Provincial Perspective Dear Friends, schools. The Viatorians have been part of the Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan, Illinois since its inception in 2004 and recently the school moved into a new and vibrant campus providing stateof-the-art facilities for students and staff. As past issues of our newsletter have reported, the Viatorians will sponsor a new Cristo Rey school in Las Vegas — Cristo Rey St. Viator Las Vegas. Be sure to read the latest news about the progress of the school scheduled to open in August 2019 in Las Vegas.
Greetings from the Viatorians. On behalf of our entire community it is a pleasure to welcome you to our spring newsletter. I hope this Easter season brings joy and renewed hope of new life to you and your family. There is a great irony that as we celebrate the Easter season with all its hope of renewed life, we also reflect on recent events in the life of our country that are filled with such sadness and pain. This edition details the responses of students and young people in our Viatorian ministries to the tragic events of Parkland, Florida. Many of us watched the March for Our Lives on the Saturday before Palm Sunday when hundreds of thousands of young people raised their voices against the gun violence in our cities and schools. Their determination and commitment to make a difference and bring about change powerfully challenges everyone.
The celebration of Easter and the arrival of spring is always a reminder to me of the complex nature of our lives. We travel the journey of life encountering the joys and the hopes, the challenges and difficulties that life sometimes presents. We always do so with the hope and faith that guide us in these Easter days. I hope that has been your experience in this Easter season.
At the same time in late March, over 300 young adults gathered with Pope Francis at a Vatican sponsored conference in preparation for the October 2018 Synod of Bishops where he listened to them express their particular needs from the Church. Their message was strong and prophetic — they called for a Church that is more transparent and authentic, welcoming and inviting, accessible and joyful. They also said that the Church should not be afraid to allow itself to be vulnerable and should admit past and present wrongs. The voices of young people here in the United States and around the world offer us a profound moment of reflection and hope.
God’s blessings to you and to your family. Sincerely in Viator,
I hope you will also review the stories in this issue that detail our Viatorian commitment to ministry with youth in two Cristo Rey
Rev. Robert M. Egan, CSV Provincial
In this Issue: 2 Provincial Perspective
10 From the Archives: Treasures Revealed,
3 Cristo Rey St. Martin Enters 21st Century
4 Planting the Cristo Rey Vision in Las Vegas 5 Q & A with Br. John Eustice, CSV 6 From Chicago to Las Vegas, Students March Against Gun Violence
7 Viatorians Respond to Venezuelan Crisis
the Mystery Continues
12 In Memoriam, Fr. John Linnan, CSV and
Fr. William Mayer, CSV
14 Viatorians Welcoming the Stranger 15 Viatorian Associates Create New Outreach
with Tax Help
16 Around the Province
8 Celebrating Our Jubilarians
Provincial: Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV Editor: Fr. Thomas E. Long, CSV
Director of Communications: Eileen O’Grady Daday Editorial Board: Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV
Fr. Charles G. Bolser, CSV Eileen O’Grady Daday Associate Joan Sweeney
Layout and Design: Dianna Ehrenfried, Visualedge, Inc. Email: email@example.com
Cristo Rey St. Martin Enters 21st Century A record breaking crowd attended the annual Founders’ Dinner in April, benefitting Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan. The dinner took place at the school’s new location, located at the gateway to the city of Waukegan, in a converted K-Mart store. The chance to celebrate the school’s new home drew a table filled with Viatorians who had worked at the school and continue to support it as one of its founding religious communities. The dinner came a little more than two months after the formal ribbon cutting in February, when students and faculty first walked into their new school. It culminated years of fundraising and 18 months of construction, but that day, the feeling was one of excitement — and empowerment.
A rendering of the school and a shot of some of the classrooms show how the former K-Mart was transformed into a sleek, state-of-the-art school.
“Finally,” said Principal Michael Odiotti, “students have a building they deserve — in a true college prep environment.”
“Finally, our dream came true,through the hard work of a lot of great people,” Odiotti added. “It will help us to continue with our mission of preparing each of our students to get to — and through — college and prepare for professional work, all in the context of faith and justice.”
Located at 3106 Belvidere Road in Waukegan, an $18.5 million adaptive reuse project Fr. Charles Bolser, left and Fr. John Milton, converted a former K-Mart right, pose with Preston Kendall, president, on the first day of school in the new building. store into a state-of-the-art high school.
Case in point: This spring, the 90 seniors in the class of 2018 have seen their college acceptances roll in. Among the first to come in were those from Northwestern University, Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Indiana) and Santa Clara University. Others include Augustana College, Bradley University, Carroll University, Carthage College, Columbia College, Cornell College, DePaul University, De Pauw University, Dominican University, Illinois State University, Loyola University, Marquette University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Wheeling Jesuit University and Xavier University.
