Meet the new Superior General: Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV
Provincial Perspective This is not a writing to which I looked forward to presenting. Unfortunately, we as a church have been silent too long. Our silence has only exacerbated the problems we face. This is, indeed, a time of crisis. The sexual abuse scandal has rocked us to our very core. I have a flurry of emotions when the topic is raised. Anger, shame, rage, disappointment. All of these surface and certainly cause me to pause to reflect on our situation as Catholic Christians and our relationship with the Church. The Church is and has always been made up of simple human beings. Each of us bring with us our faith, our strengths and our faults. Sadly, over time things changed and people were taught that members of the clergy were not like everyone else. They were something a bit different — maybe even for some, somewhat better and holier than lay people. That certainly is not the case.
removed from active ministry. Those who cover it up and knowingly pass the wolf along to another flock should be called upon to resign. If they do not, they too should be removed. I have heard that many people have lost faith in the Church and are leaving. I find that sad because the Church belongs to the laity. It is your Church. It does not belong to the hierarchy nor the clergy; it belongs to you. To leave it and the sacraments that Christ left us to inspire and sustain us should not be abandoned because of the actions of some. An important thing to remember, as horrible as this scandal is, the vast majority of clergy are doing exactly what we were ordained to do and are living our vows daily.
For me, the greatest cause of anger and bitterness over this ongoing scandal is the betrayal of trust. Parents entrust to us the most precious aspect of their lives — their children. It is a sacred responsibility to help parents shape and form these children as Christ would. That trust has been broken and violated by many people who have answered the call to serve in the Church. Fortunately, these predators are finally being recognized and removed from active ministry. Our bishops, archbishops and even cardinals are not exempt from guilt in this regard. Perhaps the greatest failing of the leadership is that they put protecting the name of the Church ahead of protecting the flock placed in their charge. This code of silence, this passing along of a predator from one flock to another only destroys. It destroys trust and it destroys credibility. In scripture, we see Jesus portrayed as the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd protects the flock, not the wolves. Sadly, this has not been the case. I believe that those who have been convicted of these horrible crimes should be
Prayer is a powerful thing. It can move mountains and change stone-like hearts. I urge you, especially now, in this time of crisis, pray for the victims of abuse, pray for the Church in this time of crisis. Pray too for the sinner. Pray for those working in the Church who are living the life we are all called to live. Pray that Christ’s spirit touch the Church again with tongues of fire to purify and sanctify it once more. May God continue to bless you and may you pass that blessing on to others.
Fr. Daniel R. Hall, CSV
In this Issue: 2 Provincial Perspective
10 One Year After Las Vegas Shooting,
3 Fr. Robert M. Egan: From Saint Viator High School to Superior General
Acting Provincial: Fr. Daniel R. Hall, CSV
11 Viatorian Youth Congress: Helping Young
Editor: Fr. Thomas E. Long, CSV
4 St. Viator:School: Seeing God in All Children 5 Q & A with Associate Rosy Hartz 6 Vocations Continue to Grow in Colombia
Viatorians Help Residents Heal People Deepen Their Faith
12 From Farmers to First Responders, Viatorians are There
13 Viatorian Archives: Another Love Story Uncovered
7 Viator House of Hospitality Draws a Crowd 14 St. Viator Parish Celebrate Milestone 8 Celebrating Our Jubilarians 9 Saint Viator High School Showcases
15 In Memoriam; Fr. James Crilly, CSV 16 Around the Province 2
Director of Communications: Eileen O’Grady Daday Editorial Board: Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV
Fr. Charles G. Bolser, CSV Eileen O’Grady Daday Associate Joan Sweeney
Layout and Design: Dianna Ehrenfried, Visualedge, Inc. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr. Robert M. Egan: From Saint Viator High School to Superior General A framed photo sits next to the computer in the provincial office, that continues to inspire Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV. It features the late Fr. Ken Morris, CSV, meeting Pope John Paul II, sometime in the late 1980s. At the time, Fr. Morris served as Acting Superior General of the Viatorians, after being the first Viatorian to be elected to a third term as Provincial Superior. “He was my novice master and mentor,” Fr. Egan says. “He was collaborative, he listened and he was a consensus builder. He was someone who always said ‘yes’ when the community needed him, and that’s what I’ve tried to do.” In July, Fr. Egan was elected Superior General of the worldwide Viatorian Community. The vote came during the final week of the General Chapter, which included delegates from Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Haiti, Honduras, the Ivory Coast, Japan, Spain, Peru and the United States. He takes over from Fr. Alain Ambeault, CSV, of Montreal, who has led the congregation for the last six years. “It’s a different role than provincial,” Fr. Egan says. “I see it as offering support and animating the charism as it is lived out in all the places we serve, among the different cultures, languages and customs. I see my role as affirming all the good that takes place in fidelity to the vision and charism of Fr. Querbes.” Fr. Egan says he didn’t see his election coming when he attended the General Chapter, but after meeting so many of his fellow Viatorians from around the world, he couldn’t help but get caught up in their excitement — and joy — at being Viatorians. “Nearly half of the delegates at the Chapter were there for the first time,” Fr. Egan said, “and their excitement was contagious. It made me aware that most of our growth and youth are coming from places
Members of the new General Council include (L-R) Fr. Claudio Ríos of Chile, Fr. André Crozier of France, Fr. Robert M. Egan, Superior General, Fr. Claude Roy of Canada and Fr. Robert Jean of Haití.
