Provincial Perspective Year of Consecrated Life With the words “Wake Up The World,” Pope Francis announced that 2015 would be a special year celebrating Consecrated Life. He envisioned it as a year that would highlight the many women and men who have committed themselves to embrace the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience for the sake of the Reign of God and the ministry of the Church.
to a life of living the evangelical councels in service to the Church, the People of God. As noted in this newsletter, the date for the Viatorian Open House is Sunday, July 12. Plans are being developed to invite our friends and neighbors to come to the Province Center in Arlinton Heights, to celebrate Mass, take a tour, and hear about the mission and life of professed Viatorians (brothers and priests). The Province Center is the headquarters for the Viatorians in the United States and also serves as the primary retirement residence for our senior members. We look forward to opening our doors and welcoming family, friends and neighbors alike.
As Viatorians, we join with Pope Francis, “by professing evangelical counsels, and thus are consecrated persons who not only strive to make Christ the whole meaning of our lives, but strive to reproduce in ourselves as far as possible that form of life which He, as the Son of God, accepted when He entered this world.” We celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life filled with hope and joy. This special year is an opportunity for all religious communities to share their story and celebrate their unique charism with all whom they encounter.
When Pope Francis said “Wake Up The World,” he called us to shake things up, to announce the presence of the Lord in our midst, and move from the safety of our comfort zones to the center of the mission of Jesus Christ.
In the United States, religious congregations have been asked to come together to celebrate this special year through three unique opportunities: • Day of Welcome and Open House – opening our doors to invite others to see how we live and to share a day of hospitality
As Viatorians, we do this by raising up communities of faith and embrace those who are ‘often accounted of little importance in our world.’ I believe that our founder, Fr. Louis Querbes, would rejoice in this most special Year of Consecrated Life. We join in his prayer: “Adored and loved be Jesus.”
• Day of Service – inviting others to join with us to serve thoseowho are suffering and in need • Day of Prayer – inviting others to join with us as we give thanks to God for the gift of our vocation and to pray that our works might be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Together, we pray that the Spirit might call forth new members to join our ranks as brothers, sisters and priests committed
In St. Viator and Fr. Querbes,
Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Provincial – Province of Chicago
Provincial: Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV
In this Issue: 2 Provincial’s Perspective: Year of Consecrated Life 3 Consecrated Life: It Starts with an Invitation 4 Mentor of the Year: Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV 5 Q & A with Viatorian Novice Br. Peter Lamick 6 Las Vegas Principal Reaches 50 Years in Catholic Education
7 St. Viator Parish: Reborn with Rich Diversity and Culture
From the Archives: Celebrating our beginnings - 150 Years Later
Editor: Fr. Thomas E. Long, CSV
Director of Communications: Eileen O’Grady Daday
Associate John Berger Rev. Robert F. Cooney, CSV
13 14 15
Colegio San Viator Earns Four-Star Rating
Groundbreaking Year Continues at Saint Viator High School
8 Celebrating Our Jubilarians Transitions: Viatorian Pastors Begin New Terms
Raising up Communities of Faith
Around the Province Friday Morning Vigils: Praying for Immigrant Families
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 Associate Joan Sweeney Layout and Design: Dianna Ehrenfried, Visualedge, Inc. Email: email@example.com
Consecrated Life: It Starts with an Invitation The formula for initiating conversation with young people around the topic of vocations is both straightforward and effective.
Ask Lots of Questions When invited to host a conversation with grade-school children, we begin with this question: “By a show of hands, how many of you have a vocation?” When few hands go up, we rephrase the question this way, “By a show of hands, how many of you received the Sacrament of Baptism?” As more hands go up, the stage is set for a lively discussion about faith, life and everything in between. Our role in this process is to ask questions in such a way that they recognize that the Holy Spirit is present and active in their lives.
Keep it Simple Our ability to take seriously the responses the young people offer will shape both our lives and the lives of those we serve. Why is that? People of all ages are looking for someone to help them discover the ways in which their life and faith experiences point to God. More than easy answers, they want someone they can trust to accompany them on their journey. They want help discerning how God is calling them, who God is calling them to be and what God is calling them to do in life. As Pope Francis points out, our lives are changed through such encounters as we make “present the fragrance of Christ’s closeness and his personal gaze” (The Joy of the Gospel, 169).
Share Your Story To bring Jesus near in this way, we need to be ready to draw on the many ways God encounters us throughout the day, to share how the Holy Spirit is active in our lives today. During a recent classroom visit, a 4th grader posed this question to a panel, “What difference does being a priest make in your daily life?” The priest standing
Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, asks questions before offering a presentation on vocations to a class at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee
beside me offered a brief encounter of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He began, “As a priest, I see God healing people who hurt whenever I sit down and listen to their stories.” He shared his story and, in the process, he pointed those present to God. The ability to succinctly share aspects of our current spiritual life offers an opportunity for young people to recognize God’s Spirit in real time through the experiences of someone they can trust. So ask lots of questions, keep it simple and share your story! The questions you ask, the presence you offer and the stories you tell might just be the ones that set in motion the process of discernment for the people you encounter. Bart Hisgen, Assistant Director of Vocation Ministry
Viatorian Community Open House Ever wonder what lies beyond the gateway to the Viatorian Provincial Center in Arlington Heights? Now is your chance. Join members of the Viatorian Community for an afternoon open house, when we throw open our doors for all to learn more about religious life.