“This is a milestone moment for us,” said Preston Kendall, school president. “We have a lot of really talented young people who come from very hard-working families who need help. We believe education is the door to their opportunities.” The school had long ago outgrown its leased space at the former St. Joseph Grade School, which is situated on a two-acre property with a building of less than 30,000 square feet, but fundraising took time. Administrators stress this is just Phase 1; Phase 2 includes a chapel, gymnasium and a fine arts facility.
CRSM is part of a national network of 32 schools dedicated to the Cristo Rey mission. It blends a rigorous academic education with significant work experience through its Corporate Work Study Program. Students spend one day every week, plus an extra day monthly, working for the more than 80 Lake County companies who partner with the school. Eileen O’Grady Daday
Dr. Michael Odiotti, principal, (left) joins in the ribbon cutting ceremony with students and faculty.
Planting the Cristo Rey Vision in Las Vegas
An artist’s rendering depicts the future school
The dream to open a new Viatorian school — in the Cristo Rey model — just took one giant step forward. In early April, the Viatorians closed on land in North Las Vegas, which will be the site of their new school. “We are very excited,” says Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, president of Cristo Rey St. Viator Las Vegas College Prep. “The Viatorians are the proud owners of dirt, sand and dust on Las Vegas Boulevard in North Las Vegas.” Don’t expect the land to be vacant for long. Fr. von Behren and his staff have a rendering of the new school and they already have met with vendors to begin This sandy plot is the future home of Cristo Rey picking out materials St. Viator Las Vegas College Prep on Las Vegas for classrooms, sci- Boulevard in North Las Vegas. ence labs, and the chapel.
to pay for their education and be immersed in a professional setting. Already she has more than 20 corporate supporters lined up. McKinley draws from her extensive experience in human resources, recruitment and marketing working for Las Vegas companies. She also is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School. Br. Carlos Floréz, CSV, serves as student enrollment officer. He formerly worked in admissions at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan, IL, Currently, he is a member of the General Council of the Viatorians. Associate Dan Schwarz serves as director of communications and community outreach. He brings a wealth of experience in broadcast television and his most recent role with the Las Vegas Area Chamber of Commerce. Finally, Francisco Aguilar serves as chairman of the board. He brings his experience as special counsel to the chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education, and as a lawyer for the parent company of the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, KSNV Channel 3 and 16 other NBC affiliates.
The team also hired Marissa Gelgado as the director of student recruitment. She is a former principal of St. Francis School in Las Vegas and currently chairs the math department at Bishop Gorman High School.
This leadership team — comprised of people from private and public education, as well as the corporate world — remains committed to the school’s mission, of educating young people of limit- Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, (right) president of the ed economic means school, already is looking at materials for the new building. to become men and women of faith, purpose and service.
Melissa McKinley serves as corporate work study program coordinator. In that role, she recruits business partners willing to hire students in entry level jobs, where they will work one day a week, allowing them
“Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, integrated with a relevant work study experience,” Fr. von Behren says, “students graduate ready to succeed in college and in life.”
Their leadership team is impressive. Led by Fr. von Behren, a former president of Bishop Gorman and Saint Viator high schools, and most recently the Viatorian provincial; he reports to the school’s board of governors, led by Fr. Mick Egan, CSV, provincial. After a six-month, nationwide search, Fr. von Behren and the team hired Lisa Campbell as the school’s first principal. She is a former principal of Fertitta Middle School in Las Vegas and before that she taught science in the Clark County School System.
Eileen O’Grady Daday
Q & A with Br. John Eustice, CSV Br. John Eustice, CSV, moved last year from campus ministry at Saint Viator High School to Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais, where he coordinates youth and young adult ministry. He also took on the role of leading the Viatorian vocation ministry. Turns out, the two ministries are related.
Q . A.
Tell us your thoughts about taking on this new challenge of vocations. What are you excited about? I’m encouraged to be working with a team of associates, brothers and priests. Together we are helping people in the institutions where we minister to know they are integral to vocation ministry. It is one thing for a “vocations director” to be the person inviting young men to join religious life. How different would it be if longtime parishioners, teachers or even parents — who are involved in the young man’s daily life — were to encourage him to serve people as a Viatorian brother or priest.
How did you discern your vocation?
The reason I’m a Viatorian is because a friend of mine who knew the Viatorians saw an obvious connection between me and the community. I wasn’t looking for this life, but thank God she said something. I know she helped me discover the greatest joy in my life!
How would you define a vocation and discernment?
Vocation is what gives a person their deepest joy and answers the world’s deepest need. Discernment is sifting through life’s options while talking with family, trusted friends and a spiritual companion, trying to understand if the “call” is coming from God.
Why should young men choose the Viatorians? What makes them different? We are a down-to-earth group of ordinary men who strive to deepen our relationship with Christ. We do this by living together, praying together, ministering to and with young people and those on the margins, and caring deeply for each other. We identify Christ in the ordinary, everyday life.
