Volume 18, No. 3
St. Viator Parish: Celebrating 125 Years of Faith Back on New Year’s Eve, Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, launched the 125th anniversary year for St. Viator Parish in Chicago — and the 110th anniversary of its school — saying simply: “Life is exciting here these days.” That excitement continued, right up until this month, when Cardinal Francis George came to celebrate Mass with parishioners. “Our history and mission have been inextricably linked with St. Viator Parish since its beginnings,” says Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial. During the anniversary year, parishioners reflected on the 19th century beginnings of the parish when Archbishop Patrick Augustine Feehan of the Archdiocese of Chicago turned to the Viatorians to build a chapel on the city’s rural Northwest side to meet the needs of Catholic families moving into the area. The parish that started in 1888 grew quickly, leading the Viatorians to move to its present location on Addison Street, a little more than four miles west of Wrigley Field. They laid the cornerstone of the present church in 1928. Fr. Thomas McCormick, CSV, the parish’s second pastor, started St. Viator School in 1902 which the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet staffed for over 100 years. His vision continues to drive the school today, current administrators say, of setting high standards and expectations for students. continued on page 3
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Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV, Awarded Honorary Doctorate In remarks made at a dinner the night before the graduation, Ray Whittington, dean of the Driehaus College of Business credited Br. Ryan with helping to transform the business college into a nationally ranked and internationally known institution. “His leadership and dedication laid the foundation for the college to become the pillar of academic excellence that it is today,” Whittington said. He pointed to key programs created by Br. Ryan, including the School of Accountacy, the Institute for Business Ethics, the Kellstadt Marketing Research Center and the first endowed Ray Whittington, dean of the Driehaus College of Business performs the hooding professorships in entrepreneurship and finance. ceremony for Br. Leo Ryan, while Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, CM, president of University officials also credited Br. Ryan with adding DePaul University, left, looks on. (Photo by Darryl Hammond) faculty and new graduate programs in association management, At DePaul University’s graduation in June, officials acknowledged business ethics, entrepreneurship, international business and the impact of Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV, on the growth of their busi- management information systems, which helped to elevate the ness college and its role in creating ethical business leaders. business college. DePaul’s president, the Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, CM, Finally, they pointed to Br. Ryan’s formation of the College of awarded Br. Ryan a Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Commerce Advisory Council, saying that it fostered channels Degree, a first for a former faculty member. of communication between DePaul and Chicago businesses, Joining Br. Ryan as honorary degree recipients were Thomas industries and various professions. Pritzker, executive chairman of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, These vital links, Whittington said, have enhanced the and CEO and president of The Pritzker Organization; and university’s ability to contribute meaningfully to the city’s Frank Ptak, a DePaul graduate who is president and CEO business future. of The Marmon Group, a Chicago-based manufacturing and “Br. Ryan is an international expert in business ethics, service conglomerate. entrepreneurship and the Polish economic and political Br. Ryan served from 1980-1988 as dean of DePaul transformation,” Whittington said. “He has traveled to 190 University’s College of Commerce — known today as the countries and all seven continents, and today, at the age of 86, he Driehaus College of Business — before continuing to serve remains an active scholar.” as a professor of management until 1999. Eileen O’Grady Daday
Br. Daniel Lydon, CSV, Professes Final Vows After more than 20 years of working alongside the Viatorians as a Spanish teacher and administrator — including three as coordinator of vocation ministry — Br. Daniel Lydon, CSV, heeded his own advice. He professed perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to God and the Clerics of St. Viator in the presence of Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, and friends, relatives and fellow Viatorians. His profession came exactly 40 years after he graduated from Saint Viator High School and 20 years after he returned to his alma mater, where he taught Spanish before joining the administration as an assistant principal. As recently as two years ago, Br. Lydon counseled young men discerning their call to religious life while teaching freshman and junior sections of theology at Saint Viator High School. In 2010, Br. Lydon professed his first vows as a Viatorian and he has not looked back. Currently, he resides at St. Viator www.viatorians.com CSV News Fall 2013***.indd 2
Parish in Chicago, where he helps in various ministries, including with the Spanish speaking parishioners. He also continues his studies at Chicago Theological Union in preparation for ordination to the priesthood.
Fr. Thomas von Behren blesses Br. Daniel Lydon during his vow ceremony.