What: Viatorian Provincial Center Open House When: 2-6 p.m. July 12 Where: 1212 E. Euclid Ave. in Arlington Heights Cost: Free
More information: www.viatorians.com 3
• Celebrate with members of the Viatorian Community at an outdoor 2 p.m. Mass • Tour the Province Center building, including its chapel with the creation stained glass windows, see its many pieces of art work and sculpture, visit the community garden which grows vegetables for area food pantries, and explore the provincial grounds • Attend presentations about the congregation’s 150 years of ministering in this country and learn about some of its current ministries • Meet and talk with various Viatorian associates, brothers and priests
Mentor of the Year: Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, quietly reports to Saint Viator High School every morning, settling in at its math lab, where he tutors students and designs projects for its Querbes Scholars. Last month, the 85-year old priest found himself front and center before a sold-out crowd at the village of Arlington Heights’ Hearts of Gold dinner, as the first award winner of the evening, Mentor of the Year. This was the 17th annual dinner, which was started by members of the village’s Special Events Commission as a way to celebrate unsung heroes in the community. Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, left, enjoyed the awards dinner with his sister, Faustine Perham and Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV
“Someone noticed you doing something out of the ordinary,” said Steve Fromm, chairman of the Special Events Commission. “But your actions weren’t ordinary; they’re exceptional.”
it comes as no surprise that he has transitioned to the iPad technology just as easily.
Although Fr. Perham has been named Teacher of the Year and drawn recognition from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Math Teachers’ Association of Catholic High Schools in Chicago, his daily tutoring long after he retired, has flown under the radar.
He designs projects for Querbes Scholars that push them to use their tablets to research projects such as the rate at which the Transcontinental Railway was built — rail by rail — back in the 1900s, and this year’s project, which asks them to determine descriptor values for unusual shapes, such as a maple leaf.
“I get these nomination forms every year, but I never want to single out just one teacher. We’re all educators,” Mrs. Manno said. “But when I see Fr. Perham come faithfully every morning, it just hit me how much he reflects our mission — both academically and spiritually.”
Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president of Saint Viator High School, attended the dinner, as well as Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, Fr. John Milton, CSV, Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, several teaching colleagues, and Fr. Perham’s sister, Faustine Perham, a published mathematician herself.
Fr. Perham began teaching mathematics at Saint Viator High School in 1962, one year after it opened. While he formally retired in 2001, officials said he continues to inspire students and colleagues alike.
“I can’t think of anyone who deserves this recognition more,” Fr. Brost said. “You won’t find a kinder, wiser, more intelligent person in this building. He shines God’s bright light, daily.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
“Fr. Perham has mentored every teacher in the department through the years,” Mrs. Manno added. “His enthusiasm for mathematics and his dedication to all students continues to make him one of the finest educators ever in our building. “At 85 years old,” she said, “his very presence in the building challenges all of us to be better educators and learners.” Fr. Perham embraced technology early in his teaching career, integrating computers into freshman and sophomore geometry, and introducing upperclassmen to coding used in computer programming. Consequently, Mrs. Eileen Manno, principal of Saint Viator High School, nominated Fr. Perham for the award.
with Novice Br. Peter Lamick ”
Q. You’ve already spent the last year as a pre-novice. What
When did you start thinking about religious life? Was there a defining moment, or did it come about gradually?
did that entail?
A. I lived in community with Viatorians at the high school,
I was in religion class as a high school senior when I had to write a letter to my future self in 10 years. I was not sure of what to write and just stared at the page for a while. Then I experienced this overwhelming feeling with the thought that I was meant to give my entire life to helping others. At the time I was not quite sure what this specifically meant. During my freshmen year of college it was a bit of a culture shock to discover how few of my peers practiced our faith. Towards the end of my freshmen year this realization prompted me to rethink that moment I had as a high school senior. I thought that perhaps God was calling me to help others as a priest. Since then this has resurfaced time and again in different experiences.
I’m guessing that it was when you attended Saint Viator High School that you first met the Viatorians, but was there one in particular who influenced you?
Saint Viator High School has been a part of my life since I was a young boy, but it was not until I actually attended, that I personally met the Viatorians. I came to know Fr. Dan Hall who was my football coach for two seasons. He was, and still is, an important role model for me, and showed me how faith is a central part of being a man. As I discerned religious life I could not imagine myself not being part of the community he was in.