like Africa, Colombia and Haiti. So that’s the challenge for me, to build on that.” Fr. Egan is a 1969 graduate of Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, which has produced two of the last three superior generals. Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, a 1971 graduate, led the congregation from 2000-2012 and now serves as president of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. In fact, Fr. Egan is only the third American to lead the congregation in its more than 150-year history. Fr. Thomas Langenfeld, CSV, was the first, leading the community from 1972-1984. Fr. Egan brings to the role his 48 years as a Viatorian, including 40 years as a priest. Beyond that, he has served as pastor of St. Viator Church in Chicago and of St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, as well as president of Saint Viator High School before being elected Provincial Superior last year.
St. Viator School: Seeing God in All Children
Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, works with Luke Silvestri in his training to become an altar server.
For the second time in as many years, Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, found himself being filmed in a movie. Apparently, it comes with the territory, when you are the pastor of a large Catholic parish in Las Vegas, with dedicated parishioners and award-winning programs. Two years ago, Fr. Rinn was asked to play himself in a documentary, counseling a parishioner dealing with the effects of multiple sclerosis. This fall, he again was tapped to portray himself in a video, this time talking about the parish’s groundbreaking commitment to inclusion through its Micah Program. The unique program at St. Viator Parish School takes its lead from the Book of Micah, in the Old Testament: “Act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God and each other.” That verse, taken from the 6th chapter, is the school’s motto but it also represents its inclusion program, which is the only one of its kind at a Catholic school in the state of Nevada. The Micah Program aims to provide students with physical and intellectual learning disabilities a Christ-centered environment in which to learn. The program strives to maximize each student’s abilities by developing the whole person, academically and socially.
“Act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God and each other.” Book of Micah, Old Testament For Fr. Rinn, no one had to convince him to talk about the program’s benefits in the video. He sees it every day. “It’s really special to work with these children,” he says. “They just put a smile on your face.” In fact, Fr. Rinn looks for ways to include these students in all aspects of school and parish life, including during Mass as an altar server. In the video, Fr. Rinn is shown working with Luke, who has Down syndrome. Luke is an active student at St. Viator School. He works hard in class, serves as an altar server and participates in extracurricular activities, including basketball. He also serves as a mentor to younger students. “We would not want him to be anywhere else,” say his parents, Barb and Jim, of the youngest of their five children, all of whom attended St. Viator School.
Now in its sixth year, the program has grown to include five students with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, on the autism spectrum and diagnosed with epilepsy.
The parish held a special collection earlier in October to continue to fund the program, whose results, school officials say, have been nothing short of life-changing.
“Our entire school community is truly impacted,” says Mrs. Tracy Brunelle, principal. “We find our typical students are more empathetic, tolerant of differences, and more kind and caring.”
“While some see disabilities, we see possibilities,” Mrs. Brunelle adds. “Above all, we see the face of God in each child. We are all blessed by them.”
Q & A with Associate Rosy Hartz Associate Rosy Hartz directs the campus ministry and faith formation programs for children and teens at St. Viator Parish in Las Vegas, and over her nearly 20 years of working with young people she has immersed hundreds of teens into the Viatorian mission. We wondered how she became so passionate about her role â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and the Viatorians.
I went through RCIA in middle school and became a Catholic when I was 13. I never knew how close sacraments would bring me to God. My family began to go to a church that had more youth involvement, and I served as a youth leader while attending UNLV. A youth ministry job opened at St. Viator Parish when I was 20. I earned my certificate in youth ministry shortly after I was hired. This was how I encountered the Viatorians and 18 years later I am still passionate about youth ministry.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to know the Viatorians.
What impressed you so much about their mission that you wanted to become a Viatorian associate?
My husband (Paul) and I were invited by Br. John Eustice to bcome pre-associates. We felt beyond blessed to have the opportunity and invitation to become associates. We were already passionate about helping youth and those of little or no importance, but being in association has meant walking a close path of shared values while understanding we all come from different paths.
You have brought teens from Las Vegas to the Viatorian Youth Congress every year since it started. What keeps you, as their delegation leader, coming back? The teens love the family reunion feeling and the automatic connection to other Viatorian teens. Coming together offers us a chance to immerse them in the Viatorian mission, and to explore what this means to us and what we can do because of our calling.
Finally, after partnering and ultimately joining with the Viatorians, how has their charism changed your life? Oh, how do I put this into words? I am a better person and I am more sensitive to those who may be poor in spirit. Most of all, I love who I am because of the passion that was ignited in me by the Viatorians.
Tell us about your job and what you love about it.
I work in youth ministry and love it but I also coordinate our faith formation program for children in first grade through high school. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know I would love it as much as I do. Working with teens is definitely my passion, and being part of the Viatorian Community lends itself to truly having a window into the lives of young people.