Ultimately, what makes you hopeful?
The fact that there is an uptick in vocations in the U.S., regardless of being traditional or progressive. Young people are seeking to deepen their relationship with Christ. I look forward to meeting those who are called to a Viatorian life.
If readers are thinking about this life or know someone who is, what should they do? Contact us. We will walk this path of discernment together. Call us at 847-894-8537 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You come into this role as vocations director after a variety of different roles, but mostly working with young people. How do you plan to use that experience in working with young men discerning a possible call to religious life?
I find that ministry with young people is simple. I walk with them through life, pointing to evidence of Christ active in the ordinary, everyday experiences and assist them in building a deeper relationship with him. Vocation ministry is no different. 5
From Chicago to LasVegas, Students March Against Gun Violence As many as 800 “March for Our Lives” demonstrations took place in cities across the country and around the world. Young people organized them to support the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL where a gunman killed 17 people and injured others on Valentine’s Day.
Sarah McDermott, a junior at Saint Viator High School, works with other students to make signs before the Chicago march.
“Reach out to our elected officials about gun control in our state,” Devon implored the group, which included teachers and faith leaders accompanying the teens. “Support people in our community who have been victims of gun violence, and work through your faith community — whether it’s Muslim, Jewish or Christian — for tighter gun ownership regulations and for continuing education within worshiping communities.” Br. John Eustice, CSV, takes a selfie of himself amid the thousands of students who turned out the March for Our Lives event in Chicago
In at least two marches — in Chicago and Las Vegas — Viatorians were there, called by their charism to accompany young people in their faith development. Br. John Eustice, CSV, accompanied marchers from Saint Viator High School’s Justice League and Campus Ministry, as well as Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, and members of the Children of Abraham Coalition, which he started in 2010. “I stand with these young people,” Br. John said. “Marching against gun violence is a pro-life issue.” The group of 20 students from Saint Viator and the Children of Abraham Coalition, said enough is enough. Emboldened by the teens from Parkland, they joined the protest on March 24 at Union Park in Chicago, along with an estimated crowd of 85,000. “I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said senior Sarah Johnson. “I’ve never marched in protest before, but I felt really strongly about gun control and school safety.” Another student, junior Cassidy Versen, said she didn’t hesitate when the chance to participate came up. “We stood in solidarity with other students directly affected by gun violence,” Cassidy said. Senior Maria Capellani, said simply: “I needed to go. It was so powerful to be a part of it.” Before they marched, two students who are active with Saint Viator’s Justice League and the Children of Abraham Coalition, junior Sarah McDermott and senior Devon Sheehan, addressed the group. www.viatorians.com 6
Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, participated in the March for Our Lives event in Las Vegas, shown here with two teachers from St. Viator Catholic School.
In Las Vegas, Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, accompanied two other teachers from St. Viator Catholic Community in attending a March for Our Lives event organized by local students. The march was particularly poignant, as the memory of the mass shooting on Oct. 1 that killed 58 people at a music festival still traumatizes residents. “It was a great day,” Br. Rob said simply of watching young people calling for change in the country. Back in Chicago, Saint Viator senior Anthony Novak, saw the chance to demonstrate as his duty. “We’ve learned in our Christian Social Teaching class that is our responsibility to stand with people who are marginalized, and this further exemplifies that,” Anthony said. “This is a Catholic issue that we all need to stand up for change.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
Viatorians Respond to the Venezuelan Crisis A core mission of the Viatorian Community — to embrace those accounted of little importance — continues to drive Viatorians around the world. A recent example took place in March in Colombia, where Viatorians have served for more than 50 years.
“As a community of faith, we always strive to accomplish the mission that has been entrusted to us, by taking every single action to respond to the challenge of helping and serving those who are in need,” Fr. Vanegas says. “And our students and faculty are a true reflection of this.” They arrived at Divina Providencia, a church-run soup kitchen that has been serving free lunches to 1,000 Venezuelans daily and providing temporary shelter for up to 300. Without a moment to spare, students and faculty members started distributing the clothing they had collected to people who had lined up at the shelter. “People took any giving piece, gladly,” says Rafael Rodriguez, a Spanish teacher from the colegio.”The glow on their faces and the smiles were more than enough gratitude for the little tokens they received.”
Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, CSV, right, watches as students from Colegio San Viator prepare to hand out drinks to some of the Venezuelan migrants.
Led by Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, CSV, president of Colegio San Viator in Bogotá, students and faculty responded to the growing migration crisis at the border of their country. According to reports, thousands of Venezuelans are pouring out of their crippled nation in what is being described as one of the biggest migration crises in Latin American history. Nowhere is the crisis more acute than in Colombia, where an estimated 250,000 Venezuelan migrants have surged through the border city of Cúcuta since August, with 3,000 a day still arriving, according to a recent story published in The Washington Post.
