Provincial Perspective Greetings from the Province Center, The pandemic, election, Supreme Court confirmation, racial tensions, armed militias walking through city streets — our news is full of distractions. I believe in times like these that we need to reground ourselves in our faith. We can all too often be so caught up in the chaos of the world that we neglect the thing that is most important, namely, our relationship with Christ and living as He calls us to live. The pandemic will pass, the election is completed, the empty seat on the Supreme Court is filled and hopefully someday in the future, racial tensions will be something that we mark as a sinful facet of our history rather than a continuing tragedy. The only thing that will endure is our relationship with our God. I believe that we have all had to grow and adapt during these past eight months. Current realities have caused us to face life in a new way. Zoom has become a common way for us to stay connected. While attendance at Mass is limited, new ways of communicating and worshiping have developed, which is a good thing. We are blessed with many creative members of our community. While much of the world news is negative, we have a lot for which we can be grateful. I think that we need to develop a renewed sense of gratitude. Sadly, we take so many things for granted. As you read through the various articles contained in this issue you will see some of the many ways which Viatorians continue to minister in different and creative ways amid a new reality. Please continue to follow the guidelines of the CDC and those of state officials. I pray that you all remain safe and in good health. In Viator,
Rev. Daniel R. Hall, CSV Provincial
In this Issue:
2 Provincial Perspective
10 Meet Our Newest Associates
3 Celebrating Our Jubiliarian: 50 Years
12 Parish Dream Realized: Construction
of Religious Life
Underway in Bogotá
4 Thanking a Viatorian Teacher –
13 Faith Formation in Las Vegas:
5 This Viatorian Inspired a Catholic Teacher
14 Voices from the Viatorian Community Archives
6 Vocation Ministry and Formation:
15 In Memoriam: Fr. James Fanale, CSV
Nearly 50 Years Later
Adapting with the Times
7 Q & A with Amanda Murphy
Working Around the Pandemic
16 Around the Province
Editor: Fr. Thomas Long, CSV Director of Communications: Eileen O’Grady Daday
Editorial Board: Eileen O’Grady Daday Br. John Eustice, CSV Br. Michael Gosch, CSV Mr. Daniel Masterton
Layout and Design:
8 Viatorians Schools: Working to Educate
Dianna Ehrenfried, Visualedge, Inc Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Students in Person
Provincial: Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV
Celebrating Our Jubilarian: 50 Years of Religious Life A framed photo sits near the desk of Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, in the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights. Wherever Fr. Egan has gone, the photo has gone with him. It features the late Fr. Kenneth Morris, CSV, meeting Pope Paul VI 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.” That willingness to serve reflects Fr. Egan’s ministry over these past five decades. In September, he celebrated 50 years of religious life.
Fr. Egan shares thoughts at a 50th celebration of Saint Viator High School.
His journey started after graduating fromSaint Viator High School and entering the novitiate at the Viatorian seminary in Washington DC. It was Aug. 30, 1970 and the city was on edge with the Vietnam war and rioting in the streets. He would go on to be the first graduate of Saint Viator High School to be ordained a priest, and ultimately lead Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV Viatorian schools, parishes, the Province of Chicago and now the entire worldwide Viatorian Community, serving as Superior General. “Since the first days of the novitiate in Washington DC until today, I have always been sustained by God’s grace and an abiding belief in the power of God’s love in my life,” Fr. Egan says. “I have been blessed with the opportunity to minister in high schools and parishes, in Province administration and leadership, and now to discover the goodness of the international congregation.” Fr. Egan opened his jubilee day by celebrating Mass in the peaceful setting of the Province Center Chapel, before enjoying dinner out with some of his confreres. In any other year, Fr. Egan and his fellow jubilarians would have celebrated among many of the Viatorian professed and associates at the annual Provincial Assembly, but not this year. Instead, the quiet day gave Fr. Egan the chance to reflect on his long ministry — and the choice he made 50 years ago to devote his life to the religious calling.
Fr. Egan preaches for the first time as Superior General, back in 2018 at St. Nizier Church in Vourles, France, where Fr. Louis Querbes first served.
Studying with some of the Viatorian teachers was an enriching start to a vocation that now, 50 years later, continues to nourish him. “I have been blessed over the years with great mentors and teachers like Ken Morris, Arnie Perham, Tom McMahon and so many others,” Fr. Egan adds. “It has been a privilege to collaborate with many Viatorians over the years. But most of all I am grateful for the vocation that has been the source of my life for these past 50 years.”
