of religious life and Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, who completes 60 years of religious life. To each of them we offer our profound gratitude.

Throughout the province, people have been working on our strategic planning process. As you well know, this process began several years ago and continues through this day. You can see from the photographs of our regional meetings that they were well attended and people actively participated in the strategic planning exercises that were assigned to them on those particular days.

May God continue to bless you and those you serve.

Rev. Daniel R. Hall, CSV Provincial Clerics of St. Viator, Province of Chicago

Our friend and consultant, Mary Foley, will receive the compilation of each individual region so that she might better assist

In this Issue: 2 Provincial Perspective

10 From the Archives: Preserving

3 Their Journey of Faith Continues

Oral Histories

Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV

4 Viatorian Vocations Continue to Grow

11 Crafting a Vision for the Future


5 Q & A with Associate Kurt Paprocki 6 Dedicating a New San Viator Parish in Bogotá

7 Living the Vocation of Viatorian Brotherhood

8 Viatorian Ministry Sites in the Province of Chicago

12 Celebrating Our Jubliarians:


Fr. Thomas Long, CSV

Director of Communications:

Fr. Thomas Long, CSV Fr. Daniel Mirabelli, CSV

Eileen O’Grady Daday

13 A Solemn Farewell to Steve Burks

Eileen O’Grady Daday Br. John Eustice, CSV Br. Michael Gosch, CSV Mr. Daniel Masterton Ms. Amy Sherwood

14 In Memoriam: Br. Donald Houde, CSV Fr. John Milton, CSV

16 Around the Province 2

Editorial Board:

Layout and Design:

Dianna Ehrenfried, Visualedge, Inc


Their Journey of Faith Continues

Likewise, Br. Eustice says that becoming a priest was not his goal when he entered the Viatorian Community back in 2005, but little by little, the people he served in ministry became the slow and steady invitation from God. “The growing invitation came through the many people over the last several years who made subtle comments that they could see me as an ordained Viatorian,” Br. Eustice said. “Eventually, I felt like they were being the quiet voice of God and the only way for me to find out if this was truly God’s invitation for me was to check it out.”

Br. Jhobany Orduz, left, and Br. John Eustice talk to students during the vocations fair at Saint Viator High School.

This semester the Viatorian Community has three religious brothers pursuing advanced studies with an eye toward ordination. Br. John Eustice, CSV, and Br. Jhobany Orduz, CSV, are in their first year at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, while Br. Juan Carlos Ubaque, CSV, is completing his final year at the seminary in Tunja, Colombia, which is associated with the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. All three brothers say they slowly came to their decision while working in active ministry with the people they accompanied and with other Viatorians who affirmed them.

Br. Ubaque began his discernment to religious life in the diocesan seminary in Tunja, Colombia, but he left after two years knowing that he was drawn to becoming an educator. Fr. Frank Enciso, CSV, invited him to consider joining the Viatorians, and he has never looked back. He entered the community in 2010 as a pre-novice and professed his first vows in 2013 in Bogotá. “The truth I found in this community is a place where I can respond to God and grow as a person,” Br. Ubaque says. “I consider that all the stages since the day of my entry have helped me to mature, strengthen my qualities, accept with humility my shortcomings, and above all to walk with others like me who wish to respond to Our Lord.” Br. Ubaque began his ministry as a teacher at Colegio San Viator in Bogotá, and in 2016 he was one of three Viatorians to expand the community’s presence in Colombia and open Colegio San Viator in Tunja. He has been a teacher, pastoral coordinator and dean of students. Becoming ordained, he says, will give him the knowledge and skills to better carry out his ministry with the children and young people he accompanies at the school. Br. Orduz most recently served as director of the newly professed in Colombia, while working at Colegio San Viator in Bogotá. “I feel that everything I have done has called me to move on and be open to a new beginning,” he says, “and here I am.”