What were you involved with in high school — and college? Were there any particular activities, or classes, that helped reinforce your decision?
The experiences I had playing football in high school helped instill critical values within me. It feels odd to say that a sport has played such an important role, but God finds a way to reach us no matter where we are or what we are doing. In football I discovered I loved being a part of a community with a common mission, and when you add in Christ, in many ways this resembles religious life.
I know that you considered other religious communities as well as possibly becoming a diocesan priest. What was it about the Viatorians that drew you to them?
St. Viator Parish in Chicago, St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Las Vegas, and Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais. I lived in each of the three regions where the Viatorians serve in this country and was given an opportunity to meet and get to know most of them. I was also provided opportunities to participate in a number of different ministries. The Viatorian pre-novitiate is quite unique, since it is not uncommon in other communities to live in one place with exposure to one type of ministry.
What happens now that you’ve entered the novitiate? How structured is it?
I will be living at the Province Center with retired Viatorians for the next year. The year is intended to provide the space for a novice to deepen his relationship with Christ and a deeper discernment of religious life. I have a novice master, Fr. John Van Wiel, who will accompany me through my personal discernment throughout the year. Some of the retired Viatorians will teach me about the community’s history and spirituality, along with Scripture. One day a week I will have the opportunity to do some ministry, but the year itself is more oriented towards contemplation rather than active ministry.
What happens after you’ve completed your year and a day in the novitiate?
A. At the end of the year I
will take my first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience which extend for three years. I will also be given my first assignment for a year. Where or what this ministry will be I do not know. I do know it will be a continuation of my discernment, though more focused on what ministry God is calling me to.
My family has been connected to this community throughout my entire life. This relationship with the Viatorian Community played the greatest role in my discernment. My discernment was personal but it was not private, as my family Eileen O’Grady Daday was part of the process as well. Through our conversations we came to believe the Viatorians seemed to be the right choice for me because of my strong connection with them through Saint Viator High School. 5
Las Vegas Principal Reaches 50 Years in Catholic Education Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, pastor, thanked Mrs. Daulton at the school’s fundraiser in November and he already nominated her to be honored at this year’s dinner. They arrived the same year and have worked to build the school’s academic standards and gospel values, together. “Thank you for making St. Viator School a community of faith, knowledge and service,” Fr. Rinn said, “and for raising the bar in Catholic education in Las Vegas.” When Mrs. Daulton first arrived in Las Vegas, she brought a wealth of experience. She dates the start of her teaching back to 1965, when the Office of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati offered to fund two years of college in exchange for teaching at a Catholic school for two years. “Coming from a family of 10 children, and wanting to be a teacher, I took the offer,” Mrs. Daulton says. “At that time, I didn’t know it would lead to another 48 years. I think I kept my promise!” Mrs. Daulton’s first 20 years were spent teaching at St. Lawrence School in Cincinnati, where she returned just six years after graduating from its junior high. After obtaining a Master’s Degree in counseling in 1985, she began a career in administration, serving as principal of Queen of Peace School in Hamilton, Ohio. Near the end of her career there, Mrs. Daulton was nominated by her peers to receive the National Catholic Education Association Distinguished Principal Award, given to only one principal in the nation’s 12 districts. Mrs. Daulton next spent three years working for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, as assistant superintendent of schools. “This was a slight detour in my career, but it gave me the opportunity to work in many schools,” she says, “and learn even more about what it takes to be a successful Catholic school.” Her sister’s decision to move to Las Vegas in 1990, proved to be a pivotal one — for Mrs. Daulton and ultimately the St. Viator Catholic Community. “I told her I would move only if I found a ministry in a Catholic school,” Mrs. Daulton says.
Mrs. Kathleen Daulton arrived at St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas in 1999, the same year as Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV.