“Dan, as you stand here today, know that your call is a sacred one, originating in the heart of God, resonating throughout our Viatorian community,” said Fr. von Behren. “That call — found in whispers of others and in the heart of God — now is to be lived out in service to the people of God.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
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Colombian Viatorian Ordained a Deacon Vocations continue to grow in Bogotá, Colombia, where the Viatorians have served for more than 50 years. Last summer, Br. Gustavo Lopez, CSV, was ordained a deacon, which is the final, formal step before ordination to the priesthood. The latest ordination took place at San Juan María Vianney Parish in Bogotá, by Bishop Juan Vicente Córdoba V. S.J., Archbishop of the Diocese of Fontibón. “The community has been blessed by a steady stream of vocations over the past several years,” says Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, “and Gustavo’s ordination is a visible sign of that new life.” Potentially, there are more ordination and vow ceremonies coming up in Bogotá, with two men in the novitiate and one pre-novice. Br. Gustavo’s introduction to the Viatorians came when he volunteered with a youth group in his hometown of Libano, where Viatorians lived and ministered. Although Br. Gustavo had previously earned a degree in computer engineering and had worked in the banking industry, the Viatorians made an impression. “What I noticed during my discernment was that they were dedicated to working with young people,” said Br. Gustavo, “in education and parish work, as catechists and lectors, which is their strength in ministry.”
Br. Gustavo Lopez, right, during his ordination as a deacon
Br. Gustavo entered the novitiate in 2002 and professed his temporary vows one year later. He currently serves as director of campus ministry at Colegio Liceo Hermano Miguel LaSalle, in Bogotá. On weekends, he helps in pastoral work at San Juan Maria Vianney. As a result of his diaconal ordination, Br. Gustavo can proclaim the Gospel and preach, celebrate the sacraments of baptism and marriage as well as preside at wakes and funerals. If all goes as planned, Br. Gustavo will be ordained a priest in one year. Eileen O’Grady Daday
St. Viator Parish ... (continued from Page 1)
“We’re proud to be celebrating our 110th year of academia,” said Kathleen Kowalski, principal. Earlier this year, Fr. Bolser and parish leaders launched the the “Generations of Faith” capital campaign with a goal of raising $1 million for campus upgrades and repairs. To date, they’ve collected $867,000 from gifts and pledges, including a $150,000 pledge from the Clerics of St. Viator. Fr. Bolser, its pastor for the last four years, reflected on the parish’s milestone anniversary in a series of articles published in its weekly bulletin. One of its enduring legacies, he said, is the parish’s outreach to immigrants.
(Photo: Jim Dippold)
“The parish has always been vibrant and exciting,” says Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, a former associate pastor. “It still is.”
“Generations of faith have moved in and out of our community,” Fr. Bolser said, “but through it all, we have been a parish community of immigrants.”
Like families before them, Fr. Bolser says, they settled in the neighborhood and came to St. Viator, where they received the sacraments and celebrated life in many forms and traditions.
Today, the church welcomes immigrants from Vietnam, the Philippines, India, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and throughout Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean.
“In 1888, a seed was planted,” Fr. Bolser said. “While that seed has grown a little older perhaps, it continues to grow and give shelter and life, feeding one generation after another.” Eileen O’Grady Daday 2
Carrying The Mission Forward: Viatorians Host Fourth Annual Yo Liturgies throughout the week were organized by the young adults themselves and included Liturgy of the Hours and a celebration of the Eucharist every day. Anthony Gugino, of St. Viator Parish in Las Vegas, co-led the retreat with Samantha Ropski, a 2011 graduate of Saint Viator High School and recent participant on the Belize Immersion Program. “Leading VYC was extremely humbling,” said Anthony, who has attended the congress every year. “Seeing it grow from 2010 to now has made me understand and appreciate my connection to the Viatorian Community.” Delegates said learning new styles of prayer and making lasting friendships were among their highlights, as well as the workshops that provided new and innovative ways to develop a prosperous prayer life.
Young adult leaders pose in front of the wall where delegates left their mark.
What started in 2010 as a way to bring together teens from different Viatorian sites has evolved into a congress that offers formation, social justice and leadership training to young people who attend. This time around, young representatives came out in full force. They came from places like Las Vegas and Henderson, NV, as well as Chicago, Kankakee and Waukegan, IL, for a week-long congress that focused on what it means to be Viatorian. With one voice delegates, young adult leaders and other ministers – numbering more than 80 eager and enthusiastic leaders of the Catholic faith – engaged in conversation about Fr. Querbes’ mission of “service to the Holy Altar” and bringing justice to the world. This week-long Viatorian Youth Congress (VYC) united the participants together through communal prayer, thought-provoking workshops and small group sessions.
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Br. John Eustice, CSV, spoke at one workshop on The Importance of Listening to God’s Word, while Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, guided delegates through the process of writing
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ual Youth Congress
reflections to be shared with the community in the workshop entitled “Homily Preparation.” In the anonymous surveys completed by delegates at the end, one teen said the emphasis on prayer was the highlight of the week, adding, “I have never prayed so much in such a short period of time.” The VYC concluded with a final celebration of the Eucharist where delegates received a medallion from the community embracing the words “Carry the Mission Forward.”