Br. Juan Carlos Ubaque

“When I joined the community, I was not expecting to be a priest,” says Br. Orduz, who entered the Viatorians in 2014 with his background as a civil engineer and college professor. “The whole environment pushed me to this time and moment,” he adds. “The people from the parish, my friends at the school, and mainly my community made me feel that I had to take the step to continue my formation for the priesthood.” 3

Br. Eustice was drawn to the Viatorians through their work with young people and he continues to stay active in that ministry, while also serving as Director of Vocation Ministry. “I feel like this process is where I need to be at this moment in my life,” he says. “I thank God for the opportunity the Viatorians have given to me to be able to dive in and learn more about theology and the work of the Church, and I trust that God will invite me where I’m needed to be.”

Viatorian Vocations Continue to Grow A little more than 60 years after Viatorians arrived in Colombia, their numbers continue to grow, with four more religious brothers professing perpetual vows, promising a lifetime commitment to the community. Br. John Alexander Avellaneda, CSV, Br. Edwin Alfonso Barreto, CSV, Br. Parmenio Enrique Medina, CSV, and Br. Juan David Ramirez, CSV, all made their perpetual professions Jan. 15, during a Mass filled with tradition. The ceremony took place in the gym at Colegio San Viator in Bogotá and drew a crowd of family members as well as Viatorian associates and professed.

“On making your perpetual profession, I want all of you to know that we are also making a commitment to walk with you forever on this journey of faith,” said Fr. Hall during his homily. “Religious life is not always easy. We experience the same trials as everyone else. In the times we all experience, when things seem darkest; it is then that we lean on each other as brothers and together we can weather any storm.”

Fr. Daniel Hall gives his final blessing upon (L-R) Br. Juan David Ramirez, Br. Enrique Medina, Br. Edwin Barreto and Br. John Avellaneda.

Each newly perpetually professed spoke at the close of Mass to thank people who have supported them. Beyond their families and members of the Viatorian Community in Colombia, all four brothers credited Fr. Rafael Sanabria, CSV, who served as vocation director and pre-novice director at the time these brothers entered the community. Having died last year, his absence was clearly noticable.

Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, Provincial, presided and received the vows as a delegate of Fr. Robert Egan, CSV, Superior General. Provincial Council members also traveled to Bogotá for the historic day, including Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, and Br. Rob Robertson, CSV.

After the vow ceremony, the brothers shared a joyous lunch with their well-wishers. In January, they resumed their teaching duties, with Br. Edwin and Br. Enrique returning to Colegio San Viator in Bogotá and Br. John and Br. Juan David returning to Colegio San Viator in Tunja.



with Associate Kurt Paprocki

Associate Kurt Paprocki graduated from Saint Viator High School in 2000, and after college he returned as a Spanish teacher. He has worked alongside Viatorians for years, and in 2020 he joined the community as an associate. Here’s a little bit more about him:

Q. A.

Q. A.

Q. A.

As a faculty member, Br. John Eustice opened the door for me to be an active participant in our Campus Ministry program. He challenged me to spend time with our young adults as they deepen their faith. Over the years, I’ve made connections with students in my classes, but being a part of numerous retreats has helped me form strong bonds with our students in unique ways. One of the highlights of each school year is my time spent on retreats with our students. My hope is that they deepen their faith during their experiences. I know they help to deepen mine.

What was it about your own high school experience that made you want to come back? A point I bring up with parents each year at Meet the Faculty Night is that Saint Viator has a strong, tight-knit family feel. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. I felt this as a student and as the years have passed, this feeling becomes stronger to me. Several educator friends have bounced from school to school, and they haven’t found a welcoming atmosphere within their buildings. I feel blessed to be a part of a school that creates such a strong connection with students and families, year after year. How did you decide to become a Viatorian associate? It was Fr. Charlie Bolser who asked me considerate it. Over a two-year discernment period, I met with fellow pre-associates to discuss the Viatorian charism, the life and history of Fr. Louis Querbes and where we fit in to this giant puzzle. Our monthly meetings were something to look forward to. I was among other pre-associates deciding on becoming a part of something special.

Q. A.

Was there a Viatorian – associate or professed – who influenced you, either when you were in high school or on the faculty?