Just some of the 3,000 Venezuelan migrants who come through Cúcuta each day.
Next, they donned Latex gloves and surgical masks before starting to serve coffee and bread to people in line.
“This is a humanitarian crisis,” said Willington Munoz Sierra, regional director of the Scalabrini International Migration Network, a Catholic charity running a shelter in this border city, where desperate Venezuelans are now living in parks, cheap motels or sleeping on sidewalks. “In Venezuela, children are dying. People are starving and being persecuted.”
“Fr. Vanegas led the way with example,” Rodriguez adds, “organizing all the present volunteers, nuns, Venezuelans and Viatorian students and teachers.” In the end, they worked both the breakfast and lunch shifts, while cleaning dishes and helping to prepare food in between for the next meal. They reported seeing malnourished women, elderly, and children, who were exhausted and humiliated by their condition.
At Colegio San Viator, located approximately 250 miles south of Cúcuta, students and faculty are responding. Throughout Lent, they held a collection drive for clothing for migrant families, who flee to the border with nothing else but the shirts on their backs.
“And yet,” Rodriguez said, “the expressions of gratitude from the people we were blessed to serve, lit up our day with their smiles and thankful words.” The group came away extremely moved by what they had seen, but glad that they had been able to live out the gospel teachings.
During Holy Week, Fr. Vanegas led a group of students and faculty members on a pilgrimage of sorts, when they traveled hours to serve desperate families who recently crossed the border.
Students and faculty alike enjoyed seeing the smiles of children at the soup kitchen.
“There is still so much to be done with our brotherly nations working together toward the same dream,” Rodriguez said. “In the meantime, whenever the voices of despotism arise, we will always have the teachings of St. Viator to cling to.” Eileen O’Grady Daday 7
Celebrating Our Jubilarians “I love it,” he says. “It gives me a reason to get up in the morning. Any time you can work with young people, it’s a good thing.” Viatorians have been part of Fr. Perham’s entire life. Having grown up attending St. Viator School in Chicago, he knew the community well when he pronounced his first vows in 1948. Some 70 years later, faculty and students at Saint Viator continue to recognize Fr. Perham’s accomplishments. He has been named Teacher of the Year, and even Mentor of the Year by the village of Arlington Heights. He also continues to publish materials for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Not surprisingly, Fr. Perham was an early user of computer technology to augment student learning. For many years, he integrated computers into the study of geometry for high school freshmen and sophomores, and he introduced upperclassmen to computer programming through his C++ class.
Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV 70 Years of Religious Life
Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, reaches a rare milestone this year: 70 years of religious life. But for a teacher who has spent his career teaching mathematics to young people, don’t expect him to dwell on this big number. He’s too busy. He still spends every day at Saint Viator High School, where he has taught math for all but five years of the school’s more than 50year history. These days, he no longer teaches a class but starts every morning working with two members of the math team, preparing them for the oral section of the state finals — considered to be one of the hardest sections — hosted by the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics. This year’s topic: trigometric identities and equations. “We already know the math, but Fr. Perham helps us learn the theory and how to apply it to our problems,” says junior Marcus Lannie. “He teaches us illuminate all of that in our presentation to the judges. We can’t skip any steps.”
Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, watches Saint Viator High School students Marcus Lannie, left and Thomas Stanila, right, work on problems he gave them in preparation for the state math finals.
Now, in the iPad era, Fr. Perham works with his two oralists using Google Classroom, where he can send them problems and see their work. His math team members, like the Querbes Scholars, are not given a grade for their participation in his extracurricular problem solving. “They aren’t graded, it wasn’t for any class,” Fr. Perham stresses. “We do it for the sake of learning.” Which pretty much sums up his secret to his long life and ministry: lifelong learning.
At 88 years old, working with young mathematicians keeps him young. When he’s not coaching math team members, Fr. Perham develops special projects for students in the Fr. Louis Querbes Scholars Program, asking them to think outside the box and apply math theorems to everyday problems.
Fr. Patrick Render, CSV 50 Years of Priesthood
Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, has been known as a leader in the Viatorian Community since his early days as a Viatorian. This year, he celebrates his 50th jubilee as a priest, reaching a milestone in a ministry that has touched thousands of lives over the years and shaped several Viatorian institutions. Throughout it all, Fr. Render has advanced the Viatorian charism to all he encountered. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Loyola University in Chicago and a master’s degree in education from the University of North Carolina. Initially, he served as a teacher and ultimately led Saint Viator High School as principal and later, as president. He left the high school after 15 years to assume the role of assistant provincial. He would go on to be elected provincial superior, during which Fr. Patrick Render, CSV he led the Viatorian Community for eight years. From there, Fr. Render entered pastoral ministry, serving as pastor of St. Joseph Church in Springfield for five years, at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV for 14 years, and currently at St. Viator Parish in Chicago, where he started in 2015. Fr. Render describes each of his assignments as “growth experiences,” especially at St. Viator Parish, where he took an intensive course in Spanish before he arrived. While leading the Viatorians as provincial, Fr. Render “St. Viator is one of the earliest parishes founded and staffed by Viatorians in this country,” had the chance to meet with Pope John II. Fr. Render said at the time. “I will be joining a long history of Viatorian who have served there for more than 125 years.”