We know that you organize creative retreats for your middle school students. Is there one central theme youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hoping to impart on these young people?
The campus ministry program that we do with our school children is one of my biggest joys. They come and we make a connection as Viatorians, as well as praying in community with one another in a way they may not be used to.
Vocations Continue to Grow in Colombia In a liturgy of profession steeped in tradition, the Viatorian Community welcomed two new religious brothers: Br. Jhobony Orduz, CSV, and Br. Juan Carlos Ubaque, CSV. Both are native Colombians who were drawn to the Viatorians because of their educational mission and their longstanding commitment to the people of this South American country. They professed their perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience on Sept. 8 in Tunja, Colombia, before Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, acting provincial. A highlight of the ceremony was receiving their rings, which are engraved with the Viatorian logo, and which all Viatorians wear on their right hand. “This was not just a vows ceremony,” said Fr. Hall. “This was about the entire community coming together to celebrate these perpetual vows. It signals that we’re going to walk with them on this journey. They’re making vows for life, and so are we.” Nearly all of the more than 50 Viatorians who serve in Colombia were on hand for this momentous occasion, including Fr. Frank Enciso, CSV, Fr. Gustavo López, CSV, and Fr. Pedro Herrera, CSV, who had mentored both young religious through their formation. “Welcoming these new religious brothers is a sign of the presence of Fr. Luis Querbes in our world today,” said Fr. Herrera, president of Colegio San Viator in Tunja. “It also is a reminder to each one of us Viatorians to be witnesses of our sense of belonging to our community.” Both brothers already are serving the Viatorian Community. Br. Juan Carlos works in campus ministry at Colegio San Viator in Tunja. He also has a creative side which he shares with the school community. Br. Juan Carlos wrote both the entrance
Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, receives the vows of Br. Juan Carlos Ubaque, CSV, left, and Br. Jhobany Orduz, CSV, during a ceremony Sept. 8 in Tunja, Colombia.
and recessional hymns for the ceremony. He also designed the stained glass windows in the school’s chapel. Br. Jhobany formerly taught engineering and served in administration at the Universidad Catolicá de Colombia. Currently, he is living in Arlington Heights, while he completes an intensive course in English as a Second Language. Br. Jhobany and Br. Juan Carlos are just the latest in the growing number of vocations coming from Colombia. In January, four more novices are getting ready to profess their first vows, while five more pre-novices are coming up as well. These new Viatorians personify one of the priorities recently agreed upon at the General Chapter meeting of the worldwide Viatorian Community. They are revitalizing the entire community by the way they live out their vocation, with joy.
Viator House of Hospitality Draws a Crowd Hope, healing, opportunity.
“Each has a powerful story of migration and a reason for leaving their home country,” Br. Gosch told the crowd. “Many, if not all of them, have witnessed some sort of persecution and death. Many, if not all of them, suffer from some sort of trauma.”
Those three words underscored the success of the first fundraiser for Viator House of Hospitality. “A Taste of Viator House” took place Oct. 6 in Querbes Hall at Saint Viator High School and drew a sold-out crowd of supporters. What’s more, it generated more than double what organizers had cautiously hoped to raise. “The outpouring has been amazing,” said Julie Wood, who chaired the event. “We had to turn people away. That tells us that people really want to be part of this and that they’re looking for ways to help.”
Br. Gosch described the house Viator House of Hospitality to the nearly 300 people in attendance, who included former teachers and members of local faith communities, as well as at least one resident of Viator House, who went from table to table greeting guests.
Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, and Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, started Viator House of Hospitality in January, 2017, to provide compassionate support to young men seeking asylum, and its ministry continues to grow and draw supporters.
“He’s a pro,” declared Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, of this young man. “He’s got all the confidence in the world. He’s going to be a politician some day.” Many of those at the fundraiser already volunteer at the house. They do everything from tutoring and driving residents to school or jobs, to serving as mentors, as well as developing marketing and fundraising strategies. “We have an incredible house, but it would just be a shell without our incredible volunteers,” Fr. Brost said at the event.
“I was humbled to see Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, addresses the crowd at the first fundraiser to benefit the Viator House so many people come of Hospitality. to the event to support the young men of Viator House of Hospitality,” Br. Gosch said. “Their concern and care for our participants give me hope.”
Literally, he estimates that they have 70 volunteers to draw from at any one time, and that list continues to grow as more people want to help. “I know God is real, because I see God’s work every day through these incredible volunteers,” Fr. Brost told the audience. “We are a place of hope, healing and opportunity, where young men are taken care of and reminded every day that they are important.”
The house is grounded in the Viatorian commitment to young people — and to “those accounted of little importance.” In the 18 months since it opened, the home has welcomed 36 men, from 15 countries, offering them housing as well as case management and supportive services.