Thanking a Viatorian Teacher – Nearly 50 Years Later Yes, you can go back! A group of students, who graduated from the Colegio San Viator back in 1971, credit their Viatorian teachers with furthering their interest in math and science – ultimately achieving great success in the field — and they looked for a way to thank them. One of them, Sergio Serrano, wrote to the Viatorian Community to obtain an email address for his former principal and teacher, Fr. John Pisors, CSV. Serrano is the retired chairman of the civil engineering department at Temple University in Philadelphia. Over the last five decades, he carved out a successful career as an environmental engineer, specializing in ground water hydrology. When he left the colegio, he earned an engineering degree at Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, before earning his masters and PhD at universities in Canada. He worked in atomic energy in Canada, before establishing a distinguished career in academics, teaching at both the University of Kentucky and Temple. Another classmate, Carlos Molano, became a professor at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá and founder Sergio Serrano and CEO of a prominent multinational environmental company in Latin America. Like Serrano, he specialized in ground water hydrology and in 2014 he became a recipient of the William A. McEllhiney Distinguished Lecture Series by the U.S. National Ground Water Association. At Serrano’s invitation, he delivered his lecture as a visiting scholar, at Temple. Both engineers remember Fr. Pisors leading math and science clubs, which met after school. He listened to their dreams of becoming scientists, and he encouraged them. “During these strange times, when isolation is required, I began pondering about life and the people who influenced me — and your name kept coming up,” Serrano wrote to Fr. Pisors. “As I remember, you always supported our aspirations for science, math and philosophy. You always took our ambitions seriously, which to other people may have seemed like unrealistic dreams by immature adolescents.”
Specifically, Serrano credited Fr. Pisors with forming ‘La Sociedad Cientifica Viatoriana’ and ‘El Club de Matematicas,’ or the math and science clubs, and working with students passionate about math and science after school. Through working with Fr. Pisors, they learned about computer programming and Fr. John Pisors, CSV accompanied him to the computer lab at the University of Los Andes to run some of their programs. “It was a remarkable accomplishment at the time,” Serrano says. Fr. Pisors remains in Colombia, Science Club, 1969 more than 50 years after he first arrived. Now 80 and retired, he continues to advise faculty members on their English as they teach core subjects at the bilingual school. “It was very encouraging to hear that my name kept coming back, thinking about people who influenced you,” Fr. Pisors wrote. “And I sure do remember those advanced math classes done after school, which the 12 of you enjoyed as much as I did.” Mostly, Serrano and Molano wanted to thank Fr. Pisors for the example that he set for his students, day in and day out. “Your example was instrumental in us becoming scientists and engineers,” Serrano wrote. “Throughout life, God sends you influential people, mentors. You were our mentor in this regard. “The purpose of this is not to make you uncomfortable,” he added. “On the contrary, I wish to express my sincerest gratitude for everything you did for us — and said to us — and just simply for your example.”
This Viatorian Inspired a Catholic Teacher Beth Miklius Mainardi was a two-time state qualifier in swimming during her years at Saint Viator High School. But looking back another memory stands out: her chemistry teacher, Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV, and the way he nurtured her love of science.
Fr. Van Wiel, as she remembers, asked her the next day if she was ready to retake the test, which surprised Mainardi, who figured she had earned a zero. This time, she managed to complete some of it, but the aspects of molecular geometry still were not clear to her. That’s when Fr. Van Wiel pulled out a molecular modeling kit and handed it to her. He encouraged her to build the shapes as she took the test and then demonstrated a few of the geometries to help her started. Things started coming together.
Fast forward 20 years and Mainardi has taught chemistry for 14 years at a Catholic high school in New Beth Miklius Mainardi Jersey. During the pandemic, this busy mother of five found herself reflecting on her life and of those teachers who had influenced her. “I’m helping to open a brand new Catholic high school,” Mainardi says, “and when I reflect on all the gifts I received from my own education, Fr. Van Wiel keeps coming to mind.” Fr. Van Wiel retired in 2013 after more than 40 years as a teacher and administrator, including the last 20 at Saint Viator High School. He keeps in touch with many of his students and knows several that went on to become doctors, nurses and teachers, but not many who are teaching chemistry.
Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV
Fr. Van Wiel had Mainardi in class back in the late 1990s – she graduated in 2000 – and he still remembers her aptitude for chemistry. “She was an excellent student,” Fr. Van Wiel says of Mainardi, the oldest of six Miklius siblings to attend Saint Viator. Her youngest sister, Sarah, now works in campus ministry.
“Father realized that the role of teacher is ultimately not to just be scorekeeper, but to encourage, inspire, and at times, give a kid like me a molecular modeling kit,” she says, “so that she could have the confidence to keep going.”