Midway through the week, delegates assembled with the rest of the Viatorian Community at the Province Center in Arlington Heights. There they interviewed nearly 20 Viatorians, including associates, brothers and priests. Personal stories were shared about how Viatorians founded the community, which the teens found inspiring.
As the Viatorians look to the future, innovative and vibrant youth are at the forefront. Photos by Jim Dippold
t A teen choir formed to accompany daily Masses
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Br. Michael Gosch, CSV
Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, recently wrapped up eight years as assistant provincial, but his load hasn’t lightened. In July, he was appointed Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation Coordinator for the Viatorian Province of Chicago. He graduated from Saint Viator High School in 1974 and professed his vows as a Viatorian in 1978. He returned to his alma mater to teach English before earning his master’s degree in social work. Br. Gosch now works part-time as a social worker at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, while communting to his new office at St. Viator Parish in Chicago. We caught up with him recently and asked him to explain his new role and how it will impact the Viatorian Community.
Your new job has a rather big title, but in practical terms, what does it mean?
I’ll be working to specifically address issues of justice, peace and the environment. When I was the assistant provincial, the provincial council focused on promoting comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform, ending U.S. sponsored torture at home and abroad, and working for systemic change that causes hunger, especially among children. I will continue to work on these issues while addressing new issues.
Can you give some specific examples?
Much of my time is spent working on immigration reform. My position grew out of my work with the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants, where I’ve been able to provide pastoral care to detained immigrants in McHenry County Jail, and participate in vigils as immigrants are placed on buses and driven to the airport in Rockford for deportation. I have also monitored hearings in Immigration Court and coordinate a post-detention accompaniment network that provides direct service to immigrants released from detention who have no way of returning home or nowhere to live. Several Viatorians have joined me in this ministry.
How did this job come about?
The Viatorians have always been concerned about issues of justice. Our province was founded by immigrants for immigrants. We have had men involved in labor movements, homes for abandoned youth, alternative education, schools for the deaf, etc. for years. I am simply helping to coordinate efforts on a province level.
What about you personally? What makes you so passionate about social justice?
There are many reasons, however, a few stand out. From an early age, I was taught by my mother to care for those less fortunate. As a young widow with six children, she found time to help others in need. It became an expectation in our family. My 10 years as a caseworker at the Howard Area Community Center in Chicago brought me face to face with women and men trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty. I accompanied individuals and families who were affected by homelessness, drugs, gangs, incarceration, racism, joblessness and lack of access to quality health care and education. Lastly, my students at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep have helped me see firsthand the effects our current immigration policy has on hardworking families. Once you meet others whose lives have been touched by these issues — and you allow their experiences to touch your heart — it becomes impossible to walk away.
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In the Footsteps of Our Founder... Beginnings of the New Congregation Once the decisions about the location of the novitiate and the naming of Br. Liauthaud as novice master were resolved, Fr. Louis Querbes was positioned to begin his administrative role as superior general. During the annual retreat, the retreat master had allocated seven sessions to Fr. Querbes. Those sessions permitted Fr. Querbes to explain the changes in the statutes proposed by Rome and the new obligations imposed on the conferees. Fr. Querbes recommended especially “the exact observance of the vow of poverty and a quarterly account of conscience.” A later superior general, Pierre Robert, noted that early catechist correspondence “reveals that poverty was better understood and better observed, and that the account of conscience without difficulty became habitual with all”. (From This Root, p. 181)
Gracious God, be forever blest for your gift in Fr. Louis Querbes, dedicated pastor in the education of youth, and in the service of sacred liturgy, and founder of the Viatorian Community.
Before Papal approbation, the formation of the members had been combined in the normal school and novitiate. As requests from pastors increased and with Fr. Querbes’s zeal to respond, training was often abbreviated. Canon Law and the Decrees of the Council of Trent imposed a one-year novitiate before first vows. The catechists at the annual retreat were invited to renew their vows in conformity to the Statutes approved by the Holy See. After the retreat and the renewal of vows, the brothers went back to their schools energized and spiritually fortified. History records Brother Pierre Blein, so inspired, founded a school at Amplepuis where he “fulfilled a long and fruitful career of forty-seven years … and an exemplary religious life.” (ibid.) Fr. Querbes closed the house of aspirants in Poyet and transferred the young men to Vourles near the novitiate. Seventeen Poyet aspirants formed the novitiate of the new Congregation of Parochial Clerics of St. Viator. Robert wrote that, Fr. Querbes witnessed their progress in spirituality and he experienced “the sweetest consolation”. (Robert, p. 184) After the farewell audience of Fr. Querbes with Pope Gregory XVI, he left Rome without waiting for the printing of the Apostolic Brief, Cum Coelisti, approving the congregation. The brief was dated May 31, 1839 and was sent on June 11 to Father de Villefort. He paid the chancery fees, which the Pope had reduced by half out of respect for the poverty of Fr. Querbes. A delegation from Lyons was in Rome for the canonization of St. Alphonsus Liguori. Fr. Querbes requested that the brief be entrusted to Pauline Jaricot, founder of the Propagation of Faith, whose family had a summer home in Vourles. Pauline Jaricot, in 1838, told Fr. Querbes when leaving for Rome: “The good God anticipates your wishes”. Fr. Querbes acknowledged the brief and wrote Pope Gregory plans for the extension of the society and the program for the novices, noting “the kindness showed by the Holy Father in taking our poverty into account”. He requested a further Apostolic blessing in these words “My Your Holiness deign once more to grant to this little seed, which has not yet produce fruit, but only branches and flowers, your Apostolic Blessing”. (ibid.) Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV 7
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Viatorians Advance Their Mission Through Grants
donations we receive and as a consequence, this is what that partnership has enabled us to do.”