Celebrating Our Jubilarians Fr. Alan Syslo, CSV 60 Years of Religious Life Fr. Alan Syslo, CSV, reached 60 years of religious life in September. He obtained his undergraduate degree in accounting at Loyola University in Chicago, before doing graduate study at George Washington University in Washington DC, earning a Master’s degree in social work at Ruger’s University, and his Master’s Fr. Alan Syslo, CSV degree in management at Illinois State University. His first teaching assignment was at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, where he taught business and religion. From there he was transferred to Spalding Institute in Peoria,where he taught core subjects and served as dean of men. After seven years, he joined a small group interested in team ministry in Louisiana, which added parish ministry to his resume. From there he went to Las Vegas and broadened the scope of his work, ministering to the gay community in the California counties of Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito and San Luis Obispo. “Reflecting on the past 60 years, I see three events that have had a great impact on my life,” Fr. Syslo says. “The first was being involved in the lives of persons suffering and dying from AIDS. The second was learning and helping veterans being affected with post-traumatic stress disorder. The third is an ever growing knowledge and deeper appreciation of the liturgy, both in the word and in the Eucharist. This has made me see that all theology is rooted in the liturgy,and I have been blessed to be able to celebrate the divine liturgy of the Byzantine Rite.” Fr. Syslo now serves as an associate pastor at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, Nevada.
Fr. John Pisors, CSV 60 Years of Religious Life Fr. John Pisors, CSV, also celebrated 60 years of religious life in September. Looking back, it appears he was destined to become a Viatorian. He attended elementary school at St. Viator Parish in Chicago and followed in the footsteps of his brother, the late Fr. Thomas Pisors, CSV. He also had two sisters who became members Fr. John Pisors, CSV of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee. However, Fr. Pisors has carved his own path as a Viatorian religious, having spent most of his 50 years as a priest in Colombia, and most of them at Colegio San Viator. In preparation for his role as a teacher, Fr. Pisors received his Bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in Latin from Loyola University in Chicago. He went on to earn a Master’s degree from Catholic University of America in science and mathematics. Although Fr. Pisors spent shorter assignments at Blessed Agnes Church in Chicago and at Parroquia de Christo Rey and Parroquia
Santa Magdelena Sofia Barat, both in Colombia; he has devoted most of his life to the students at Colegio San Viator. Over the years, he has taught many of the core subjects, while also helping out in sacramental ministry at surrounding parishes. He also has written several books on youth ministry that were published in Colombia. “Believe me, 60 years is an awfully long time,” Fr. Pisors says. “But for me, it has passed by quite quickly because most of those years I have been able to enjoy the company of my Colombian confreres. I thank God for my vocation — Viatorian and priestly — and I thank my brothers for their support, especially Fr. Pedro Herrera, CSV, in difficult times and in those years in which we were almost the only Viatorian professed in the country.”
Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV 25 Years of Religious Life Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV celebrated 25 years of priesthood in July. He is the only active Viatorian ordained a bishop, and he dates his roots with the Viatorian Community back to Alleman High School in Rock Island, IL, where he was taught by Viatorians. He would go on to earn a degree in sociology at Loyola University, but within a year of graduating, he professed his first vows as a religious. Bishop Glancy points to the word ‘viator,’ which means pilgrim Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV or wayfarer, as an apt image to describe his years as a Viatorian. His early years he spent as a teacher, both at Saint ViatorHigh School and for four years at Colegio San Viator in Bogotá,where he led the religion department and became fluent in Spanish.From there, he would go on to work in pastoral ministry for one year at St. Patrick’s in Kankakee — where he celebrated his first Mass as a priest in 1993 — and later at Maternity BVM Parish as a part time associate pastor while he also led the Office of Vocation Ministry for the Viatorian Community. A major transition would occur in 1998, when Bishop Glancy accepted an assignment to join with Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, in opening a Viatorian mission, based at St. Francis Xavier Parish, in Corozal Town, Belize. He would remain at St. Francis until 2011, including the last nine years as pastor. “Serving at the Viatorian Foundation in Belize was for me a great joy,” he says, “and a wonderful collaboration with the Viatorian Community, religious and associates.” One year later, he would return to the Caribbean nation, this time to be installed as auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Belize City-Belmopan. He served in that capacity for six years before the diocese named a named a Belizean priest as the new bishop. After five years, Bishop Glancy returned to the Viatorian Province Center, for renewal from his years of service in Belize. “I await the next adventure for this viator,” he says, “this pilgrim following Christ along the way.”
Saint Viator High School Showcases its Military A commitment made last year on Veterans’ Day, to establish a wall of honor at Saint Viator High School, is now in place. This stateof-the-art system offers touch screen access to students and visitors alike, to the stories of Saint Viator alumni, faculty and staff members who served in the military. The permanent, digital display was installed during the summer in the school’s main administrative hallway, and showcases both retired and active military. “The system is interactive,” says Mr. Brian Liedlich, president, “so that people will be able to access particular alumni and relatives. They will be able to see what they looked like during their years here at Saint Viator, and have access to some great pictures from their actual service.” The wall of honor features both Sacred Heart of Mary and Saint Viator military members and is also accessible through the school’s website, at: https://www.saintviator.com/alumni/veterans. Currently, there are more than 85 alumni, faculty and staff included in the display. The majority served in the Viet Nam conflict, but more recent veterans are included who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Browsing by last name, visitors can see alumni such as Frank Bianca, who graduated in 1968 and went on to serve in a tactical fighter squadron in the Air Force for 26 years. They can also view recent graduates, such as Kyle Schwarz, ’09, who attended the Naval Academy and spent five years in active service. A video that accompanies the data base on Saint Viator’s web site, features two of the school’s early graduates— Mark Condon ’65 and Emile Bataille ’66 Mark Condon, class of ‘65
Touch screen located in Saint Viator High School’s administrative hallway showcases both retired and active military from Sacred Heart of Mary and Saint Viator High Schools.