While Mainardi acknowledges she was a good student, she stresses she was not a great student but came to thrive in the subject matter because of Fr. Van Wiel’s patience and kindness.
Mainardi kept going, all right. She earned a full, merit-based scholarship – designed for girls interested in science – to attend Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ, and the rest is history.
In fact, she points to one incident that stands out vividly.
For his part, Fr. Van Wiel does not remember helping her through that test, but he does remember handing tests back to students who rushed through them, pointing out areas to revisit.
“At the time, we were learning about molecular geometry and I was out sick, missing a critical lesson on molecular shapes,” Mainardi says. “Because I was busy in high school with swimming and other activities and I didn’t realize how hard the material actually was.”
“Ninety percent of the time they get it right,” he says. “Kids get nervous, but if you extend a hand or give them a chance, they can really perform.”
As a result, she panicked when presented with a test on the material, literally crying at her desk and ended up handing in a blank sheet and asking if she could see the nurse.
As for one of those students writing to thank him, he smiles. “It’s great. It’s always nice to hear you’ve done a good job.”
Vocation Ministry and Formation: Adapting with the Times This year, the Viatorians have welcomed a pre-novice into formation: Mr. Ryan McMahon. Striving to respond in faith as signs of the time change, the Viatorians continue to adapt the formation program to provide the initial exposure to modern religious life that young men most need to continue their discernment. “We want to give young men a sense of who we are and what we do. We want to give them a good experience of religious life,” says Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV, Pre-Novitiate Director. Pre-novices have already undergone a formal, accompanied discernment process with Director of Vocation Ministry Br. Ryan McMahon (right) with Fr. Patrick Render, CSV (left), pastor of St. Viator where Ryan lives, and Br. John John Eustice, CSV. They spend signifiEustice, CSV (middle), who accompanied Ryan in his discernment and application. cant time in regular spiritual direction and provide for the needs of men who come to us at varying ages and complete a comprehensive application to with varying educational backgrounds,” Fr. Lydon said. “The overall Viatorian formation. They are then invited into a one-year program introducing them more intentionally to religious life without goal is to provide candidates with a valid experience of religious life.” This process is reciprocal – the Viatorian Community is getting to a longer commitment. know the pre-novice, just as he is getting to know the community. The pre-novitiate structure is designed to create many opportunities for Viatorians and members of our communities to interact with him as his discernment continues. Additionally, the pre-novice continues spiritual direction, preferably from a qualified director outside the community; spiritual direction helps him maintain a strong prayer life. It’s also a time to learn healthy habits, like balancing Viatorian community life with his family life and being attentive to professional relationships as well as personal friendships. Fr. Dan Lydon, CSV, and other Viatorians discuss religious life in a series of videos at Viatorians.com/vocations, including this one on Viatorian Formation.
The pre-novitiate begins with Viatorians gathering for a prayer service that welcomes the pre-novice. The pre-novice moves into a Viatorian home and joins the life by praying, eating and sharing fellowship with the men there. His pre-novitiate director coordinates a sampling of ministry placements to expose the pre-novice to different communities and institutions that the Viatorians serve. This helps him gain diverse experience throughout Illinois and Nevada. “Our Pre-Novitiate experience is deliberately flexible to
If the pre-novice still believes God is inviting him to continue formation, he can apply to become a novice. Though there is some ministry experience, the novitiate focuses more on an intentional exploration of professing vows and living out religious life. At the conclusion of his novitiate, a novice can request a temporary profession of vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for a period of three years. At that point, he publicly becomes a member of the Viatorian Community, and would be considered for permanent ministry placements, theological studies for ministry and/or for priesthood and ordination, and eventually for perpetual vows.
with Amanda Murphy
Amanda Murphy graduated from Saint Viator High School in 2017. That summer she and her mother, Sharon, joined the team of gardeners at the Viatorian Community Garden, whose joint mission is to raise fresh vegetables for the hungry. Turns out, her interest in gardening reflects her passion for the environment and sustainability. She now is a senior at Butler University in Indianapolis studying Youth and Community Development. But the summer she spent as a Young Adult Summer Coordinator for the Integrity of Creation at the Viatorian Province Center made a big impact. We caught up with her to find out just what her role entailed.
Q . The Viatorians have had summer placements before Q . What kinds of action items did you learn? but not one quite like this one. How did your unique role come A. From the research and interviews I conducted I about? determined that it would be best to focus on reducing the A. After graduating, I stayed involved by leading the amount of resources consumed through measures like inViatorian Youth Congress and began working closely with Br. John Eustice to develop an internship with the Viatorians out of my desire to learn more about youth ministry and the Viatorian charism.
stalling motion sensor lights and LED light bulbs, replacing appliances as needed with more energy efficient ones, and by planting more natural wildflowers and plants on the property to reduce the amount of water used in landscaping. What were your takeaways from this summer placement?