Members of a Witness for Peace delegation to Colombia listened to widows whose husbands were killed by paramilitary forces.
Among the development grants, awards ranged from ones that supported the Peacebuilders program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, to scholarships for the Life Teen program at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, and the music ministry program for teens at St. Viator Parish in Chicago.
Every year members of the Provincial Council meet to approve grant requests to schools and parishes where Viatorians minister, as well as to social service agencies whose missions they support. The grants fall into four categories: formation and education development, support for Viatorian missions in Belize and Colombia, institutional grants at Viatorian schools and parishes; and social justice grants where Viatorians are involved — or directly serve the needy and marginalized. “These funds come from our mission appeals, general contributions, and our own portfolios,” says Fr. Larry Lentz, CSV, assistant provincial. “We try to be good stewards with the
Day laborers asserting their right to work and to be respected
Grants to Belize covered housing, literacy and social services to the marginalized. The largest award went to an educational scholarship fund, to help students from needy families. Institutional grants were approved for faith formation programs in Belize, Colombia, Chicago, Bourbonnais, Las Vegas and Waukegan as well as young adult ministry formation in Henderson and tuition assistance at Saint Viator High School. Finally, the largest amount of grant money was awarded to social justice causes. They ranged from helping immigrant day laborers served by the Latino Union in Chicago, to a homeless lunch program in Las Vegas, and the Marjorie Kovler Center in Chicago which supports survivors of torture.
Extreme poverty in Belize and makeshift dwellings out of scraps, led Viatorians to make emergency housing assistance grants.
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Viatorian Envoy Visits Afghanistan start in the Bamyan province when a disillusioned non-governmental organization doctor from Singapore, Hakim Young, partnered with a collective of young people, the majority being from the Hazara ethnic background.
Viatorian envoy Chris Eagan (left) and Faiz connect during a visit with the Afghan Peace Volunteers.
The group formed due to a shared interest in the revolutionary task of grassroots peace building, and they immediately began their mission by facilitating community empowerment projects.
The Viatorian Community is one of 30 religious congregations that support the 8th Day Center for Justice in Chicago. Chris Eagan, one of its staff members, represents the Viatorians and Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters in areas of social justice, equality and human dignity.
Since its humble beginnings, the Afghan Peace Volunteers have expanded and moved to Kabul and crafted an intentional community where all ethnicities live under one roof and make communal decisions â€“ this alone is a radical form of resistance.
He traveled last summer with a group of activists to Afghanistan where he met with a group who call themselves the Afghan Peace Volunteers. We asked Chris to briefly describe his trip for this newsletter. Here is his report.
What makes the Afghan Peace Volunteers unique is their desire for reconciliation and not revenge. Faiz is a member of this live-in community. He is the only Tajik living in the house. After we were first welcomed into the community, we were then encouraged to join in community discussions. It was in these lengthy community forums that I came to see the true bravery of these young men and women. It was there that Faiz would admit to feeling bullied in the past due to his ethnicity. Many shared their hopelessness for the country, while others wrestled with how to reconcile their faith tradition with the modernity being imposed upon them by foreigners. I too have worked at an intentional community and, while not facing a war, I found I could relate to these feelings. I have questioned how to live out my Catholicism in a country which values capitalism so highly. I could relate to taking these accusations personally.
The sprawling city of Kabul, with its three million inhabitants, looks every bit the capital of a country ravaged by over three decades of war. Even with billions in promised reconstruction aid, public structures are lagging way behind the needs of the vastly impoverished nation. Additionally, ethnic tensions have heightened to the point that Afghans fear civil war almost as much as the ongoing conflict with the Taliban.
Despite having vastly different stories, Faiz and I found we were nearly identical in our yearning for justice. It reminded me that Viatorians sent me on a peace delegation to Kabul, not to solve Afghanistanâ€™s problems, but to catch courage from a brotherhood of peace builders and to construct olive branches of hope across oceans and among nations.