— shared their stories of serving during the Viet Nam era, and their thoughts on the school affirming their service. “Through this display, I think people will understand that the school values those who have a strong commitment to their country,” says Condon, whose entered the military through the Army Reserves program. Similarly, Bataille entered the military through the Army Reserves program. He spent seven years in a ctive duty and 27 in the reserves. He retired from the U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, after 34 years. “Saint Viator does a great job of exposing young men and women to the value of community service,” Bataille said, “and the vocations that continue to give back to society. Military service fits into that category.”
Emile Bataille, class of 1966
Administrators at Saint Viator welcome any alumni as well as faculty and staff to submit their military background to this new data base. Send photos (including school photo as well as those from service) and service details to: veteranprofile@ saintviator.com.
Lt. Kyle Schwarz ’05, shown here with his parents, Viatorian Associates Donna and Tim Schwarz.
Bianca served in the Air Force from 1972-1998. For many of those years, he served in a tactical fighter squadron. He now lives in Henderson, NV.
One Year After Las Vegas Shooting, Viatorians Help Residents Heal On the one-year anniversary of the shooting tragedy in Las Vegas, thousands of people turned to places of worship for comfort and healing. Among them were two parishes where Viatorians minister, including St. Viator Catholic Community, located less than four miles from the strip, and St. Thomas More Catholic Community in suburban Henderson.
“It was quite moving,” Br. Robertson said simply.
At St. Viator, led by Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, pastor and Fr. Lawrence Lentz, CSV, associate pastor, parishioners arrived at Mass to find 58 candles assembled in the sanctuary, or one for every victim.
That same night, the Las Vegas Diocese chose St. Viator Catholic Community for a diocesan-wide “Journey of Remembering.”
All of the weekend Masses featured contemplative prayers, songs and reflections — led by parishioners and in place of preaching — and all centered around the theme of hope and healing.
A candle display at St. Thomas More Catholic Community.
“It was very sobering,” Fr. Rinn said simply of the parish’s services.
Among the visitors to the parish that weekend was Soran Leahy, a 2000 graduate of Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights — which Fr. Rinn led as president for one year while Leahy was there — who sought out St. Viator Catholic Community during a business trip to Las Vegas. While he stumbled upon the church during an emotional weekend of healing, he came away powerfully impacted by the liturgy, he said. “Frankly, I did not appreciate the depth of their pain and how it has lingered in Las Vegas,” Leahy said. “Having members of the community voice their emotional reactions to the tragedy and also provide specific instances where they saw God in the responses of others, was profoundly moving.”
Over at St. Thomas More Catholic Community, led by Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV, a special prayer service took place on the anniversary. The service featured a beautiful display of candles — one for each victim — as well as dimmed lights and all in the shadow of a stark crucifix.
The observance featured the “Hope Monstrance,” which was rescued in 2005 in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and blessed by Pope Benedict XVI one year later. Since then, the sacred monstrance has traveled to hundreds of churches as a symbol of courage and inspiration. “I think diocesan officials felt that not only does St. Viator have the perfect backdrop of the strip and our location,” said Associate Rosy Hartz, “but that Fr. Ron Zanoni carries the monstrance into St. Viator Catholic Community. our young adults would help to host it, as they did last year, one day after the shooting.” Fr. Ron Zanoni, of the Las Vegas Diocese, carried the monstrance at the head of a candlelight procession around the church, before a sacred liturgy, adoration and benediction took place. The ceremony ended exactly at 10:05 p.m., when the first shots rang out one year ago.
On the morning of the anniversary, school children at St. Viator Catholic School gathered in the courtyard to recite the sorrowful mysteries and pray the rosary, just as they did last year, one day after the massacre. “It was a very powerful day,” said Principal Tracy Brunelle. At Bishop Gorman High School, Associate Kim Martinez and Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, who work in campus ministry, helped organize a prayer service at the school’s grotto in rememberance of the victims. Students themselves designed a special broadcast on the school’s internal TV station, that included a prayer and 58 seconds of silence. School children pray the rosary outside St. Viator Catholic School.
Viatorian Youth Congress: Helping Young People Deepen Their Faith The Viatorian Youth Congress turns 10 next year and yet it continues to evolve as a unique program for high school and college aged young people, designed by Viatorians. Take this year, for example. For the first time, the youth congress welcomed delegates from the bilingual Colegio San Viator in Bogotá, Colombia. Br. John Eustice, CSV, who planned the fourday event with Associate Karen Cutler, said the group demonstrated the growing diversity of the Viatorian Community. “But at the end of the day, they were just like other teenagers,” Br. John added. “They blended right in.” In all, some 40 delegates — representing all the places where Viatorians minister — converged on the Cabrini Retreat Center in Des Plaines, IL for the event that is part retreat, part youth rally and part leadership conference.