As a student, Dan Lydon had a positive influence on my introduction to the Viatorian experience. His classes were engaging because of his sense of humor and how he demonstrated that what we were learning in class could be applied to our everyday lives. He wasn’t a pro fessed Viatorian at the time but he exemplified the Viatorian values that make our school so special. Associate Kurt Paprocki with Fr. Daniel Lydon

Q. A.


Your classes are known to be interactive, with your students visiting virtually with their peers in Spain and Colombia. How did these exchanges develop? As a Spanish teacher, one of my primary goals is to help my students make the connection between what we learn in class and what they can experience outside of class. In past years, our students have exchanged email messages with students in Spain, and just knowing that there are other Viatorian students across the globe hits home with them. Earlier this school year, we watched a livestreamed Mass from Colegio San Viator in Tunja, Colombia to celebrate St. Viator Day. Also, our Viatorian schools in Las Vegas, Tunja, and Arlington Heights exchanged videos and had a live chat to discuss what makes our schools special. It’s important that our students at Saint Viator know that other students are out there experiencing similar, yet somewhat different, experiences as Viatorian young adults. Something as simple as seeing a red lion on the uniform of our fellow Viatorian students across the globe makes an impact. How does your role as a Viatorian associate impact your teaching? One of the things I started with my students was celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at a Spanish speaking Mass. This year, Fr. Dan Lydon celebrated with us. Every year, my students enjoy it and are surprised that they can follow along and actively participate. Over the years, Fr. Bolser and Fr. Dan Hall have presided, and Br. John Eustice has assisted. It’s such a bonus when my students see Viatorian priests and brothers speaking in Spanish. They get to see them as multi-talented individuals with numerous gifts. Hopefully, these Viatorians are paving the path for our students to become global learners after they grauate from Saint Viator – and remain Viatorians.

Dedicating a New San Viator Parish in Bogotá The Viatorian Community and the Province of Chicago celebrated the dedication of its newest namesake parish: San Viator Parish in Bogotá, Colombia. “It was so motivating for the parish community to celebrate in our new place,” said Fr. Edgar Suarez, CSV, Pastor. The dedication was a dream come true for Fr. Suarez and his congregation of more than 1,000 families, but it also came exactly 60 years after the Viatorians first arrived in Colombia to start Colegio San Viator, a parochial school educating students through high school in Bogotá, and another school, Colegio San Viator in Tunja, in 2016. Fr. Edgar Suarez offers the final benediction at the dedication Mass.

Before the Mass began, Bishop Acosta consecrated the altar and its relics and then blessed the rest of the sanctuary and other parts of the church, as prescribed by the sacred rite. The celebration concluded with a special ceremony honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, including songs of praise by a mariachi band. The timing of the dedication was no coincidence. It provided the chance to celebrate the new church on one of the many feast days of Mary, the patroness of Colombia.

This is the first parish in Colombia named for the community patron saint, St. Viator. Its construction began in September 2020, after years of fundraising and waiting for building permits. Fr. Suarez and his parishioners celebrated in their new church for the first time last year on Easter, despite it not being fully finished. They also gathered again July 16, the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which was their deadline to complete most of the work. The formal dedication took place on December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in a solemn ritual handed down by the ancient church. Msgr. German Medina Acosta, Auxiliary Bishop of Bogotá, led the blessing and concelebrated the Mass with Fr. Suarez. In all, the Mass drew nearly one dozen priests and deacons, including many Viatorians, to gather around the altar.


Living the Vocation of Viatorian Brotherhood What does every professed Viatorian have in common? For one thing, each and every man began his religious life as a brother.

One way we’ve been able to celebrate Viatorian brothers is by their reflections in our podcast series, Viatorian Voices: Conversations on the Way. Several brothers have been a part of episodes, and we recommend in particular that you listen Typically, once a man formally begins his novitiate with the to Episode 11 – Exploring God’s Invitation with Br. Rob Viatorians, he is called “Brother” and considered a comRobertson, CSV – to get a great portrait of discernment and munity member. If he requests to profess first vows and is religious life as a Viatorian brother. approved, he then will begin his religious life as a brother and referred to with the suffix “CSV.” As we mark Religious Brothers Day on May 1, it’s a great time to thank God for the gift of our Viatorian brothers, men whose witness to our charism and faith are a gift to our communities and the Church. In Vocation Ministry, we are proud to describe the Viatorian Community as a rich place where religious brothers, priests, and lay men and women associates come together. With distinct gifts and witness, we all carry the Viatorian charism into our community life and our work. As we speak with young people and those men who are discerning religious life with us, we are proud to be a community where each group’s witness is valuable, and we believe that discerners are drawn to this communal strength. We ask you to pray for our religious brothers, and for vocations to religious life as Viatorian brothers. Fr. Daniel Hall blesses Br. Peter Lamick at his perpetual vow ceremony in 2019.