Br. Carlos Flórez, CSV 25 Years of Religious Life
This year, Br. Carlos Flórez, CSV, celebrates his 25 years in vows with the Viatorian Community. Over those years, Br. Carlos has held many different roles. Beginning his ministry as a teacher and campus minister at the Colegio San Viator in his native city of Bogotá, Colombia, he went on to serve at the ViaShortly after being named to the General Council torian mission in Belize where he helped to train lay in 2012, Br. Florez visited the city of Vourles,where Fr. Louis Querbes started the Clerics of St. Viator. people in liturgy and taught Sacred Scripture.
Br. Carlos Flores, CSV
He ultimately came to the United Sates to take an intensive course in English. At the same time, he furthered the Viatorian commitment to Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, working in admissions and assisting in translating services.
A milestone for Br. Carlos came in 2011, when he became a U.S. citizen. While preparing for this important moment, he worked at the Province Center, supporting operations and getting to better know more of his Viatorian confreres. In 2012, his ministry took another turn when he was asked by Fr. Alain Ambeault, CSV, Superior General, to join the General Council, which he continues to do. “This ministry has opened my eyes and heart to the international community and has allowed me to engage with nearly all of the members of our congregation,” Br. Carlos says. “This has been a truly rich and rewarding blessing that will shape the rest of my life.” Br. Carlos now lives in Las Vegas and he looks forward to being a part of the Cristo Rey St. Viator Las Vegas College Prep when it opens in 2019. Br. Don Houde, CSV
From the Archives: Treasures Revealed, the Mystery Continues
Last year, Tina Simmons, archivist at Olivet Nazarene University, scanned each glass plate to reveal the amazing images hidden all these years. She said it was fascinating to bring them to life, especially the little boy holding the firearm in the snow. “The picture was almost completely washed out, but the more contrast I added, the more visible he became,” Simmons said. Thank goodness for all her work with photo editing tools because the old St. Viator College buildings — which were destroyed by fire in 1906 — also were revealed. A little box (left) and a 4” x 5” glass plate negative.
A little box — holding something so fragile, prone to cracking, breaking, flaking and deterioration — survived more than 120 years, so far. What’s in it? Glass plate negatives, 19 in all. Used between the late 1880s and the late 1920s, dry plate negatives have a light sensitive emulsion of silver salts on a thin glass plate. As more convenient and less fragile films were adopted, they faded from use. From that era, this little box sat intact in a darkroom on the third floor of Burke Administration building at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. They were discovered sometime during the era of Dr. Dwight Strickler, an Olivet faculty member from the 1940s through the ‘70s and the main photographer for school events and yearbooks, who worked in the darkroom. At some point, the box made its way to the campus archives, where it remained until just recently.
After the 1906 fire, Marsile Alumni Hall, was built on the St. Viator campus. It was named for the second college president, Rev. Moses Marsile, CSV, who served from 1879 -1907. St. Viator College ultimately closed in 1938. When Olivet Nazarene College took over the campus in 1940, the former Marsile Hall became their Burke Administration building. Knowing that Olivet is the site of the former St. Viator College (1868-1938), Simmons delivered the glass plates to Teresa Culver, the receptionist at neighboring Maternity BVM Catholic Church, which has been administered by the Viatorians since 1865. With her delivery, Simmons included a CD, not only of a scan of each negative, but also edited versions of each image where the lighting and contrast had been improved and spots removed. Rev. Richard Pighini, CSV, pastor, felt the glass plate negatives and images should be housed with the entire St. Viator College collection and that’s how they made their way to the Viatorian Community Archives in Arlington Heights. It was like finding buried treasure. After closely looking at the images, these glass plates can be dated from the late 1890s to the early 1900s. Only one Viatorian priest has been identified so far — so that’s where our readers come in. Many of the images are of students or townspeople. If you are an armchair history detective or family genealogist, please look at all 19 images posted on the Viatorian Archives blog to see if you recognize anyone from your family lineage or town: http://archives-news.viatorians.com/?p=751 Hoping to hear from you with your sleuthing results! Joan Sweeney, Viatorian Community Archivist and Associate email@example.com
Unidentified young cadet standing behind the old St. Viator College buildings (domed chapel, far left) Notice how the emulsion around the edges of the glass plate is flaking away.