Jean Ang, one of the young adult leaders and a parishioner at St. Viator Parish in Chicago, helps open the VYC’s first large group session.
The congress always concludes with a presentation on peace and justice, and this year it featured a former VYC member, Jason Wilhite, a 2015 Saint Viator High School graduate. He pointed to his involvement in campus ministry and the Viatorian Youth Congress with opening his eyes to the plight of children in Third World countries not having access to a quality education. Now, as a senior at St. Louis University, he has started a chapter of Pencils of Promise, with the goal of increasing access to quality education for children in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos, and he shared his passion with this year’s VYC delegates.
Associate Karen Cutler, second from right, welcomes the first delegation from Colombia, including their leader, Duvan Medina, left, and delegates Ian Casteñada, Natalia Martinez, and Camila Mendez.
Cutler returned as the VYC director, but in reality, college students ran the week. They took their lead from Buddy Miller, a senior music education major at Olivet-Nazarene University and parishioner at Maternity BVM Parish, in Bourbonnais. He served as the young adult coordinator of this year’s congress, working with eight leaders who represented every region in the Chicago Province, including Arlington Heights/Chicago, Bourbonnais/Kankakee/, Henderson/Las Vegas in Nevada, and Bogotá. Throughout the congress, teens discussed ways to deepen their Catholic faith and learn how they could advance the Viatorian mission, while participating in all aspects of daily liturgies, including as choir members, musicians, lectors, Eucharistic ministers and prayer leaders. During the sessions, teens worked directly with nearly two dozen Viatorian associates, brothers and priests who were involved — as presenters of prayer workshops, interview subjects, delegation leaders and pastoral ministers.
VYC Delegates interview Fr. Jean Didier, CSV, of the Ivory Coast.
Additionally, delegates heard from a resident of the Viator House of Hospitality, who described his escape from mounting danger in his home country of Guinea, for the chance at achieving opportunity, schooling and job training in this country. Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, returned for his ninth consecutive year. He designed the congress with Viatorian educators back when he served as vocations director for the Viatorian Community. Initially, he designed it as a way to bring together teens from various Viatorian sites, but increasingly he has seen its impact on young people who take what they learn back to their home schools and parishes. “The VYC helps our young faith leaders realize that they are part of a worldwide family,” Fr. Brost says, “that is changing the world.”
From Farmers to First Responders, Viatorians are There The farmland around the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region holds a special place in the Viatorian Community, since it was there that the first Viatorians arrived back in 1865. While those early Viatorians would go on to teach at a local school and parish, farm families have held a special place among Viatorians for more than 150 years now. That devotion was evident in September, when Fr. Dan Belanger, CSV, pastor of St. George Catholic Church in Bourbonnais, was asked to bless a combine before the start of the harvest season.
Fr. Dan Belanger, CSV, blesses a giant combine before the harvest season.
Literally, parishioner Darren Stauffenberg, and Kim and Walter Shirley pulled up their giant farm machine just after dawn and before
the 8 a.m. Mass. That’s where Fr. Dan, dressed in his vestments, blessed their combine and its operators, just before they headed out to harvest their crops.
Fr. Dan Belanger blesses farmer Darren Staffenberg before he heads out to the fields.
Fr. Dan has served as pastor of St. George since 2009 and in 2014, he added the pastorship at St. Mary’s Church in nearby Beaverville, where its church is affectionately referred to as the “Cathedral in the Cornfields.”
Fr. Dan chronicled these experiences and others during this year’s harvest. But his rural ministry also fell during the Season of Creation — which took place from Sept. 1 to Oct. 4 — when its theme was “walking together” in the care of our common home.
Blessing First Responders in Kankakee In its 125th jubilee year, historic St. Patrick’s Church in Kankakee continued one of its most sacred traditions in mid-September: the Blue Mass, which honors — and thanks — local police, fire and first responders for their work in protecting the community. The Mass is steeped in tradition. A bagpiper and formal color guard led a procession of first responders as they marched down Indiana Avenue toward the church. Fr. John Peeters, CSV, pastor, welcomed them to the solemn Mass, where police and firefighters served as lectors, Eucharistic ministers and brought up the gifts. The liturgy and blessing serve as the traditional opening to the parish’s Half-Paddy Fest, which followed immediately. At the conclusion of the Mass, Fr. Peeters thanked the men and women in attendance for their heroic service to the community. “We entrust you to the protection and the intercession of Saint Michael, the patron of police, Saint Florian, the patron of firefighters, and Saint Luke, the patron of medical personnel,” he said in a final blessing. “May they guard you and guide you and continue to enable you to be healers and forces for peace and justice in our community.” Fr. John Peeters, CSV, poses with area first responders after the Blue Mass.