Q . How did the emphasis go from youth ministry to Q . researching the environment? I grew enormously in my knowledge of and pasA. Originally the role was going to be centered around A. sion for environmental preservation through this summer youth work, but in light of the pandemic we had to pivot and chose instead to embrace my interest in environmental preservation.
placement. I especially expanded my practical knowledge of how to implement environmental reform in a larger institution, and my spiritual understanding of why it is so imperative to contemporary Catholicism to embrace the Catholic social teaching of environmental stewardship.
Q . Can you tell us some of the specifics of how the experience played out? A. I researched ways for the Viatorians to become better environmental stewards. I primarily studied the Viatorian’s consumption of resources at the Province Center, conducted interviews with Province Center residents on their willingness to embrace environmental measures and collaborated with other Catholic organizations who are leaders in environmental stewardship.
Q . Who were some of the faith communities that you interviewed? A. I spoke with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth who
are located in Kentucky and the St. Kateri Conservation Center in New York to hear their suggestions and advice on how to reduce the Viatorians’ carbon footprint.
Viatorian Schools: Working to Educate Students in Person Schools across the country are navigating when to return to in person learning, but Viatorian schools have been leading the way. Viatorians and their administrators know that this delicate return has taken great sacrifice and commitment by the teachers, students and families, and for that, they thank them. Here are some interesting ways that these schools are educating students amid all of the restrictions.
Bishop McNamara students thank first responders on 9/11.
Cristo Rey St. Martin in Waukegan describes its educational situation as fluid, with faculty and staff adapting quickly to its hybrid model. Dr. Michael Odiotti, Principal, holds regular meetings with faculty and staff where data is unpacked – good or bad, complications are shared and solutions are created. At the last meeting Dr. Odiotti, a devotee of celebrating success, made it clear that despite the significant hurdles that the pandemic has put in front of Cristo Rey, there’s plenty to crow about, including its daily attendance average has topped 99% and more than 75% of its students have
a 3.0 GPA or higher. After its first two months, efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 have been successful. There have been several identified cases, all of which have come from beyond the CRSM school community, and all were prevented from spreading it into the building. At Bishop McNamara Catholic School, its administrators place an emphasis on Christian service as playing a vital role in educating the whole student – and not even a worldwide pandemic can diminish its importance. Take their annual tradition on the anniversary of Sept. 11. Students divided up into teams to deliver breakfast to first responders, active military and veterans as a way to thank them for keeping the community safe. Above all, administrators know the sacrifice their faculty and staff are making to educate children in person, as well as the great pains taken by students and their families to adhere to guidelines and staying safe. Here’s what they said to parents and students: “We’re close to completing yet another week of full day in person learning and we do not take even one minute of it for granted. Thank you students, teachers, parents and friends for working together to make this possible. Every moment, day, week and month that we’re able to learn and grow together is a blessing that we don’t take for granted. Thank you, all, for your prayers and support as we navigate this school year.” Saint Viator High School has been repurposing lots of its longstanding school traditions, including its open house. The event is one of the school’s biggest recruiting tools, and this year was no different. The open house went on as planned, but it was designed as a drive-through event, weaving prospective students and their families around the school’s front and back parking lots. Students sat in the back seat, the better to receive all the handouts and Cristo Rey St. Martin students attend a retreat in the school library.
Saint Viator High School students attend a first drive-through Open House.
“swag” during the afternoon. Cars stopped at stations that included meeting the administration, faculty, various departments, sports coaches and club members – all while having their names and middle school announced as they drove on campus. “Such a remarkable collaborative effort that brought out the best of our community in addressing another curveball the pandemic threw our way,” said Associate Brian Liedlich, President.
Cristo Rey St. Viator in Las Vegas came up with some unique ways to keep its Corporate Work Study Program going since students cannot go out to their job sites during the pandemic. Instead, Associate Deborah Perez, Director of the Corporate Work Study Program, adapted the workforce readiness curriculum and built it into students’ scheduled workday, so they could practice their career skills. They also welcome weekly guest speakers from such corporate partners as Microsoft, Wynn, Junior Achievement, Chase, and MGM to supplement programming and increase student engagement while learning about how companies work. Recently, students learned about a career in law enforcement from Sgt. Paul Hartz, who is a Viatorian associate and works for the Las Vegas Police Department, while others met remotely with industry mentors to discuss career exploration and practice networking and soft skills with volunteers.