From there, Viatorians have taken many paths, which reflect the diversity of gifts, talents, and vocations among our men. Some men soon continue to study theology and seek ordination to the diaconate and priesthood early in religious life, as many of our priests have, such as Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV and Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV. Others may live their religious life as a brother for many years and then consider and perhaps pursue priesthood later, including Fr. John Peeters, CSV and Fr. Corey Brost, CSV. Many Viatorians find religious life as a brother to be their lifelong call and joyfully live out their ministry and community life as brothers, including Br. Michael Gosch, CSV and Br. Carlos Flórez, CSV. No matter their path, Viatorian brothers serve in a wide variety of roles, from pastoral roles at parishes and leadership positions at schools to roles in congregational leadership. 7

Viatorian Ministry Sites in the Province of Chicago

Children of Abraham Coalilition Northwest Suburbs, Chicago, IL

Saint Viator High School Arlington Heights, IL

United States Provincial Center Arlington Heights, IL

Bishop Gorman High School Las Vegas, NV

St. George Parish Bourbonnais, IL

Maternity BVM Parish Bourbonnais, IL

Villa Desiderata Retreat Center McHenry, IL

St. Patrick Parish Kankakee, IL

Catholic Theological Union Viator House of Hospitality Chicago, IL Northwest Suburbs Chicago, IL

St. Viator Catholic Community and School Las Vegas, NV

Cristo Rey St. Viator College Prep North Las Vegas, NV

Alleman High School Rock Island, IL

St. Thomas More Henderson, NV


Cristo Rey St. Martin, Waukegan, IL

Colegio San Viator Bogotá, Colombia

Colegio San Viator Tunja, Colombia

San Ines Parish Bogotá, Colombia

San Viator Parish Bogotá, Colombia

Bishop McNamara School Kankakee, IL

Saint Viator Parish and School Chicago, IL 9

From the Archives: Preserving Oral Histories There are few things as profound as storytelling to preserve the history of a community. There is perhaps no better way to learn about an individual than through their own words. One year ago, we declared the launch of an oral history project within the Viatorian Community, and I am proud to announce that the first of our video interviews will be available soon. This is especially meaningful as we celebrate the lives of Br. Donald Houde and Fr. John Milton, who passed away in just the last few months. Fr. Milton and Br. Houde were our first two participants and we are deeply fortunate to have had the opportunity to collect and preserve their memories and history. These reflections capture personal aspects of their lives that truly cannot captured in any other way. Fr. John Milton, the first interviewee, began by explaining how he first began to consider religious life with the Viatorians during his years studying engineering at the Fournier Institute. The conversation included his early days as a novitiate, his time at seminary, the transitions of Vatican II, his many years of teaching and a great deal more.

Fr. John Milton at a 90th birthday celebration at Cristo Rey St. Martin.

In addition to Fr. Milton and Br. Houde, we also have recent video oral history interviews with both Fr. Charles Bolser and Fr. Arnold Perham. Br. James Lewnard served as our interviewer for all four conversations. We also have earlier audio interviews conducted by Br. Donald Houde began with the story of his childhood growing former Viatorian archivist, Joan Sweeney, in 2007 with Br. Leo up quite literally in the shadow of the Viatorians, with his family’s Ryan (1927-2016), Fr. Philip Kendall (1932-2010), Fr. Thomas home in Bourbonnais being across from St. Viator College. He McCarthy (1920-2007), Fr. Hugh Robbins (1926-2011), and was taught by Viatorians through his elementary and high school Fr. Francis White (1917-2015). These will be shared in the near years at St. Rose and St. Patrick. After trying his hand at a few future as well. different lines of work in Chicago and Arizona, he found his way The interviews will be available as part of the imminent launch of back to the Viatorians and his story continues from there. the Viatorian Archives online exhibit space. This site is very much a work in progress, but every week, we will be adding new photographs and documents that illuminate the history of the Viatorian Community. We invite people to contact us in order to learn more about a family member who was a Viatorian or attended a Viatorian school, and we continue to encourage this dialogue. Whether you’re interested in doing research or merely want to obtain records about a loved one, we welcome your inquiries. Email me at: with any requests.