From the Archives: Another Love Story Uncovered Who knew a budding college romance from 90 years ago would turn up in the archives of the Viatorian Community? Here’s how the story unfolded:
mostly men. She received highest honors and graduated summa cum laude as an English literature major. She also won the General Excellence Medal that year.
Recently, Patrick Hoog from Cave Creek, AZ, reached out to the Viatorian archives to find out more about his parents, since his children never had the chance to meet them. He recalled that his parents were born in the years leading up to World War I and he knew they both attended St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, in the early 1930s.
After graduation, young Hoog returned to his hometown, which started a long distance relationship with Ms. Clancy, who remained in Kankakee. She was a teacher in nearby Ashkum and Bradley until they married in 1937. They went on to raise nine children in Fort Wayne. Patrick, the youngest, said his folks were married 49 years until his father passed away in 1986 at the age of 76. His mother passed 10 years later, in 1996 at the age of 86.
Using online and in-house college materials, Patrick was able to pull together biographical information on his folks in the context of historical events. Patrick’s father was Joseph E. “Joe” Hoog, who grew up in Fort Wayne and attended St. Viator College from 1927 – 1931. Joe lettered in football and graduated with a degree in science. This eventually led to a career as a metallurgist, designing and testing parts for tanks and jeeps.
Joseph E. Hoog, Class of 1931
Frances Mary Clancy, Class of 1932
Patrick’s mother, Frances Mary “Honey” Clancy, grew up in Kankakee and attended St. Patrick High School, a local Catholic school, also administered by the Viatorians since 1931. She enrolled at St. Viator College, in 1928, since it was near her hometown, Here she met Joe Hoog, her future husband. Through the Viatorian archives, Patrick uncovered that his mother “was an academic powerhouse,” as he described her. She was valedictorian of the Class of 1932, which was
Drawing of the early campus, pre-1906 fire
Patrick enjoyed pulling the college era information together and he is compiling a story to pass on to the next generation of Hoogs. Here at the archives, it’s satisfying to help uncover the story of two more Viatorian alumni to share with the greater Viatorian Community. By the way, this is the second set of students from St. Viator College to marry and be researched in the Viatorian archives’ college collection by an adult child. (See the Spring 2012 Viator newsletter, pp. 12-13 for the first story: http://viatorians.com/about-us/newsletter) These personal stories show the importance of achival records. Even though the college has been closed for 8o years, its records, that survived two fires, one in 1906 and one in 1926, are still being accessed by researchers today. St. Viator College was established in 1868 — 150 years ago this fall. Viatorians provided 70 years of Catholic education until it closed in 1938. See more about the Viatorian collections, here: http://viatorian archives.libraryhost.com/ Joan Sweeney, Viatorian Community Archivist and Associate email@example.com
St. Viator Parish Celebrates Milestone Anniversary By definition, a fiesta is a festive celebration of a religious holiday. Consequently, the fiesta held at St. Viator Parish in Chicago, was aptly named. Parishioners at St. Viator Parish in Chicago celebrated the 90th anniversary of the dedication of their present church — and the 130th anniversary of the parish itself — appropriately enough on Oct. 21, St. Viator Day. “Like all birthdays and anniversaries, it is an occasion to give thanks for the past, to anticipate the future and to have a celebration,” said Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, pastor. “Our patron, St. Viator, is not well known Dancers from Equador performed at the fiesta. but he was chosen by the founding Viatorian priests and brothers to signal the special mission of that group: to foster the faith education of youth and to build up communities of faith and service, especially to the poor and the neglected.
member of the Viatorians’ General Council. The Mass, celebrated in English and in Spanish, included songs and responses from other cultures reflected in the vibrant parish. They also invited parishioners to dress in ethnic attire and share food from their native countries. Tables set up in Querbes Hall represented American, Asian, Central/ South American, European, Caribbean and African foods. Event organizers described the fiesta as a celebration of the strength of the community and diversity of its parishioners, with food and entertainment representing diverse global nations. Viatorians established St. Viator Parish in 1888, and the cornerstone for the present church was laid in November 1928. Consequently, the parish held a year-long celebration marking the building’s 90th anniversary, culminating with the fiesta. Just to get ready, its parishioners spent several months working to freshen up the church for this milestone anniversary, opting to enlist local volunteers rather than pay outside contractors. Last fall, more than 100 people turned out for a “service day.” They spent the morning cleaning the church, scrubbing pews, and working on landscaping and grounds across its campus. At the same time, two statues were donated to the front of the St. Joseph Center (the former convent) to enhance its surrounding courtyard.
“We can give thanks for the thousands of people who have been influenced by that mission over the years,” he added, “and reaffirm our hopes that the mission will continue to be of value for future generations.”
A second service day in June drew members of the Men’s Club and another crew of parishioners to complete additional work in the church, including landscaping around the extensive grounds, and in front of the St. Joseph Center.