Administrators at St. Viator School in Chicago turned their largest outdoor space into something usable during the pandemic: a peaceful playground. Using the model on the Peaceful Playgrounds’ Foundation web site, teachers created a COVID-19 distancing playground on the north end of the school’s parking lot. The playground
Associate Paul Hartz visits with Cristo Rey St. Viator students interested in law enforcement.
Teachers at St. Viator School in Chicago display their new Peaceful Playground
consists of a series of activity zones with age-appropriate games and learning activities painted on existing playground surfaces using blueprints, and prefabricated stencils. Teachers worked last month with adult volunteers to create the space and they expect to use it for recess and gym classes. Principal Lisa Rieger said she connected with the Peaceful Playgrounds’ mission, to create a safe play environment that supports healthy active kids. “Our Health & Safety team, our Pastor, Fr. Pat Render, and our administrative staff all agreed that having a program that not only supported the CDC guidelines for social distancing but also mirrors our PeaceBuilders Program, will fit right in.” 9
Like its counterparts, St. Viator Parish School in Las Vegas has worked to incorporate instruction outdoors. One way in which they do this is through their garden, whose tag line is “Grow with Me.” The school partners with Garden Farms of Nevada and last spring planted a variety of vegetables. After harvesting them all summer, they returned to school in August and planted fall crops. Teachers incorporate lessons from the garden across the school’s curriculum. “Watching the garden grow is one of the greatest gifts we can share with our students,” says Ms. Jen Jones, kindergarten aide. A staff member and student sort through “It’s teaches them firsthand garden produce at St. Viator Parish School in Las Vegas. about God’s amazing creation. They have all of their senses working when they visit and learn in the garden they helped to build.” www.saintviator.com
Meet Our Newest Associates Since 1994, the Viatorian Community has welcomed lay associates to share in its mission, spirituality and community life. Over the last 26 years, people from all walks of life have made commitments to join the Viatorian Community as associates. Their discernment grew out of a working relationship with Viatorians and a desire to deepen their faith in a shared community. Meet the latest associates, who are making their first commitments this fall: Brigette Brankin is in her seventh year as a math teacher at Saint Viator High School, but her relationship with the Viatorians goes back much further. Back in the early 2000s, she taught at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, where she became familiar with the Viatorians. Now relocated to the Chicago area and the mother of four, Brigette reconnected with the Viatorians at Saint Viator High School. “My husband and I carry out the Viatorian mission by helping build community gardens in our North Chicago neighborhood, and I just felt called to become an associate.” Kyla Guerrero is a recent graduate from the film department at University of Nevada Las Vegas. She first met the Viatorians as a delegate on her first Viatorian Youth Congress, back in 2014. Since then, she’s been involved with the Viatorian community as a young adult leader and music leader at VYC, as well as a member of the Viatorian Young Adult Board. “It was because of the overwhelming sense of community and commitment to the Viatorian mission that I decided to discern becoming an associate.” Tommy Gugino has a lifelong history with the Viatorian Community in the Las Vegas region. He is currently a parishioner at St. Viator Catholic Community where he teaches confirmation classes and participates in music ministry. “I decided to discern because of my commitment to the mission of the community and seeing the positive impact of the community in the lives of young adults, including myself.” Brian Hansen is a 2011 graduate of Saint Viator High School. Since then, Brian has been involved in the Viatorian Community through his young adult leadership role with the Viatorian Youth Congress in 2015 and his work with Viator House of Hospitality as both a house coordinator and nighttime volunteer. In August 2019, Brian began teaching at his alma mater in the theology department.” My discernment as a Viatorian associate resulted from my recognition of the unique relationship that Viatorian religious have with the laity, that both groups are co-heirs of the Viatorian Mission.” Kathy Keating and her husband, Associate John Keating, are active parishioners of St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas. Both attended Bishop Gorman High School and
sent their children there. Kathy now teaches English at her alma mater and has been an active volunteer at St. Viator Parish School. Brian Liedlich currently serves as the President of Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights. Brian first met the Viatorians when his nieces and nephew attended Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, where Viatorians served on the faculty and as administrators. Since then, he has served as executive director of institutional advancement and as a member of the board of trustees at Saint Viator. Brian and his wife Maria’s three older children graduated from Saint Viator, and their youngest son, Jack, will graduate in 2021. “My personal relationship with many professed Viatorians, seeing their example and call to be of service to ‘those accounted of little importance’ led to my discernment and commitment as an associate.” Janet Manfredi grew to know the Viatorians and their mission at St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas, where she and her family have been parishioners for 30 years. Janet is a graduate of Molloy Catholic College and Adelphi University, both in New York, holding a Bachelor‘s and a Master’s Degree in Education. She also recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Catholic School Leadership from St. Joseph’s College in Massachusetts. Her three sons attended St. Viator Parish School and have continued to be involved in the Viatorian Community as they grew up, while Janet has taught there for 22 years. “Throughout the years, my interest in the Viatorian charism was cultivated, but it was the friendships with several Viatorian associates, especially with Rosy and Paul Hartz, that sparked a desire to join the mission of Viatorians in a more meaningful way.” Kurt Paprocki graduated from Saint Viator High School in 2000 and now is in his 16th year teaching Spanish at his alma mater. Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, originally approached him to consider becoming a Viatorian associate two years ago. Fr. Bolser explained the connection that the associates gather with the professed to form the general Viatorian Community. “I’ve always felt a strong connection with the Viatorians at school, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to make a stronger connection outside of our building. I’m looking forward to doing so through the Viatorian Association.”