Br. Donald Houde


Crafting a Vision for the Future These goals include: n Increase vocations to professed religious life and association. n Enhance the experience of Viatorian Community life at the regional, provincial and local levels. n Create opportunities and vehicles for shared leadership within and beyond the Viatorian Community. n Encourage/foster leadership of associates in new and existing ministries aligned with our mission and charism. Associates and professed convened in February at the Province Center to discuss strategic planning.

n Ensure that the facility, financial and human resources of the province are managed to allow for appreciation, flexibility, ministerial support and manifestation of Viatorian values.

Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, has been making the rounds. Over the past two months, he has met with members of the Viatorian Community in regions across the country to continue mapping out a strategic planning process for the future.

n In each region, identify unmet needs and explore/expand ministries for those accounted of “little importance” with particular attention to the needs of youth and young adults.

In February, he met with associate and professed members from the Arlington Heights/Chicago region, and one week later with Viatorians in the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region. He completed his visits when he met with associate and professed Viatorians in Las Vegas in March.

Fr. Daniel Hall with (L-R) Associate Ken Barrie, Fr. John Peeters and Associate Michelle Barrie.

Planning for the future — strategically — is not easy. The process is slow — taking up to three years to complete — and methodical, but Fr. Hall and his Provincial Council believe that by working together to proactively to set goals, it will strengthen the community around this shared purpose.

Already, Viatorians have identified (L-R) Associate Marie Feeney, Fr. William Haesaert, nine goals and with and Associates Jim and Marie May at the planning each goal they have session in March in Las Vegas. identified several objectives. At these meetings, they are working to devise strategies to advance these objectives.


n Increase involvement opportunities for associates and others, with special attention to those associates who have retired, moved away from Viatorian centers or whose institutions are no longer sponsored by Viatorians. n Increase participation of youth and young adult activity in Viatorian communities. n Communicate, reinforce and celebrate the Viatorian identity, mission, values and vision in all ministries.

Fr. Larry Lentz, Fr. Robert M. Egan and Br. Carlos Florez enjoy a break during the meeting in Las Vegas.

At each regional meeting, members divided up into small groups, assigned to tackle different goals. The next step will be to bring the objectives together for the regions to study and discuss. It’s a long process but Viatorians are finding the rewards of gathering together and talking about the Viatorian Community after two years of the pandemic — to be priceless.

Celebrating Our Jubilarians

Fr. Thomas Long , CSV 60 Years

Fr. Daniel Mirabelli, CSV 70 Years

As Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, celebrates 60 years of religious life, he looks back on all the ways he has been able to live out his commitment to social justice and help make the world a better place.

Fr. Daniel Mirabelli, CSV, holds a unique distinction in the Viatorian Community: He was one of the first two novices to profess his vows at the new Viatorian Novitiate when it was being established in Arlington Heights, in 1952. Consequently, this year he celebrates 70 years of religious life.

“I am grateful to belong to a community that prioritizes outreach to those who are accounted of little importance,” Fr. Long says, “as well as one that encourages and supports its members to develop and utilize their God-given gifts and talents.” He professed his first vows in 1962 and then went on to complete his BA degree in history at Loyola University in Chicago. Fr. Long then headed to Washington DC to study at the Viatorian Seminary and completed a master of arts degree in European history at Catholic University of America. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 1969, but it was his seminary years that remain a searing memory. Fr. Long and his classmates were studying at the Viatorian seminary in 1968 when they witnessed the fires and riots that broke out after Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. “We were firsthand witnesses to the deep divide in our country,” Fr. Long says. Thus, his lifelong commitment to social justice was born. Fr. Long taught at Bishop McNamara and Alleman high schools, before going into parish work. He was an associate pastor at St. Viator Parish in Chicago and left in 1984 to become the founding pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV. In 1994, Fr. Long earned his master’s degree in social work and spent the next nine years in California working with members of the HIV/AIDS community, with the homeless and administrating a recovery program. When he returned to the Viatorian Province Center in 2003, Fr. Long became involved in the Viatorians’ communications efforts. He continues to edit both its external and internal newsletters. But he also serves in nearly one dozen social justice initiatives, mostly dedicated to accompanying immigrants and working toward immigration reform.