Two priests and group of young men posing behind the old St. Viator campus, chapel (far left). Fr. James F. Ryan, CSV, standing 2nd from right.
Group of unidentified men and priest (back row center) standing behind St. Viator College buildings. Maternity BVM Church steeple (far right)
In Memoriam... his teachers. Within one year of graduating, Fr. Linnan took his first vows as a Viatorian, in 1952. In fact, Fr. Linnan was among the first class of seminarians to profess their vows in what is now the Viatorian Province Center, though at the time it was called Our Lady of Arlington Novitiate. As a young seminarian, Fr. Linnan earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Georgetown University, before earning his religious education and ultimately a doctorate in sacred theology from Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, in 1965. It was in Belgium where he was ordained, in 1961. Upon returning to the United States, Fr. Linnan taught at the Viatorian Seminary in Washington DC as well as at the Washington Theological Consortium, where he served as dean, associate director and treasurer.
Fr. John Linnan, CSV 1934 – 2018
The Viatorian Community lost a scholar and a gentleman with “He was one of its the death of Fr. John “Jack” Linnan. He passed away Jan. 15 after Fr. Don Senior and Fr. John Linnan, CSV, share founders,” says his a laugh coming out of Catholic Theological Union, a long illness. Fr. Linnan was 83. classmate and lifewhere they both served as president. long friend, Br. Don “We all knew him to be one of the intellectuals of the Province,” said Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, who preached at his funeral Mass. Houde, CSV. “It was right after Vatican II and Jack believed that “He was a graduate of Georgetown and Louvain, as well as a pro- if religious communities collaborated together in an academic fessor of theology and academic dean at Washington Theological setting, it would benefit all of them.” Union and president of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.” Yet to Fr. Linnan’s many legions of fans, it always came back to his faith and how he spread the gospel message. “For Jack, the faith was not a mere set of ideas as described in the creed,” Fr. Francis said. “Rather, it was the day to day way in which we live our lives, inspired by the model that Jesus set for us. It was a model that includes suffering and dying, but also rising to new and abundant life.” Terry Granger, president of the Bishop McNamara Catholic School system in Bourbonnais and Kankakee recalled that it was Fr. Linnan who gave him his start as an administrator, back when he hired him as principal of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School in Bourbonnais. “The parishioners loved him,” Granger said, “especially his preaching. He was a scriptural scholar.” Fr. Linnan was born and raised in Springfield, IL. He first met the Viatorians at Cathedral Boys High School, where they were
A rare assignment took Fr. Linnan out west, where from 1972 to 1974 he served as pastor of Our Lady of Wisdom Parish, as well as the director of the Center for Religion and Life, both in Reno, Nevada. But his religious community called him back in 1974 to serve as assistant provincial, which he did until 1979. That same year, he began his long career at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, first as an associate professor of theology and ultimately named its president in 1981. Fr. Linnan led the institution for the next six years. Colleagues credit him with guiding its growth into the largest graduate school of theology and ministry in the country, while fostering its global reputation for academic and pastoral excellence. Fr. Linnan’s last assignment was as pastor of Maternity BVM Parish, which he led from 2001-2004, and he continued to live there in retirement until 2011, when he moved to the Province Center. Eileen O’Grady Daday
McNamara High School, where he served as a teacher and ultimately as principal. Fr. Mayer spent his last years in education at Griffin High School in Springfield, where he served as a teacher from 1971 to 1978. It was then, after more than 20 years of teaching high school students that he changed course and turned to teaching adult education. His ministerial assignments included: St. Bede Priory in Eau Claire, WI, the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI, and St. Mary and St. Eulalia Catholic Churches in Winchester, MA.
Fr. William Mayer, CSV 1929 - 2017 The Viatorian Community lost one of its elder statesmen in December, with the passing of Fr. William Mayer, CSV. He was the second oldest Viatorian in the Chicago Province and in his 70th year of religious life. Fr. Mayer passed away Dec. 9. He was 88. “Bill spent his years of ministry in faith formation and education for teens, young adults and adults,” said Fr. Mick Egan, CSV, provincial. “He was truly a catechist in the tradition of our founder, Father Querbes, and he embraced the mission of our congregation with enthusiasm and dedication.” Fr. Mayer grew up attending two Viatorian high schools, Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield for three years before graduating from St. Patrick High School in Kankakee in 1945. His vocation to religious life and the priesthood led him to enter the Viatorian Community, one year out of high school, in 1946. During his early years as a religious brother, Fr. Mayer earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy at St. Ambrose College in Davenport, IA, and later a master’s in sociology and Catholic social principles from Catholic University of America in Washington. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1956 and he started the first half of his ministry in secondary education. Fr. Mayer taught at Spalding Institute in Peoria and St. Philip High School in Chicago, before returning to his alma mater, the re-named Bishop
Left Couple: Ron and Roberta Renville of Kankakee, Fr. William Mayer and Joe and Lynne Martino of St. Anne.