It is amidst this backdrop of despair that the Afghan Peace Volunteers go about their peace building. They got their
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Working in Solidarity Against Torture Viatorians worldwide oppose all forms of torture, viewing it as it is: a horrendous crime against humanity and the ultimate act of disrespect and degradation.
While the Kolver Center responds to the survivors in a caring and professional manner, torture survivor Mario Venegas works to change societal norms that permit and even encourage torture. Born and raised in Chile, he was a university student during the September 11, 1973 coup during which Augusto Pinochet overthrew the elected president, Salvador Allende. Immediately, the army began rounding up dissidences and they came for Mario in 1974. They ordered him to go with them for questioning saying it would only be a few minutes; it turned out to be two and a half years.
Members of the Chicago Province work with other religious communities to make the world torture-free and they also partner with organizations like the Marjorie Kovler Center in Chicago, whose mission is to support victims and advocate for an end to torture worldwide. Last year at this time, the Kovler Center received a social justice grant from the Viatorians, enough to cover the expenses to support a survivor for an entire year. The survivors often carry their wounds for years. According to officials with the Kovler Center, many suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder â€” which is manifested by anxiety, distrust, depression, flashbacks, intrusive memories related to the traumatic event and memory problems â€” often coupled with a range of physical symptoms.
The first few months were especially difficult. Not only did he endure the intense physical pain, but his family did not know his whereabouts. Furthermore, for the slightest reason he would be put into solitary confinement. He personally experienced the American connection with the Chilean coup in that two of his worst tormentors are graduates from the School of the Americas. The military finally expelled him and after graduate school in England, he and his family moved to the United States. His experiences of pain and exile left him with a strong desire to work for human rights and see that the perpetrators be brought to justice. Yet, his tormentors, 40 years later, are still freely walking the streets. Furthermore, the military built special detention centers that resemble luxury hotels to house their members who may be tried and convicted.
Mary Lynn Everson, the executive director, said that one purpose of the torturer is to isolate the victim from family and community; hence, the widespread use of solitary confinement. The center provides a nurturing alternative, beginning with a friendly physical environment and extending to working with a dedicated staff member who utilizes a cadre of volunteers to walk with the person toward recovery. A few of the many services that volunteers provide include being interpreters, companions, therapists and offering immigration legal help. The agency serves about 350 people from 59 countries per year.
Mario Venegas distributes literature about torture to a sometimes unreceptive crowd.
The Kolver Center has provided resources that Viatorians have used in their workshops and schools and Viatorians worked with them to help Chicago be declared a torture-free city. These people are working to make the earth a torture-free world.
Mario works in a variety of ways to promote justice. He works with a number of human rights organizations, including the Viatorians, in presenting education workshops on torture and how to advocate against it. Fr. Thomas Long, CSV
From the Archives….Ask and You Shall Receive Thanks to readers of the Viator newsletter, new photographs have been donated to the archives. It’s an interesting story — and a small world. In the Winter 2013 edition of this newsletter, the ‘From the Archives’ article about the scrapbook of Fr. Thomas Fitzpatrick, CSV, requested readers to look around for Viatorian materials in the hopes of preserving more historical works for posterity. Mary Ann and Mike Cahill from suburban Buffalo Grove, parents of three Saint Viator High School alums, noticed the article and responded. Mary Ann Cahill remembers Fr. Fitzpatrick as being a very close family friend. It turns out she was familiar with many Viatorians, because she is the great-niece of Fr. John P. O’Mahoney, CSV, a former provincial from 1929-1939.
Br. Joseph Simeon Boisvert, CSV, (1861-1931) drew up plans and supervised the construction of the gymnasium. The structure was considered to be a work of art with its pleasing lines and massive strength that resembled a sturdy, Romanesque cathedral. Some 25 years later, he watched his finest work devoured by flames. Br. Bosivert also led the construction of the Marsile and Roy halls on campus and designed the majestic St. Mary’s Church in Beaverville, IL.
Donors Mary Ann and Mike Cahill
Mary Ann contacted the archives, sharing the news that she wanted to donate some photographs that show the ruins of the 1926 fire that destroyed the gymnasium at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais. She found them in the scrapbook of her mother, Loretta Houlihan Drew, niece of Fr. O’Mahoney. Prior to the Cahills’ visit, further research was conducted on the 1926 fire using the St. Viator College newspapers housed here in the archives. The stone gymnasium, which also included the kitchen, dining hall, auditorium, bowling alleys, pool rooms and music rooms, was destroyed by fire in the early morning of Jan. 6, 1926. From 3-7 a.m., fire departments from Bourbonnais, Bradley and Kankakee, as well as faculty and students fought successfully to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.