All but 14 of those years have been spent at one institution: Alleman High School in Rock Island, IL, where he is their beloved “little ol’ priest” and the feeling is mutual. “I have enjoyed all my years at Alleman,” Fr. Mirabellis says. “It is a great school and I thank the Viatorians who are the key people who have been very good to me and let me stay at Alleman.” Over the course of his 50 years at the school, Fr. Mirabelli has taught history and social studies, served as business manager, chaplain, bookstore manager and director of development. However, he also has served as spiritual director to thousands of students and their families over his long tenure there. Fr. Mirabelli grew up in Chicago and attended Quigley Preparatory High School for two years before finishing at Fenwick High School. He earned his undergraduate degree in history at St. Ambrose College in Davenport before entering the Viatorian Seminary in Evanston, IL, in 1956. While there he also earned a master’s degree in American History at Loyola University in Chicago. His early teaching assignments took him to Spalding Institute in Peoria and St. Benedict’s School in Chicago before he joined the founding faculty of Saint Viator High School in 1961. Fr. Mirabelli remained there for five years before leaving for Alleman High School in 1966, and the rest is history. Fr. Mirabelli is semi-retired, but he remains on staff at Alleman and continues to be the school’s biggest ambassador. In 2020, the school honored him on his 60th jubilee as a priest. They set up a “kudo board” and within a week more than 200 people posted messages of heartfelt thanks.


A Solemn Farewell to Steve Burks The student body joined the Saint Viator High School faculty and staff as they filed outside of the building on a cold, blustery February day. This was no fire drill or emergency evacuation. Participation was optional, but everyone wanted to be there. They stood in the cold, lining up and down in front of the Arlington Heights school. They waited, most wearing sweatshirts that served as overcoats, and finally the moment arrived: A funeral procession slowly drove past them with a hearse leading the way. Students and staff turned out to offer a final farewell to Steve Burks, the former A hearse carries Stephan Burks past students, faculty and staff at Saint Viator High School. director of buildings and grounds at the school for more than 40 years. He died Jan. 27 after a battle with “He helped us transition to a coed school,” Fr. Bolser said. “He cancer. He was 65. made the key moves on that, building new locker rooms and “The teachers invited them bathrooms.” to come down, but it was not Over the next 12 years Fr. Bolser and Steve worked on projects required,” said Fr. Daniel Lydon, that included renovating the cafeteria, chapel and science labs, CSV, president, who rode in converting the typing room into a computer lab, installing a sprinthe procession. “But when I saw kler system and converting the back property into athletic fields. those students lined on both sides Steve led construction of the high school’s first addition, which of the parking lot, completely resulted in its iconic Boler Center, in 2005. The major capital silent and many with their hands campaign included a multipurpose athletic addition, with a new on their hearts, it was really gym, added classrooms, training rooms, and a fitness center and powerful.” weight room. The procession made its way In 2014, he then served as foreman for the $14 million Shaping to Memory Gardens Cemetery, the Future with Faith capital campaign. The two-year construclocated nearby on Euclid Avenue tion included the remodeling of the Scanlan Center, for students in Arlington Heights, where he was laid to rest, facing the school. with unique learning needs, and converting the cafeteria into a Steve Burks received the Principal’s collegiate-style dining facility plus a $2 million renovation of the Service Award in 2005 at Saint “Everything that you see that is performing and visual arts facilities. Viator High School. beautiful and working in that school For the last 12 years, Steve also served as building and grounds is because of that man,” said the Rev. Corey Brost, CSV, a former director at the Province Center, where he maintained the 60-yearpresident of the school, who spoke briefly at the end before offerold building and lovingly tended its grounds. ing a prayer. “He was really more like a partner than an employee,” Fr. Daniel “Thank you for coming out here,” he added, “and honoring this Hall, CSV, said. man who never took any credit for his work publicly.” Steve started working at the school in 1981 after serving in the Navy, where he learned his engineering skills. In 1987, when Saint Viator merged with the former Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Rolling Meadows, Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, promoted Steve to be director.