Her resume found its way to the Archdiocese of Las Vegas and the superintendent of schools, Ellen Ayobu, who told Mrs. Daulton about the opening at St. Viator School. “Mrs. Daulton brings a wonderful blend of academic leadership and Catholic faith to St. Viator School,” says Maddie Gugino, a parent and member of the school’s foundation board. Parents appreciate the school’s dedicated faculty as well as support professionals, including a full-time counselor, nurse, special education teacher and other support staff and teaching assistants. Mrs. Daulton has guided the school through three sccessful accreditation proceedings through the Western Catholic Educational Association, including its most recent one in 2014, where the school was evaluated as highly effective in nearly every domain. “Fr Rinn and I have strived to fulfill the Viatorians’ educational mission, and what I believe is the mission of all Catholic schools,” Mrs. Daulton says, “to provide a quality Catholic education where the Gospel message is lived learned and shared in a safe learning environment.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
St. Viator Parish: Reborn with Rich Diversity and Culture Some compare the Church, with its rich diversity of peoples and cultures, to a tapestry made up of many different threads each with its unique color and texture. That image reflects St. Viator Parish in Chicago. In the 127 years that the Viatorians have ministered there, the area has seen many different nationalities and cultures move in and out of the area, each with its own identity but all united in faith and religion, expressed in the parish setting. The most recent influx into this Northwest Chicago neighborhood has been the Spanish-speaking immigrants from Central and South America. Among the many gifts they bring is their deep faith expressed in lively music and animated worship. The Sunday Spanish Mass fills the church with people enthusiastically praising God through word and song. Every Thursday, a charismatic group meets where they deepen their faith through Scripture, song and testimony and then reflect their faith through various service projects within the parish. The parish leaders, Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, pastor, and Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, associate pastor, are responding to them in making the parish a welcoming parish for all people. Fr. Bolser is taking Spanish lessons and Fr. Mesh is a native Spanish speaker from Belize who recently arrived from his native country and has immersed himself fully into this new chapter of his ministry. Flowing from the Spanish Mass on Sunday, Fr. Moses introduced another Spanish Mass on Wednesday evening. The first Mass had six people attending, now it surpasses 100. The singing began a cappella; now a group is forming a choir.
Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, has begun teaching English as a Second Language classes at St. Viator Parish in Chicago.
and two items surfaced: learning English and help in navigating the governmental bureaucracy. In response, the parish was able to secure legal services from an attorney and work with the Archdiocese to offer individual help with paperwork. Fr. Mesh began teaching an English class, which meets twice a week for two hours at the parish. “They are very faithful in coming — and very eager to learn,” Fr. Mesh says. “We strive to provide a relaxed and enjoyable environment where learning takes place.” The class began with 18 and soon grew to 22. On one of the other two nights, people engage in crafts while they are learning English. Some embroider, others knit while still others crochet. “These activities build a sense of community,” Fr. Mesh adds, “which gives life to the parish and to the Church as a whole.” Fr. Thomas Long, CSV
The immigration policies directly impact many parishioners. Working in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Pastoral Migratoria program is very active. The program provides leadership training in such areas as public speaking and conducting meetings. They provide accompaniment to families who have lost members to deportation as well as providing information about current governmental policies. Lastly, they participate in activities to advocate for human rights and comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform. The parish coordinator for Pastoral Migratoria conducted a parish survey 7
Celebrating our Jubilarians... Fr. John Eck, CSV, will celebrate 60 years of religious life on Sept. 8. He entered the Viatorian Community as a graduate of Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield, Illinois. His years of study included obtaining a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Loyola University in Chicago and a master’s degree in counseling from Western Illinois University, before studying at the Viatorian seminary, both in Evanston, IL and Washington, D.C., in preparation for ordination. From 1963 to 1966, Fr. Eck taught at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights and at Spalding Institute in Peoria. His first long assignment came at Alleman High School in Rock Island, where from 1966 to 1978 he served as counselor and religion teacher. For the next five years, he was a member of the formation team for the Province of Chicago, before serving as a counselor and teacher, from 1983 to 1990 at the Prologue High School in Chicago. From there, he changed the focus of his work to pastoral activities, serving at St. Joseph Parish in Springfield, at St. Viator Parish in Chicago as parochial vicar and finally as pastor of St. Viator in Chicago, from 2005 to 2009. He then retired to St. Patrick’s Parish in Kankakee, where he continues to reside and offers sacramental help to area parishes. Throughout his years as a priest in the Viatorian Community, Fr. Eck has been known as one who has a special calling to care for the poor and downtrodden.
St. Viator as its pastor, from 1986 to 1996. After a sabbatical year, he returned to St Viator in Las Vegas where he served until retiring in 2013. Fr. Haesaert continues to minister at the Viatorian parishes in Las Vegas and attends to the needs of his friend, Fr. Anderson. Fr. Thomas Kass, CSV, celebrates 50 years of religious life — and a lifetime of academic pursuits. He completed his bachelor’s degree in English at Loyola University, Chicago, in 1968, before earning a master’s degree in English language and literature and completing post graduate studies in English Literature at the University of Chicago. Between 1973 and 1976, he completed seminary courses for ordination at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, before spending a year at Harvard doing graduate studies in educational psychology. From 1984 to 1989 he worked to obtain his doctorate in English literature and language at Loyola University in Chicago. In between his formal studies, Fr. Kass spent many years as a teacher, including assignments at Lincoln Land College in Springfield, at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights and at Griffin High School in Springfield. After earning his doctorate, Fr. Kass headed east to St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, where he was an assistant professor of English, from 1989 to 1996, and ultimately named an associate professor. He continued to teach at the college until 2008, when he was awarded the status of professor emeritus. In retirement, Fr. Kass returned to Chicago and served as director of novices and pre-novices for the Community. “I am grateful to the Viatorian Community for expanding my vision of ministry possibilities and for supporting me in concretizing those possibilities in my life.”