Scrapbook page of gymnasium ruins from 1926 fire
These photos made a great find and addition to the historical records of the Viatorian Community. Mary Ann and Mike brought other photographs from her mother’s book and also the scrapbook of her Aunt Marie Houlihan, her mother’s sister. Not only did they donate the photos of the gymnasium ruins, they donated more prints and digital images of Viatorian priests and other campus buildings. The Viatorian Community Archives is grateful to the Cahills for these historical photographs. They are in our prayers as part of the extended Viatorian family. So…“Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
Fr. John P. O’Mahoney, CSV, provincial from 1929-1939, and great uncle of Mary Ann Cahill
Built in 1901, it was this very building - the only building - that survived the earlier fire of 1906 that destroyed the entire campus.
Joan Sweeney, Viatorian Associate and Archivist
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Viatorian Shares His Love of Physics “I really believe in what they do there,” he says, “so to be able to parlay all of my experience feels good. It’s satisfying — and energizing.” Cristo Rey St. Martin officials are energized too. Beginning this year, they are able to offer AP Physics, bringing their total up to seven AP courses, thanks in part to Fr. Milton’s consulting work. “We have been recognized nationally for the number of AP courses we offer — determined by the size of our school and the percentage of low income students we serve,” says Principal Mike Odiotti. “Fr. John’s support and expertise has been instrumental in getting us there.” For the last two years, Fr. Milton has traveled to the school every week to work with physics teacher, Kumkum Ghosh. Together, they review new materials for her course work and plan lab experiments for students. He spent much of the summer reviewing the AP Physics textbook, making sure they had the necessary equipment for Fr. John Milton, CSV, helps Cristor Rey St. Martin physics teacher Kumkum Ghosh the labs that students need to conduct before taking the exam. (photo by Jim Dippold)
Fr. John Milton, CSV, experienced a eureka moment last summer when he unexpectedly came upon a gift from DePaul University’s physics department: six oscilloscopes. The lab instruments track voltage and sound waves and display them in a graph on a screen for students to see — and measure. “They’re fairly new,” Fr. Milton says, “and in very good working condition.” Fr. Milton knew immediately where he could put them to good use: Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, the high school in Waukegan, IL where he has been consulting since retiring. “They offer a lot of applications that we can use,” Fr. Milton says, “and they will be good additions in our electricity lab.” Fr. Milton spent more than 40 years teaching physics, including 20 at Saint Viator High School and another 24 at DePaul before he retired in 2010.
When Fr. Milton wasn’t at school, he was beating the bushes for used equipment and ways to purchase more instruments to add more labs to the curriculum. “I’m always looking for physics apps,” he adds, “and simulations of experiments on YouTube.” All of which comes as good news for Ms. Ghosh. “Fr. John encourages me ever so patiently,” she says, “and he quietly helps me wherever I need it.” Her students, she adds, love him. “If he is around to help,” she says, “they would much rather ask him questions than ask me.” Preston Kendall, president of Cristo Rey St. Martin, says Fr. Milton’s love of teaching and of lifelong learning is contagious. “His work here models a faith that is ‘lived, deepened, and celebrated,’ ” Kendall says, pointing to one of the Viatorians’ core values. “His experience, expertise and goodness are a highly valued addition to our school community.”
In volunteering at Cristo Rey St. Martin, he finds himself just as passionate about sharing his love of physics with students as he did at the beginning of his career. www.viatorians.com
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Drawn by the People of Pembroke, Author Returns During his research, he learned of ways state leaders tried to resurrect Pembroke’s economy, including former Gov. George Ryan’s doomed efforts to build a women’s prison and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s short-lived roads project “It’s a paradox,” he says, “that this inimitable small town survived in spite of every expectation otherwise.” Baron’s latest visit came in July. It turned out to be the 10th mission trip, led by the Barries, and one in which teens worked on a variety of projects for residents. They ranged from building a new deck and shed at one family’s home to painting a bus for a children’s day camp. “It’s such a powerful experience,” said Avery Jones, 16, of Bradley. “The people here have so little, but they have such big hearts. They’re so appreciative for everything we do.” David Baron, right, describes the research he conducted in writing his book on the people of Pembroke.
A week spent on a mission trip in Pembroke Township — described by the New York Times as one of the poorest counties in the country — still drives David Baron. Though he went on to attend the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Law School, the week he spent as a teenager serving the needs of the people in the area stayed with him, so much so that he now is writing a book.
As with all of their trips, the teens returned each night from their work sites to the church, where they listened to reflections from some of the young adult leaders and participated in prayer sessions. On the day of Baron’s visit, he presented the evening’s talk in the sanctuary of Sacred Heart Church, where he had been so moved as a teen. He described returning to the area and researching its migration pattern as well as its strong faith.