His final residence was at Church of the Holy Ghost Church in Wood Dale, IL, where he taught adult classes from 1991 to 1996, and remained involved as a sacramental minister until 2005, when he retired. Fr. Mayer enjoyed hearing from former students and parishioners in his retirement. An unexpected surprise came in the summer of 2015, when a pair of couples he had married more than 50 years earlier at St. Patrick Church in Kankakee, arrived to visit with him. Both couples, Joe and Lynne Martino of St. Anne, IL, and Ron and Roberta Renville of Kankakee brought their wedding albums, where Fr. Mayer played a prominent role. Fr. Mayer took the visit in stride, graciously posing for photos and reminiscing over the old days. But in his own understated way, he seemed to enjoy knowing how much these couples remembered the parish priest who had married them. His lifelong friend since his days at Catholic University, Sr. Clare Fitzgerald, SSND, of Boston, corresponded with Fr. Mayer often during his ministry and she summed up his thoughts this way: “He loved being a Viatorian.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
Viatorians Welcoming the Stranger explicitly stated in the Scriptures: “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, you have done to me.” (Mt. 25:40)
A father tenderly touches hands — through the glass— with his child before being deported. (Photo credit:
It is one of the most heart wrenching of Viatorian ministries: One Friday morning a month in Kankakee, Viatorians accompany families as they say goodbye to their loved ones before they are shackled, loaded onto a bus and driven to the airport to be taken back to their respective countries. Viatorians, along with other ministers, offer support to distraught family members before boarding the buses themselves, to offer prayers for strength to those chained to their seats and about to begin a perilous journey. This outreach min- Buses with people being deported that day, depart istry to immigrants, the Kankakee County Detention Center, run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) draws its roots from on a recent Friday. Inset: Those being deported a core principle of the are chained to their seats and placed behind bars Viatorian mission: to in the bus. “embrace those who are accounted of little importance.” The Viatorian Provincial Council provides the leadership, making public statements supporting immigration reform and denouncing inhumane and xenophobic practices. They also affirm individual Viatorians who are engaged in face-toface ministry with the undocumented. While acknowledging the legal argument, Viatorians believe that the basic right of being able to provide for one’s family must take precedence, especially if the family experiences the threat of poverty and violence within their homeland. For the majority, these immigrants make a meager living in providing for their families in this country, while at the same time hope their children will have a better life. Viatorians have made their commitment to the undocumented based on human value that all people are created in God’s image as
A recent venture is the Viator House of Hospitality. Located in suburban Chicago, it serves undocumented young men who have aged out of youth detention centers and would otherwise be incarcerated in adult de- At the Viator House of Hospitality, Br. Michael Gosch, tention centers. The CSV, and Sr. Rayo Cuaya-Castillo meet with a young resident. house has a capacity for 22 young men. Two Viatorians administer the house while other Viatorians volunteer through tutoring, cooking and driving. Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, president of Catholic Theological Union, has facilitated the renting of one of the floors of CTU’s residential building for immigrant families and those ready to venture out into independent living. For Viatorian parishes located in Spanish speaking areas, Masses are celebrated in Spanish. At St. Viator Parish in Chicago, a group participates in Pastoral Migratoria, where immigrants reach out to other immigrants, offering them emotional and spiritual support as well as explaining their rights. Viatorians in the Kankakee area offer similar support to agricultural workers who live in fear that they may be suddenly apprehended, deported and ripped apart from their families. In carrying out this ministry, Viatorians collaborate with Priests for Justice for Immigrants, and Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants, two organizations within the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Solidarity and Human Dignity. These groups organize press conferences, prayer vigils, homilies and meetings with legislators as well as “DACA Sundays” to highlight the need for immigration reform. Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, organized these “DACA Sundays,” where he preached at parishes about the need for immigration reform and invited a “Dreamer” to share their story. Hearing the young person talk about their hopes and dreams — while living under the tension that they may be deported to a country they know very little about — has motivated many people to examine the values expressed by our policies. These actions that Viatorians are taking are varied in order to respond to these complex issues effectively and humanely. For those unable to participate directly, they lift up this ministry in prayer, as they look forward to a better world that is grounded in Gospel values.
Fr. Thomas Long, CSV
Viatorian Associates Create New Outreach with Tax Help Associates Jackie Dupon and John Dussman concede that they are not accountants by profession. John works in sales with the newspaper industry, while Jackie made her career as a physical therapist before retiring. “But I was a math major before I switched to physical therapy,” Jackie quips. “Years ago, my father did this (offered free tax preparations for seniors). I figured I should follow in the family footsteps.”