Associate Brigette Brankin
Associate Kyla Guerrero
Associate Brian Hansen
Associate Brian Liedlich
Associate Tommy Gugino
Associate Brian Hansen
Associate Janet Manfredi
Associate Kurt Paprocki
Parish Dream Realized: Construction Underway in Bogotá
Fr. Edgar Suarez, CSV, holds up the long-awaited building permit
After nearly eight years of gathering outdoors under a tent to celebrate Mass, parishioners at San Viator Church in Bogotá have reason to celebrate: construction of their parish church has begun. “For the parish community it has been blessing and a great joy to begin construction,” says Fr. Edgar Suarez, CSV, Pastor. “It is a great sign of life and hope that motivates us to continue working for the Kingdom of God in this sector of the city in our Archdiocese of Bogotá.”
Rendering of the new San Viator Parish
Since establishing the parish in 2012, the community has worked tirelessly to fundraise for their new church building and to obtain a building permit from the government. “It was a somewhat complicated and long task,” Fr. Suarez says of the permit process. “But, by the grace of God we were able to obtain such a longed-for permit in July in order to legally begin the construction process.” The parish is located in the Torremolinos neighborhood of Bogotá. The vibrant area is home to a large number of schools, universities, sports and social clubs, retreat houses and religious communities.
Msgr. Luis José Rueda Aparicio, Archbishop of the Diocese of Bogotá, blesses the construction.
The construction holds great importance for the region, drawing the newly installed Msgr. Luis José Rueda Aparicio, Archbishop of the Diocese of Bogotá, to come and bless the structure during its building. With the addition of San Viator Church, the city of Bogotá now has more than 275 parishes, spread out across eight vicariates. San Viator resides in the northern vicariate of the diocese, which has the fewest parishes in the city. Consequently, Viatorians are filling a growing need by adding a church in the area.
Even without a church building, the parish has grown to serve 1,000 families, who are engaged in various apostolic ministries. In his role as pastor, Fr. Suarez accompanies families throughout the highs and lows of their lives, at baptisms and weddings, and at hospital visits and funerals. “Our work is advancing with each passing day,” Fr. Suarez says. “Little by little, the dream we envisioned is becoming a reality, thanks to the work, commitment and effort of all who make up this parish family of San Viator. “As a Viatorian, I continue to be excited to fulfill this work that the Lord has placed in my hands,” he adds, “to continue building a Viatorian parish community where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated — and to continue building this church for the glory of God and the service of the community.”
Faith Formation in Las Vegas: Working Around the Pandemic Next year Associate Rosy Hartz will celebrate 20 years working in youth ministry and faith formation at St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas.
around other teens all summer,” Hartz says. “We knew that making an in-person option was necessary for their mental health and ours as well.”
Consequently, she works with children and teens of all ages to prepare them for the sacraments and actively engages them on their spiritual journey. So, it should come as no surprise that not even a worldwide pandemic, with all its restrictions, could stump this veteran.
Here’s a rundown of how they did it: Starting with faith formation classes in grades 1-5, they gave families the option of participating through Zoom or an in person class. Middle school and pre-confirmation (9th grade) students follow a three-week cycle. One week is in-person, the next week small groups meet over Zoom and each month they are asked to complete a family care connection with discussion and project to do as a family.
Take a recent Sunday when Hartz and her faith formation volunteers juggled small group meeting outside, while first year confirmation students met inside the parish center. It was a full house of religious education students eager to connect with others about their faith.