Viatorian Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie have been taking teens to Pembroke since 1999 in their roles as youth ministers at St. Patrick Church in Kankakee. They call their service the “Hearts of Hope Mission,” after the historic Sacred Heart Church that anchors the area. “We’ve tried to take the kids to other places, like serving in Mexico,” Michelle Barrie says, “but they want to come back here. They have a heart for this place — and the people.” That’s what haunts Baron. “I was on the first Hearts of Hope mission trip,” Baron says, “and it was a conversion experience. It left a profound impact on me.” The former Kankakee native now works as an attorney with a large law firm in Chicago. Over the last year, he has returned to Pembroke multiple times to research his book and discover why the area affected him so deeply. Mostly, he says, it was finding poverty so pervasive less than 20 miles from his home and yet the people remain resilient.
Teens on the Hearts of Hope mission trip do clean-up work in a resident’s yard.
“For the first time, I glimpsed real poverty,” he told them. “Yet I also discovered a community possessing a wealth of grace and confidence, and I left with an unexpected sense of contentment and purpose.” Eileen O’Grady Daday 13
Around the Province... This issue of Around the Province offers updates on the latest assignments of Viatorians and highlights their ministries around the country.
Fr. Lawrence Lentz, CSV, completed 11 years in Las Vegas, serving most recently as an associate pastor at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in suburban Henderson. He arrived at the Province Center in September to start his new role as assistant provincial of the ChicaFr. Lawrence Lentz, CSV go Province. Fr. Lentz is a former principal of Saint Viator High School, who also served as pastor at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Bourbonnais and as pastor at St. Viator Parish in Chicago. Before those assignments, he was an English teacher. He returned to his roots at the Province Center where among his duties he will be overseeing the communications efforts and association. Welcome back! At the same time, Fr. Mick Egan, CSV, arrived in Henderson to begin his assignment as associate pastor at St. Thomas More. Fr. Egan now helps Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, pastor, as they minister to the more than 6,200 families at the busy parish. Fr. Egan leaves behind the students and families at Saint Viator High School where he just finished serving the last eight years as its president.
Viatorians and Sisters of the Living Word pray together for immigration reform.
The Viatorian Community is actively participating in the Ministry of Accompaniment for released detained immigrants. Besides the immediate interventions such as meeting people soon after they have been released, going with them to the bus or train station to return home and sharing a Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, and meal, some have nowhere to go. The Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, Viatorians have opened their home to talk with a recent immigrant residing at a Viatorian residence. two released immigrants – one from Rwanda and the other from Nigeria. The Viatorian guests are two of 18 people temporarily staying in people’s homes until the central residence is opened. Br. Patrick Drohan, CSV, recently celebrated 50 years of religious life – and his 70th birthday – at the one place where he has carried out his ministry all those 50 years: Villa Desiderata Retreat Center in McHenry, IL. Recently, the Br. Patrick Drohan acknowledging community hosted a dinner and the gratitude of the Villa Desiderata reception at the Villa in his honor community during which they presented a plaque expressing their appreciation for all he has done. Br. Drohan manages the Villa and coordinates the retreats, including its many 12-step retreats for those recovering from addictions. Fr. Daniel Belanger, CSV, and his parishioners at St. George Parish, outside Bourbonnais, celebrated a new religious image in the church: a stained glass window featuring the image of the parish’s patron saint, St. George. In appreciation for an abundant crop last fall, parish members raised $45,000 for the new window. It was installed in August. “This gift will be a reminder,” says Viatorian Associate David Suprenant, “that the St. George spirit will be passed on to our children.”
On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the “I Have a Dream” speech, the Clerics of St. Viator and the Sisters of the Living Word collaborated on a different social justice event: a prayer service for comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform. It was one of the first social justice events organized by Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, in his role as Coordinator of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation. “It’s interesting that we gather on this historic day,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial of the Viatorian Province of Chicago. “This is one more dream we share.” The event filled the chapel and drew at least one Congressional staff Viatorians, led by Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, returned to the garden member. Michael Trajkovich, a constituent advocate for Illinois again this summer to recommit themselves to growing fresh fruits Rep. Peter Roskam, attended the service and thanked organizers and vegetables for the hungry. By Sept. 1, their small community afterwards for holding it. “I’m here to listen,” Trajkovich said, garden on the grounds of the Viatorian Province Center, pro“and bring these stories back to the Congressman.” duced more than 1,100 pounds of nutritious vegetables, which www.viatorians.com 14 CSV News Fall 2013***.indd 14
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were donated to nearby Wheeling Township Food Pantry and the more than 400 families per month it serves. Viatorian Associate Joan Sweeney also contributed more than 100 arrangements of flowers, cut from the garden, to cheer seniors served by the township. Br. James Lewnard, CSV, and summer intern D.J. Horstmann led a second retreat with their Note the Way music ministry at St. Viator Parish in Chicago. They met with 14 of the parish’s Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, coordinated the Viatorian youth group members and spent the afternoon community garden teaching them about music and liturgical planning. Note the Way ministry was launched last spring with a grant from the Viatorians to support music and liturgical efforts at the different parishes and schools. They also met with the director of the Office for Divine Worship of the Chicago Archdiocese who booked their Note the Way ministry to play at a catechetical conference this month.