Most recently, high school administrators credited Steve with helping them safely provide in-person learning during the pandemic. “He was a steadying force,” Fr. Lydon added, “whose tireless work allowed us to keep our faculty, staff and students safely in school throughout this pandemic.” 13

In Memoriam Br. Donald Houde, CSV More than 40 years after Br. Donald Houde, CSV, left his position as principal of Saint Viator High School, his former faculty members and fellow Viatorians still remembered the “rookie rallies.” “They took place in his office,” says Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, who student taught at the high school under Br. Houde. “They were for first-year teachers as a way to listen, coach and encourage them.” This kind of innovation, quiet wisdom and interest in others were the hallmarks of Br. Houde’s 69 years as a Viatorian. He passed away Sept. 29, 2021, at the age of 91. His funeral took place where his Viatorian life began, in the chapel of the Province Center. Br. Houde was among the first group of religious to profess vows in the chapel which he helped design, back in 1952. At the time of his passing, he was the oldest Viatorian in the Province of Chicago. Br. Houde studied art at the School of the Art Institute and Vogue College of Design, both in Chicago, before he joined the community. Though he left his private life for a religious vocation, he never lost his artistic eye. “He was a very creative teacher and was widely respected for that,” says Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, “he also had a good sense of art and color. His imprint is all over (the Province Center).” Over the years, he helped design many of the common areas of the Province Center and he had a hand in all of the holiday decorations. He eventually evolved into the unofficial historian and curator of its religious art collection. Professionally, Br. Houde built a 40-year career in education, that included teaching at four Viatorian high schools and serving as principal at two, Spalding Institute in Peoria and Saint Viator. He capped his career as curriculum director for the Office of Catholic Schools within the Archdiocese of Chicago. “In his retirement, he took on the simple role of sacristan at St. Josephat Parish in Chicago and here at the Province Center,” Fr. Render said in his homily. “I think our founder, Fr. Querbes, would be proud of Don’s fulfillment of his ideals as both catechist and Cleric of St. Viator.”

Br. Donald Houde organized a book drive for the Viatorian mission in Belize, back in 2012. He eventually shipped 50 boxes of books to the parish school where Viatorians served.

One of the last projects Br. Houde worked on was designing the Viatorian Community’s annual Christmas card. For the last 10 years, he would scour the Province Center’s religious art collection for a suitable image for the card. He also wrote the inside greeting and edited the description of the community — and of the image — on the back. It was always a labor of love.

“God gifted Don with curiosity and with vision,” Fr. Render added. “He could explore and find treasures in places where many people would never look.” Ironically, last year’s image was one from his very own collection: Madonna con Bambino, a Gothic image by medieval artist Simone Martini. He will be missed. 14

Fr. John Milton, CSV The Viatorian Community lost a master teacher and a devoted priest with the passing of Fr. John Milton, CSV. He would have celebrated 70 years as a Viatorian this year and 65 as a priest. Fr. Milton passed away Jan. 24. He was 92. “John had a deep passion for science,” said the Rev. Arnold Perham, a former math teacher at Saint Viator High School and classmate of Fr. Milton’s. “He looked upon math and science as the language that God expressed in the creation of the cosmos.” Fr. Milton first met the Viatorians at the former Fornier Institute in Lemont, IL, where he attended from junior year of high school through college, earning a degree in electrical engineering. In fact, he graduated first in his class at the small, selective school. He went on to earn a master’s degree in physics and further graduate studies at St. Louis University before embarking on his long career in teaching. Fr. Milton taught physics at Saint Viator High School for 20 years. He was among the early faculty members to help establish its science department. Yet he also was the driver behind bringing the first computer into the building, a minicomputer produced by Digital Equipment Corporation. “John’s college degree at was in electrical engineering and his master’s degree was in physics,” Fr. Perham said. “He was the perfect person to inject computers into the curriculum.” Fr. Milton next pushed for a computer lab in the school – stocked with Commodore PET personal computers -- and he worked with Fr. Perham to create a groundbreaking class, “Computer Supported Problem Solving.” “It was at least 10 years ahead of its time,” says Bob Zeh of River Forest, a computer engineer who graduated from Saint Viator in 1987. “I used some of the math that I learned in that class in my interviews with my last employer.” Fr. Milton continued his academic career at DePaul University, where he taught another 24 years. When he retired in 2010, Fr. Milton was awarded the Via Sapientiae Award, the highest faculty-staff honor at DePaul. In his retirement, Fr. Milton found great satisfaction in helping to build the science department at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan, where Viatorians have been an endorsing community since its opening in 2004.