The fiesta began with a Mass in the historic church, concelebrated by Fr. Render and Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, a former associate pastor; Fr. Robert Bolser, CSV, another former pastor, and Fr. Robert Jean, CSV, of Haiti, who is a current
“History tells us that the spirit of community has been a trademark of this parish throughout 90 years,” Fr. Render said. “I am most grateful to our parishioners for their hard work and the gift of their time.”
In Memoriam; Fr. James Crilly, CSV Fr. James Crilly, CSV
Less than two years later they opened Colegio San Viator in prefabricated classrooms. Its 32 students were taught by five Viatorian priests and one lay teacher. More than 50 years later, the school is thriving, with an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, including boys and girls.
1929 – 2018 Fr. James Crilly, CSV, served as pastor or associate pastor in nearly all the places where Viatorians minister — St. Viator Parish in Chicago, Maternity BVM in Bourbonnais, St. Patrick Church in Kankakee and St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, Nevada. Yet, in recounting his many decades as a priest to a group of students some years ago, he described setting up the mission in Colombia as his most profound experience as a Viatorian.
“I was excited at the opportunity,” Fr. Crilly said upon reflecting on the foundation’s 50th anniversary. “I always believed the school and foundation would last this long. We established a quality school, with an excellent faculty who set the bar high.” One of Fr. Crilly’s greatest joys was to travel back to Colombia in 2012 to celebrate the 50th anniversary. At the time, Fr. Crilly was 83 and making the trip was no easy task. Yet he insisted on going and his effort was worth the sacrifice. Fr. James Crilly, CSV
“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 told them. “But God acts in mysterious ways.”
Fr. James Crilly, circa 1967, ar Colegio San Viator in Bogata.
Fr. Crilly, who was among three pioneering Viatorians to establish the foundation of Colombia, passed away Nov. 2. He was 89.
Throughout the weekend, school officials treated Fr. Crilly as a celebrity, hailing him as one of the fundadorés, or founder. Graduates from the school’s early years lined up to thank him. One graduate 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.”
At the Viatorian Youth Congress in 2012, students interviewed Fr. Crilly and described his groundbreaking trip to Colombia to the rest of the delegates.
It was in 1962 that Fr. Crilly led a delegation of three Viatorian priests who were dispatched to the Diocese of Bogotá in Colombia. They answered a call from Pope John XXIII, who in 1961 called for religious congregations to help evangelize Latin America.
Fr. Crilly spent 11 years in Colombia before returning to the United States in 1973. He ultimately returned to pastoral work, serving as pastor of St. Viator Parish in Chicago and Maternity BVM, as well as assistant pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Community and St. Patrick Church in Kankakee and finally as pastor of the Guardian Angel Cathedral in Las Vegas.
These founding fathers included Fr. Tom Wise and Fr. Burt Mayr. Knowing no Spanish and little about their new country, they arrived by boat on Sept. 27, 1961. Their assignment? To start a Catholic secondary boys’ school that ultimately would lead to more teachers of the faith.
He retired from full time ministry in 2002, but he continued to stay in touch with his former students and confreres in Bogotá. Nothing pleased him more than learning of the Viatorians establishing a second school in Colombia, in Tunja, based on the success of their original school, Colegio San Viator.
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Around the Province... Maternity BVM Parishin Bourbonnais has new leadership. Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, began a term as pastor in July, with Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV, assigned as the new associate pastor. But they won’t be far from former pastor, Fr. Richard Pighini. He moved to the rectory at St. Patrick Church in Kankakee, where he had served before leading parishioners at Maternity. Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV
Fr. John Milton, CSV, was on hand to concelebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan, with Cardinal Blase Cupich. The Cardinal was on hand, as well as school founder, Bishop George Rassas, to dedicate the new building as well as a full-size statue of St. Martin de Porres, locat- Fr. John Milton, CSV ed in the school’s lobby. Fr. Milton serves as a science consultant at the school and helps to maintain a Viatorian presence there. Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, accepted an award accepted the Community Partnership Award from the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants. The award was intended to thank the Catholic Theological Union, of which Fr. Francis is the president. The college regularly sponsors programs
Fr. Mark Francis, CSV
and speakers related to immigrant ministry training as well as academic courses in the Hispanic Theology and Ministry Program. Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, wears many hats in his role as chaplain of Saint Viator High School, from saying family Masses, to accompanying students on service trips, to cheering on students at their sporting events. His newest venture took place at the end of August, when he was asked to bless the school’s new incubator for its entrepreneurship class. Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV Fr. Bolser professed to love the new venture, describing the class and its students as “our future.” Before starting his blessing, he proclaimed: “Seize the day. Dreams are our hope, our inspiration, our life.” At the opening of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Kankakee County Hispanic Partnership honored Fr. John Peeters, CSV, for his exceptional leadership, character and dedication to the Hispanic community living in the Kankakee River Valley. Fr. Peeters fully supports their mission and he is an active participant in helping Hispanic families achieve success in the area. For starters, he speaks Spanish and readily translates when Fr. John Peeters, CSV needed. He also serves as a chaplain to Spanish speaking patients at both hospitals in the area, including St. Mary’s Hospital and Riverside Medical Center. He does all this while continuing to serve as pastor of St. Patrick Church in Kankakee.