Photos by Jim Dippold
Faculty and staff members at Saint Viator High School presented Fr. John Van Weil, CSV, with a watch and gift card at a send-off party in May. He retired after a 25-year career teaching honors and AP level chemistry at the school. “Thanks for the many kind words of support and appreciation,” he told them. “Saint Viator High School is a Fr. John Van Weil, CSV special place because of all of you. It has been a privilege to be a part of it for 25 years.” Viatorian Associate Ayonie Briceno was named Teacher of the Year for Corozal District in Belize for her work at Our Lady of Guadalupe School. “She is an active teacher in our community,” says Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV. “She teaches catechesis and helps with extra-curriculars. She is there to offer whatever additional help children need.” Viatorian Associate Ayonie Briceno Province Center residents threw a party to congratulate Fr. George Auger, CSV, on his next assignment as chaplain for the Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Joseph Home for the Elderly in Palatine, IL. For the last few years, Fr. Auger has served as director of the retirement wing at the Province Center. He now serves as spiritual director to the sisters and their residents, especially to those in their skilled nursing facility, anointing the sick and accompanying them in their last hours of life.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.viatorians.com Provincial: Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV
Editor: Fr. Thomas E. Long, CSV Director of Communications: Eileen O’Grady Daday
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Editorial Board: Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Br. Donald P. Houde, CSV Fr. Lawrence D. Lentz, CSV Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV Eileen O’Grady Daday
Barton Hisgen Joan Sweeney Layout and Design: Dianna Ehrenfried Visualedge, Inc.
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lerics of St. Viator C 1212 E. Euclid Avenue Arlington Heights, IL 60004-5799 Newsletter –Fall 2013
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Provincial Perspective Dear Friends, As we enter the season of Thanksgiving and gratitude, I want to express my sincere appreciation to you as partners in our Viatorian Mission. I am keenly aware that you are bombarded with requests from various good and praiseworthy organizations, seeking your financial support during the months of November and December. As I write this column for our newsletter, I simply want to thank you for your prayers and interest in the Viatorian Community. Over the years, we have been abundantly blessed by having friends like you. In the various cities where we have served and in the cities where we continue to minister, countless friends and benefactors connect with Viatorians, both young and old, enriching our lives and our community. That is why today I simply want to thank you for standing with the Viatorian Community over these many years. Whether it is in Springfield or Peoria, Kankakee or Bourbonnais, Rock Island or Chicago, Arlington Heights or Las Vegas, and everywhere in between, many of you with Viatorian roots continue to identify yourselves as part of the Viatorian family.
Page 1 St. Viator Parish: Celebrating 125 Years of Faith
Throughout the years, it has been our privilege to be with you and so many other wonderful people, ministering in the name of Christ and his Church. We have shared many key moments in life — new birth at baptisms, growth in faith at confirmation, life commitments at weddings, sickness and suffering at the anointing of the sick in nursing homes and hospitals, and yes, the passing from this life to new life at funerals.Today, Viatorians continue to be present at these and other key moments in the lives of those we serve. We stand with the immigrant, the abandoned, the less fortunate, and those “accounted of little importance by some.” As you gather around the Thanksgiving table or around the Christmas tree, I simply ask that you please offer a small prayer for our community and perhaps for a special Viatorian who might have touched your life by sharing the presence of Christ through perhaps a word of encouragement, a blessing, a homily, or a lesson plan. Yes, this is the season of Thanksgiving and gratitude, and we are grateful for you and your support of the Viatorian Community. I close with the words of our Founder, Servant of God Louis Querbes: “Adored and Loved Be Jesus.” In St. Viator and Fr. Querbes,
Parishioners form a combined choir at St. Viator Parish to celebrate their 125th anniversary.
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Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Provincial – Province of Chicago
Page 2 Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV, Awarded Honorary Doctorate Br. Daniel Lydon Professes Final Vows Page 3 Colombian Viatorian Ordained a Deacon Page 4 Carrying The Mission Forward: Viatorians Host Fourth Annual Youth Congress Page 6 Q & A with Br. Michael Gosch, CSV Page 7 In the Footsteps of Our Founder... Page 8 Viatorians Advance Their Mission Through Grants Page 9 Viatorian Envoy Visits Afghanistan Page 10 Working in Solidarity Against Torture Page 11 From the Archives…. Ask and You Shall Receive Page 12 Viatorian Shares His Love of Physics Page 13 Drawn by the People of Pembroke, Author Returns Page 14 Around the Province...
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