Second year confirmation students meet every month as a large group, in person. The next week they break out into small groups, with an option of participating via Zoom or in person and every month they are given a family care connection project to complete with their family.
“We observed all the proper spacing and distance,” Hartz says, “but the faith connection was huge.” Their lively sessions came after a summer of brainstorming with parish leaders, including Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, Pastor, but they all kept their eye on the prize: engaging young people in the active development of their faith.
In October, high school students and their families were challenged to discuss the value of healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic. As an activity, they were asked to write three thank you notes to these heroes and mail them to a healthcare office in Southern Nevada.
“This summer was a challenge,” she concedes, “but beginning in the fall, we had a goal of saying yes to anyone when it came to faith formation. We had to create — and recreate — to allow for everyone to feel safe.”
Hartz credits her adult volunteers with adapting to the restrictions and making the programs succeed.
Taking a cue from St. Viator Parish School, which began in person learning in August, the faith formation approach was to offer a hybrid of in-person classes and Zoom, keeping in mind that one approach does not always work for everyone.
“To every adult and leader who helped in any way, you are valued,” she wrote to them. “It truly takes a village to help faith grow and I am so blessed to be able to work with each and every one of you.
“We have followed all guidelines, but we still wanted to make sure faith was alive and well, since some of our students have not been
“God is good,” Hartz adds. “Viatorians are busy.”
Confirmation students attend a retreat in the parish center.
Voices from the Viatorian Community Archives Mark Twain wrote, “There’s no such thing as an uninteresting life, such a thing is an impossibility. Beneath the dullest exterior, there is a drama, a comedy, a tragedy.” Historians have long parsed out chronologies, names, and dates, often with the narrowest of focus on the social and political elite. In recent years, archivists have moved away from this exclusive approach toward documenting a more inclusive public history. Drawing inspiration from the robust canon of work conducted by folklorists, it was only over the past 20 years or so that archivists began to employ oral history to capture more meaningful, yet often overlooked histories of our friends, families and communities. These intimate windows into each other’s daily life and special memories provide a glimpse into our shared humanity and offer a connection that transcends time as well as physical and social barriers, giving us something special to hold onto, offering us insights, and providing guidance with a warm hand. What is oral history? Simply put, it is a recorded conversation (audio or video) during which an inFr. John Milton, CSV, from the 1965 terviewer prompts an interviewee Saint Viator High School Yearbook to share memories, either in the form of a life-history or those specific to an event. We are excited to announce the beginning of such a project within the Province Center’s Viatorian Community Archives. This project will focus on the personal histories of our men and associates, beginning with the residents of the Province Center in Arlington Heights. Br. James Lewnard, CSV, has kindly agreed to take this on and he already has begun the first of our interviews
These intimate windows into each other’s daily lives and special memories provide a glimpse into our shared humanity and offer a connection that transcends time as well as physical and social barriers, giving us something special to hold onto, offering us insights, and providing guidance with a warm hand. with Fr. John Milton, a Viatorian who celebrated his 91st birthday last month! In the first interview, Fr. Milton recounts his days at the short-lived Fournier Institute of Technology, his time as a novice and seminarian, his experiences teaching in Springfield as a brother, and his first years at Saint Viator High School. Collecting stories directly from our community members is tantamount to creating an unparalleled collection of autobiographies. In my short time so far as the Viatorian Community Archivist, I’ve had the privilege of acting as caretaker to historical records spanning well over a century. On many occasions, I’ve marveled at the fascinating lives past Viatorians have led, the places they’ve traveled, the communities they’ve cared for and the history they’ve witnessed. I’ve also wondered what stories and memories we’ve lost that can’t be captured through documents and letters. This project will help to preserve these legacies for the future. Lastly, keep an eye out for updates on the archival website. We hope to have excerpts from our oral history interviews available for viewing in the near future!
By: Amy Sherwood Viatorian Community Archivist
The former Fournier Institute of Technology in Lemont, IL, where Fr. Milton earned a degree in 1951 in electrical engineering.
In Memoriam... Fr. James Fanale, CSV 1942-2020 Fr. James Fanale, CSV, celebrated his 50th jubilee as a priest last summer, at St. Anne Church in rural St. Anne, IL, where he had served as pastor for 23 years. He chose Pentecost Sunday, which seemed appropriate since Pentecost falls every year on the 50th day or seventh Sunday after Easter.
While completing meticulous research, Fr. Fanale discovered correspondence from Fr. Querbes that was in the archives of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet — which even the Viatorian archives in Rome did not know existed. “Jim was incredibly precise and detailed as a researcher,” Fr. Render added, “and his writing was always colored with personal stories and anecdotes that made it interesting.”