Fr. William Haesaert, CSV, celebrates 50 years of religious life on Sept. 1. He graduated from Alleman High School in Rock Island, where he found his friend, model and mentor, in Fr. Edward Anderson, CSV. Today he says, “All that I am is a blessing from God. My reflections sum up an attitude of gratitude for the support I have received from my family and from the Viatorians, who are my second family.” In preparation for his life of ministry he completed seminary studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, from 1976 to1979, earning a Master’s of Divinity degree. In addition, he later studied at Springfield College in Illinois, St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, and the University of Notre Dame. In between his advanced studies, he served at Griffin High School in Springfield, Bethany Home in Moline, II, at St. Pius X Parish in Rock Island, and St. Ambrose Church in Milan, II. Fr. Haesaert served his deaconate year at St. Viator Parish in Chicago and the next five years as parochial vicar at St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas. He returned to Chicago to lead
Fr. C. Gregory Jones, CSV, will celebrate 25 years of religious life as a Viatorian on Aug. 6. “These 25 wonderful years have flown by! One word sums up my life as a Viatorian: blessed.” His high school years were spent at Seoul American High School in South Korea and at Salesian High School in Detroit. For undergraduate work, he attended Quincy College in Quincy, Illinois, the University of Maryland extension in Bangkok, Thailand and Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Fr. Jones completed his seminarian studies from 1979 to 1983, at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, where he specialized in pastoral counseling and ultimately
Transitions: Viatorian Pastors Begin New Terms After 14 years as pastor of more than 6,000 families at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, is taking up a new challenge. In August, he will take over as Fr. Patrick Render, CSV pastor of St. Viator Parish in Chicago, replacing Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV,who is retiring.
earned a Master’s of Divinity degree. He returned to CTU for one year, from 1989- 90, to do graduate work in spirituality and catechesis, before teaching at Saint Viator High School, from 1990-1995. In 1996, he was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. Fr. Kass then served as parochial vicar at St. Viator Parish in Chicago until 1998. For the next three years, he served as chaplain at Southern Illinois University until 2001. He spent one year as parochial vicar at Guardian Angel Cathedral in Las Vegas, before heading east, where he served as director of Campus Ministry at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus from 2002 to 2005. The last 10 years he has worked passionately, advocating for the poorest of the poor in an organization called Food for the Poor. Fr. Jones supplements that role on weekends at parishes around the country, asking for funds to help support Viatorian mission endeavors around the world.
Fr. Render will be serving with Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, associate pastor. In preparation for his new role, Fr. Render will attend a Spanish immersion program in San Antonio, Texas. “St. Viator is one of the earliest parishes founded and staffed by the Viatorians in this country,” Fr. Render said to his parishioners. “I will be joining a long history of Viatorians who have served there for more than 125 years.
Fr. Edward Anderson, CSV, celebrates 70 years of religious life on Aug. 16. His journey began in 1945, when he came to the novitiate at Bourbonnais, Illinois from New York City. He completed undergraduate studies at St. Charles College in Maryland and DePaul University in Chicago, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He later did graduate work at both Fordham University in New York and the University of Illinois, and earned master’s degrees in education and sacred theology from the Catholic University of America in Washington. Between 1945 and 1969, Fr. Anderson taught at seven schools administered by the Viatorians: St. Joseph School for the Deaf and Stepinac High School, both in New York; Regina Angelorum Theological Seminary in Arlington Heights, Spalding Institute in Peoria, Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield, Alleman High School in Rock Island and Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas where he served as principal and superior. Fr. Anderson then served as provincial of the Chicago Province; he was the first Viatorian to be elected by his confreres — and not appointed. He led them from 1969 to 1974, and during these years, Fr. Anderson worked to change the status of the Arlington Heights property to allow for low and middle income families. It would become a landmark case, which ultimately went to the Supreme Court and was voted down. Fr. Anderson also was successful in taking advantage of an opportunity to buy into the Social Security plan that would give some retirement income to the members of the congregation. After leading his confreres as provincial, Fr. Anderson served as parochial vicar and pastor at St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas, from 1976 to 1980. He was then rector of Guardian Angel Cathedral in Las Vegas from 1983 to 1990, when he retired. Br. Donald Houde, CSV
Fr. Mick Egan, CSV
Fr. Render leaves St. Thomas More in good hands, however. In his place, Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, will take over as pastor, with Fr. Michael Keliher continuing as associate pastor, and several Viatorian associates serving on staff.
Fr. Egan arrived at St. Thomas More in the summer of 2013, after serving as president of Saint Viator High School for eight years. Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, also announced that Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, had been reappointed as pastor of St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas for another four years. Already, he has led the parish and its 2,000 families for 16 years.
Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, right with Fr. Thomas vonBehren, CSV, and Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV
He also announced that Fr. John Peeters, CSV, has been reappointed pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Kankakee, for the next four years, after serving there for the last eight years. Fr. John Peeters, CSV, left, with Associate David Surprenant
Collectively, these four pastors meet the pastoral needs of more than 10,000 families, and strive to advance the Viatorian mission, to “announce Jesus Christ and his gospel, and to raise up communities where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated.” “Thank you for your faithful service,” Fr. von Behren said in his provincial newsletter, “in the name of the Viatorian Community.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
Raising Up Communities of Faith In the Footsteps of Our Founder... Pope Francis proclaimed a “Year of Consecrated Life” beginning November 30, 2014 through February 2, 2016. He challenges religious to “Be Witnesses to a Different Way of Action”. He asked religious to study their “origins and history” and ask “Are [our ministries] suitable for … today’s society?” Viatorian history is one of responding to needs. Fr. Louis Querbes confronted poverty and illiterate youth in rural France. After prayerful reflection (1826-1830) he founded a “Pious Association of Teachers” and secured approval as a diocesan community in 1831. Later, in 1838, the Papacy confirmed his community as a Papal Congregation. Although diocesan authorities suppressed his concept of Brothers and “Aggreges” (lay men and women), Pope Gregory XVI confirmed “Association” in our canonical title. Lay Associates were reconstituted within the Viatorians in 1994. Fr. Querbes sent Viatorians to Canada in 1847 and 18 years later (1965) a priest and two brothers to the United States. Today Viatorians mission in 16 countries. We have adapted our ministries to local cultures, countries and customs. Our goal “to raise up communities where faith is lived, deepen and celebrated” to especially those “who are accounted of no importance in our world”. (C9) (1985) Chicago Viatorians have served the Church with parishes from the Kankakee River Valley, Springfield, Chicago, Nevada and even Kyoto, Japan, with missions in Colombia and Belize. We have responded to bishops’ requests for elementary/secondary schools, campus ministers, the military, VA, hospital and institutional chaplains. Saint Viator High School offers faith formation for youth from 21 parishes in 17 Northwest Cook and Lake Counties. Social justice is not new to Viatorians. St. Viator College with its Labor priests, was also noted for free scholarships and forgiving unpaid tuition. In the early 1930’s Viatorians operated a hostel for men transitioning from prison to rehabilitation and staffed Chicago Mercy Home for Boys (Chicago) and Star of Sea (Savannah, GA). In 2005 the Provincial Council began aligning Viatorians with social causes: poverty, torture, hunger, housing, and legislative issues. Locally, the Province supports the local homeless population through PADS at nearby St. James parish. Pope Francis writes: “No one contributes to the future alone.” Viatorians partnered with St. Mary’s (Lake Forest), Resurrectionists, Sisinawa Dominicans and Sisters of the Holy Child of Jesus
sponsoring a new high school, Christo Rey St. Martin College Prep, for Waukegan Hispanic youth. The 2012 General Chapter made “social justice” a Viatorian priority. In 2013, Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, was appointed Coordinator of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation launching many social initiatives. Today immigration is our major focus. We’re active in Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI) working with intergovernmental and multiple religious communities, especially the Sisters of Mercy. Some immigrants are directly deported; others are released to families and others are released but delayed for future court action. Viatorians participate in immigration deportation day prayer services; provide pastoral care for 400 detained immigrants in McHenry County Jail and with ICDI Post Detention Accompaniment. They escort released immigrants to their departure points, providing them food, clothing and a backpack of necessities for their travel. For detained immigrants temporary housing is an issue. Through initiatives of Br. Gosch, Viatorian Associates and the Sisters of Mercy, a house of hospitality for men has been established in Cicero and a house of hospitality for women, families and young people who just turned 18 is located at the Catholic Theological Union (CTU). As Pope Francis encourages, we Viatorians strive “to live the present with passion”. Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV
From the Archives: Celebrating our beginnings - 150 Years Later The year 1865 was an important one in the history of the United States. It was the year that the war among the states came to an end. It was also the year in which President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Both these events were of great importance in Kankakee County, since fathers and sons in the area fought and died in the Civil War and many residents had seen and known Lincoln of Illinois. It was the same year that the Clerics of St. Viator came to Bourbonnais, which would have far-reaching and lasting effects for that area and beyond. This summer the Viatorian Community is celebrating their founding in Bourbonnais. Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, the cradle of the Viatorian Community in the United States, will be hosting the 150th anniversary Mass. Bourbonnais was a prosperous French-Canadian settlement on the fertile prairies of northern Illinois. The village had a church, Maternity BVM, with a resident pastor, Rev. James Coté. It also had a girls’ school taught by the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, but it lacked a parochial school for boys. The Canadian Viatorian missioners came to fill that gap.
Centennial Mass in 1965 at Maternity BVM Church
Since those early days, the Viatorians have continued to serve in numerous towns and institutions in the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region, the Arlington Heights/Chicago region, the Henderson/ Las Vegas region and as missioners in Japan, Taiwan, Colombia and Belize.