(L-R) Lorenzo Segura, Ellen Ryske, Colleen Connolly, Associate John Dussman, Associate Jackie Dupon and Lou Puhl
Associate John Dussman (seated) helps a parishioner file his tax return
Both associates became certified by the IRS as tax preparers and for the second straight year every Saturday morning as volunteers with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) in the school cafeteria of St. Viator Parish in Chicago. The VITA program offers free tax help to people who need assistance in preparing their tax returns, especially those with disabilities and/or limited English. VITA is one of the initiatives set up through the IRS’ Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communication (SPEC) program. The IRS partners with many faith-based and nonprofit organizations, whose volunteers help individuals access their available tax benefits, thereby serving as a starting point that can lead to stronger financial security.
Last year, volunteers at St. Viator helped 35 parishioners. This year that number jumped up to 52 individuals that they helped file taxes. The group also included Lorenzo Segura, Colleen Connolly, Ellen Ryske, Lou Puhl, while Associate Ivy Vera helped with scheduling appointments and Associate Enrique Valdovinos translated for the Spanish speaking parishioners. “It took a leap of faith to get it started,” John says. “First, Fr. (Patrick) Render believed in us and then we were able to get a social justice grant from the Viatorians to buy the computer equipment.” The grant enabled them to obtain five laptops and a printer; the parish provided the space to meet with clients and to store their equipment. “We have been looking for ways to extend our outreach beyond our parishioners and out into the neighboring community,” says Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, pastor, “and so this was a wonderful way to do that. “Not only do they assist people with the preparation,” Fr. Render adds, “but they also find opportunities to save the taxpayers money and to earn them higher returns.” These tax preparers faithfully arrived every Saturday morning, from the beginning of February through April 14, and sometimes staying four to five hours in an effort to help parishioners file their taxes. “We do their taxes whether they are documented citizens or not,” John adds. “As long as they have their individual tax payer identification member (issued by the IRS), we’re there to help.”
Volunteer Ellen Ryske helps a young woman file her taxes
Volunteers like Jackie and John provided free, basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
John credits Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, with giving him the idea to offer this outreach service to the immigrant community. Br. Gosch serves as the Coordinator of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation for the Viatorian Community, and all of his efforts — whether for immigrants, working against human trafficking or in fighting hunger — are geared toward the Viatorian charism, of “embracing those accounted of little importance.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
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Newsletter – Spring 2018
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Around the Province... Exactly 50 years after he began his Viatorian ministry — as a teacher — Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, was selected by the Archdiocese of Chicago to receive one of its “Heart of the School” awards. Specifically, Fr. Render was named one of two “Heart of Leadership” winners for his role in leading St. Viator Catholic School in Chicago. He was nominated by faculty memFr. Patrick Render, CSV, is a regular visitor to St. Viator Parish School. bers and his was among 500 nominations submitted from the more than 200 archdiocesan schools. In the end, he was the only religious to be among the recipients. “Fr. Pat has proven to be a leader who constantly works to motivate our school towards excellence, faith and service,” said Ms. Colleen Brewer, principal, in announcing the award to school families. Fr. Render received his award at a Heart of the School awards luncheon on May 10 in Chicago. Congratulations, Fr. Render!
(L-R) Fr. Arnold Perham, Fr. Daniel Lydon, Bishop Christopher Glancy and Fr. Daniel Hall
The Viatorians’ only active bishop, the Most Rev. Christopher Glancy, CSV, celebrated an all-school Mass at Saint Viator High School on April 18, it was a homecoming of sorts for him. He began
his Viatorian ministry and teaching career at Saint Viator, exactly 35 years ago, when he taught religion and social studies during the 1983-84 academic year. Bishop Glancy was joined by Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, Fr. Dan Lydon, CSV, and Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, who concelebrated the Mass with him. The Mass was offered as part of the Easter season, and he offered this advice to students: learn about your faith, attend Mass regularly, and be of service to others, now and for the rest of your lives. Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV, spent time in the Las Vegas area, helping out with celebrating Masses at St. Viator Catholic Community and at St. Thomas More Catholic Community. He returned to the Province Center just in time for March Madness and the Cinderella run of the Loyola University Ramblers. “For all the Viatorians who went to Loyola, and there were a lot of us, we’re cheering for the Ramblers,” Fr. Van Wiel said. Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV By his estimate, most of the Viatorians who entered the community after 1945, earned a degree from Loyola, and all of the Viatorians who entered after 1960 attended Loyola. Some, like Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV and Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, were there during 1963, when the Ramblers went to the Final Four — and won the NCAA championship. However, they all agree: What made this year’s ride so memorable was Sr. Jean Dolores Schmidt, BVM, and all she did to heighten awareness of those in (L-R) former Br. Robert Rechner, Fr. Charles Bolser and Fr. Thomas Long religious life.