Fr. John Milton worked with Ms. Kumkum Bonnerjee at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep to develop the school’s AP physics program.

Like the early days at Saint Viator, he brought in his own handmade components to introduce students to new experiments, and he regularly asked his colleagues in statewide physics associations for any unused equipment that he could donate to the school.

In recognition of Fr. Milton’s dedication to the school and his work in creating its AP science programs, Preston Kendall, president of Cristo Rey St. Martin, dedicated its physics lab in Fr. Milton’s name. They hoped to surprise him, but he never made it back to the school to see it. Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, celebrated Fr. Milton’s funeral Mass in the chapel at the Province Center, where he described him as a dedicated priest and teacher who quietly inspired others. “To me, John represented a certain stability in an unstable world,” Hall said. “He was a model for all of us as to what it means to be a deeply spiritual man.” He will be missed. 15

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



Newsletter –Spring 2022


Around the Province... role as principal and president at Saint Viator High School. Wherever he went, people commented that there was something different about Viatorians. In the latest roundtable episode of Viatorian Voices: Conversations on the Way, Fr. Render reflects on that question: What makes Viatorians unique? Find it in Episode 22 at Apple, Google or Spotify podcasts, or at this bitlink: RenderCSV. Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, is returning to his roots, literally. This summer, he will be one of 25 gardeners tending his plot in the newly expanded Viatorian Fr. Daniel Hall in the Viatorian Community Garden Community Garden, Br. Carlos Flórez, CSV, located on the grounds of the Province Center. It was Fr. Hall who joined with Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, in creating the garden 10 years was recognized by the ago. What started with 14 plots and roughly 10 gardeners has grown to draw gardeners from the Saint Viator High School community, the principal at Children of Abraham Coalition, neighboring faith communities and Cristo Rey St. Viator in friends of the Viatorians. In returning to the land, Fr. Hall reinforcLas Vegas for es the original mission of the garden, to feed the hungry. Each year, gardeners have produced around 1,000 pounds of vegetables for area showcasing families served by local food pantries. This year, with nearly double the the school’s Br. Carlos Florez, center, displays his award with administrators from Cristo Rey St. Viator, including Fr. Thomas von number of plots, they hope to raise much more. core value, Behren, second from right. “Have Faith.” Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV, Br. Flórez has helped build Cristo Rey St. Viator College Prep from continues to enjoy rethe ground up, literally. As the Director of Recruitment and Admistirement at the Viatorian sions, he has been instrumental in growing the school one grade level Province Center. After at a time. His efforts have the led the school more than 40 years of to this year, when the school will welcome teaching chemistry, its incoming freshman class in August, thus he now has more time realizing its dream of having all four classes to enjoy such simple (freshman - senior) enrolled in the first four pleasures as walking years of the school’s history. Fr. John Van Wiel displays a collection of bird outdoors and experiencFr. Alan Syslo, CSV, makes it his goal to walk outside for at least an hour a day during his time in retirement at the Viatorian Province Center. On these walks, every person he encounters he tells them to “pray for Ukraine.” Within his own Viatorian Community, he convinced associates, professed and staff members at the Province Center to place a sign at the entrance to the building, for the hundreds of motorists who pass it each day, to see: “We Stand with Ukraine.”

Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, has led St. Joseph Parish in Springfield, St. Thomas More in Henderson, NV, and St. Viator Parish in Chicago. And that’s not to mention his Fr. Patrick Render

paintings he created.

ing God in nature – and capturing those images on canvas in his watercolor paintings. Now, his creative side will be seen. Plans are in the works to exhibit a collection of his paintings in the meeting room of the Province Center.

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