The three missioners that arrived in 1865 from the Viatorian Province of Joliette in Canada were Fr. Pierre Beaudoin, CSV, Br. JeanBaptiste Bernard, CSV, and Br. Augustin Martel, CSV. Father Coté, who had been instrumental in bringing the Viatorians to Illinois, voluntarily resigned his pastorate. In his place, Fr. Beaudoin then took over as pastor of Maternity BVM Parish Br. Bernard, CSV, Rev. Father for 35 years until 1900, as well as Beaudoin, CSV and Br. Martel, CSV the directorship of the Viatorians in the U.S. until 1882 when it was established as a new province, the Province of Chicago. The first few years in Bourbonnais, Br. Bernard and Br. Martel taught local boys at a public school located on a site near the church. Fr. Beaudoin purchased the school building, in the name of the Viatorians, and it became an independent private school. This elementary school quickly expanded into secondary and college levels. After the arrival of the Rev. Thomas Roy, CSV, who was sent from Canada to be the first president, St. Viator College was established in 1868. Before long, seminary courses also were taught. The school’s reputation grew along with its student population. Six years later in 1874, the college was granted a university charter from the State of Illinois and it ranked high as an outstanding Midwestern Catholic college for 70 years.
Auxiliary Bishop Romeo Blanchette, in dark, gave the homily at the centennial Mass presided over by Bishop Martin McNamara, both of Joliet.
In 1965, at the 100-year anniversary celebration at Maternity BVM Church, Bishop Romeo Blanchette, Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet, gave the homily at the centennial Mass. “What a change Fr. Beaudoin would find, since 1865,” said Bishop Blanchette, a native of St. George, IL, who would go on to become the bishop of Joliet from 1966-1979.Bishop Blanchette’s sentiments still ring true in 2015. The village has grown in size, buildings on the property have come and gone, interiors redone, yet the Viatorians have remained steadfast to the cradle of their community, in Bourbonnais. Source: Bourbonnais Obedience (author unknown) and the sermon delivered on May 30, 1965 by Auxiliary Bishop Romeo Blanchette of Joliet. Joan Sweeney, Viatorian Associate and Archivist
In Memoriam... Viatorian Associate John Berger
Rev. Robert F. Cooney, CSV
(1927-2015) Viatorian Associate John Berger was something of a fixture at St. Viator Catholic Community: For more than 20 years, he walked or rode his bicycle to daily Mass. It was only in the last few years that he made a concession to his healthy lifestyle, and drove to church.
When the Viatorians opened Saint Viator High School back in 1961, they looked among their members for someone to develop the school’s library, and one name quickly surfaced: Rev. Robert F. Cooney, CSV.
Mr. Berger passed away Jan. 17 at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas, where he had volunteered as a relief caregiver in his retirement. He was 87. “He was always positive and talked with everyone,” says Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, pastor. “When I think of John, I think of a good man. He was a true gentleman.” Mr. Berger grew up in Bay City, MI, but he and his wife, Helene raised their family in Denver, where he worked in sales while she taught school. They moved to Las Vegas in 1979, after the youngest of their five children graduated from high school. The couple immediately joined St. Viator Catholic Community, where Mr. Berger served as an usher and reader, and an Eucharistic minister. They also continued to work, Helene as a teacher and John as a casino employee. According to family members, he often described his 10-year career in the casino industry, as his “dream job.” He worked in the poker room at the old MGM Hotel, and after three years, served as the poker room manager before he retired in 1990. He continued to stay busy in retirement, staying actively involved with church ministries as well as volunteering his time with patients and their families at Nathan Adelson Hospice and its in-patient hospice unit. Between his religious devotion at St. Viator and his volunteer hours with hospice patients, the Viatorian Community in Las Vegas asked him to consider joining them as a lay associate. Mr. Berger spent the traditional two years of preparation and discernment before making his first commitment in 2006. “The John Berger I knew was a man who truly lived his faith both in word and action,” says Fr. Lawrence Lentz, CSV, associate pastor at St. Viator and assistant provincial, who oversees the association program for the Viatorian Community. “He was a Christian gentleman who modeled the best of what it means to be an associate in simple and unassuming ways,” Fr. Lentz added. “But, what impressed me most about John, was that he was truly a holy man.” Mr. Berger was preceded in death by his wife, Helene, who passed away in 2013, months before the couple’s 60th anniversary. He is survived by his five children, 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A funeral Mass took place Jan. 24 at St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas. Fr. William Haesaert, CSV, presided.