Fr. James Fanale, CSV
He retired that same summer but chose to live in the area which he came to love. Sadly, Fr. Fanale passed away unexpectedly Oct. 13 at his home in St. Anne. He was 77. Parishioners mourned their beloved pastor, whose homilies resonated with storytelling and warmth, but they reflected his more than 60 years as a Viatorian, and a career filled with teaching and writing. “Jim brought some of that same creative touch to his preaching and pastoral ministry,” says Fr. Patrick Render, CSV. “Storytelling and poetry always found their way into his work.”
Fr. Fanale carries a relic of St. Anne during a procession on her feast day.
Fr. Fanale first met the Viatorians at Griffin High School, back in his native Springfield, where he graduated in 1960. He joined the Viatorian Community one year later and was ordained a priest in 1969.
Ultimately, Fr. Fanale took over as pastor of St. Anne Parish in rural St. Anne, IL. In doing so, he carried on a 75-year legacy of Viatorian leadership in the parish, and caretaker of its historic shrine to St. Anne, which dates back more than 100 years.
During his early years as a Viatorian, he pursued his passion for English literature, earning undergraduate and master’s degrees at Catholic University in Washington, before completing a Ph.D in medieval English literature at the University of Illinois.
By all accounts, Fr. Fanale loved both roles. He and his parishioners dutifully carried on the nine-day St. Anne Novena at the church, which was a major undertaking for his small parish but one they felt called to carry on.
He began his teaching career at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, before moving to the college ranks, including St. Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute, IN, and DePaul University in Chicago.
“This is a place of grace, where many have found peace and healing,” Fr. Fanale adds. “What a wonderful intercession she is for all us who have come to St. Anne, with the sense that she knows just where we are in our lives. With the tender brush of her hand, we are her much loved children.”
At the urging of the Viatorian Provincial at the time, Fr. Render, Fr. Fanale returned to the Province Center for the next six years to serve as archivist and to begin documenting the history of the Viatorian Community.
Funeral services took place at St. Anne Church before he was buried at Calvary Cemetery in his native Springfield. He will be missed.
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Newsletter – Fall 2020
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Around the Province... The Viatorian Community has a cluster of nonagenarians living in the retirement wing of the Province Center: Br. Don Houde, CSV, Fr. John Milton, CSV, and Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV. All three celebrate Fr. John Milton, CSV, Br. Donald Houde, CSV, birthdays this fall, turnand Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV ing 91. They continue to remain active, by reading, doing research and walking. Their days begin with daily Mass and end with evening prayer, and in between they enjoy meals together in the dining room. They have remained virus free, thanks in large part to the care they receive from the certified nurses’ assistants who staff the wing. But their long lives also reflect their lifelong commitment to faith development and educating youth. As a result, they continue to feel young. Happy birthday! Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, stepped off a unique fundraising project at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais, where he serves as pastor: a “Walk in Love” walk-athon, held during October. Its goal was to enrich the health of the parish community in mind, body and spirit, one step at a time. This fundraiser not only encouraged parishioners to get outdoors, but it also Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV helped Maternity BVM Catholic Church financially during this difficult time. Walkers and their supporters pledged money per mile walked. At the end of the campaign, walkers logged thousands of miles en route to surpassing their goal of $20,000. Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, and his trusty dog, Sox, are a familiar pair around St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas. During some of his video messages during the shutdown, Fr. Rinn included Sox in the shoot, with the hopes that students – and their parents – would play closer atten-
Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, with his trusty dog, Sox.
tion. Sox, a West Highland terrier, is so popular that parish officials are using his name as the address for parishioners to text and stay up-to-date with events and announcements. They unveiled the new plan in October, using Flocknote, a messaging platform designed specifically for churches. Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV, offered a video message to students at Colegio San Viator in Bogotá on St. Viator Day, from his office at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais. Fr. Dan, who is bilingual, described what drew him to join the Viatorian Community. “What I enjoy most about being a Viatorian is that we’re a group of happy people,” he said. “We have priest and brothers and associates, and we have a good sense Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV of community. But we’re also very hardworking, very dedicated to Christ and to Christ’s church. We take risks – and we’re growing.”
Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, talk to volunteers.
Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, continue to draw more support for Viator House of Hospitality, and the 21 young men from 13 nations in its care. Their third annual Taste of Viator House – held virtually year during the pandemic – raised more than their goal of $100,000. What’s more, they continue to share the good news of their mission to news outlets, including most recently when Br. Gosch participated as a panelist with Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, on her “Nuns on the Bus” podcast.