He was — and still is — the only professed Viatorian with his master’s in library science, and he dutifully accepted, excited at the challenge of establishing a new library. Fr. Cooney led Saint Viator High School’s library for its first 10 years, before he left to run the library at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas from 1971-1973. His career would take him next into pastoral ministry and ultimately as a hospital chaplain, but no matter where his ministry took him, he was always surrounded by books. Fr. Cooney died Dec. 12, after a long illness. He was 87. Fr. Cooney was born Jun. 20, 1927 in Springfield, IL, the youngest of six children of William and Florence Fitzpatrick Cooney. His first introduction to the Viatorians came at Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield, where he graduated in 1945. He pronounced his first vows Feb. 5, 1951, his final vows Feb. 5, 1954 and was ordained a priest on June 9, 1957 in Techny, IL by Bishop William O’Brien. Fr. Cooney first taught at Spalding Institute, in Peoria, as well as St. James Trade School in Springfield and at Alleman High School, Rock Island, before working in his profession as a librarian. His confreres affectionately remember calling Fr. Cooney, “Coo,” and that nickname resonated with students who were under his charge. “Back then, the library was also used as a study hall,” says his niece, Elizabeth Englbrecht, who teaches chemistry at Saint Viator High School. “So, it was a tall order to keep the boys in order in the reverence of a library.” Br. Donald Houde, CSV, served as assistant principal during the school’s early years and he remembers the professionalism that Fr. Cooney brought to the library. “He wanted to establish a high quality research library,” Br. Houde says, “and one that would grow with the school.” Fr. Cooney spent the next 20 years, alternating between pastoral assignments — St. Viator Parish in Chicago, Maternity BVM in Bourbonnais and Guardian Angel Cathedral in Las Vegas — with hospital chaplaincy work at St. John’s Hospital, Springfield and St. Mary’s Hospital, Kankakee. “We remember him as a great family man,” said Fr. Robert Erickson, CSV, at his funeral, “and one who had a wonderfully rich diversity of ministry.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
Colegio San Viator Earns Four-Star Rating Colegio San Viator stands at the head of the class among secondary schools in Bogotá. On Feb. 3, the colegio was the first school in Colombia to earn a four-star rating and recognition of excellence from the European Foundation for Quality Management, or EFQM. The award is similar to the Blue Ribbon for Excellence award given by the U.S. Department of Education to high achieving schools, only the EFQM uses many of the same assessments for corporations and organizations, as it does for schools.
Fr. Vanegas will celebrate 25 years as a priest this year, and over the years, he has held many leadership roles within the Viatorian Community in Bogotá. Most recenly, Fr. Vanegas was named to join Fr. Frank Enciso, CSV, Fr. Alejandro Adame, CSV, and Br. Edwin Ruiz, CSV, as council members to advise the newly elected superior, Fr. Edgar Suárez, CSV.
Its stated mission is to inspire organizations to achieve sustainable excellence by engaging its leaders to learn, share and innovate.
The EFQM commendation came during a time of major construction at the colegio. Fr. Vanegas and his staff are nearing the completion of a three-phase project to meet the seismic safety code required by the Colombian government.
At the recognition ceremony, the CEO of the European Foundation in Colombia, Gonzalo Arboleda, credited Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, CSV, rector, with serving as the kind of leader that can transform the school into one of excellence, and sustain it.
With its location nestled among three mountain ranges, Colombia, and specifically Bogotá, is at high risk of earthquakes. The Colombian government was a leader among earthquake safety and released its first seismic code in 1984.
Arboleda described Fr. Vanegas as being innovative and a consensus builder, who surrounds himself with good faculty members, who are committed to being “efficient, effective and productive” in advancing the mission of the school.
The report implied that most of the existing buildings had been designed with inadequate seismic requirements. The most recent Colombian code, required buildings to come into seismic compliance and be earthquake resistant.
Among its faculty are seven professed Viatorians serving on staff, in campus ministry, as faculty members and in its administration.
In the case of San Viator, this has meant rebuilding the school’s four buildings and firming up their respective foundations. Last fall, construction took place to rebuild its administration building, with its library, chapel and faculty offices.
“(Fr. Vanegas) is a mentor, a counselor, a friend who is appreciated and respected by his collaborators,” the report said, “who, in exchange, feel appreciated and respected by him.” This is Fr. Vanegas’ second term as rector of the school, which serves more than 1,000 students. He also led the school from 1996-2002, and before that taught philosophy at the colegio. Fr. Vanegas spent the last two years of his seminarian studies in Chicago, at Catholic Theological Union.
The latest phase includes rebuilding all the classrooms, which school officials expect to finish in June. This will bring the entire campus into compliance, says Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial. Eileen O’Grady Daday
Around the Province... This issue of Around the Province offers updates on the latest assignments of Viatorians and highlights their ministries around the country. It looks like Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, finally can put capital campaigns behind him. With the announcement of his retirement, he leaves on a high note, having led a two-year campaign at St. Viator Parish in Chicago, which resulted in a shoring up its stained glass windows, adding a new landscaping and a plaza in front, and turning the lower church into a parish hall. All this, after he successfully led landmark campaigns at Bishop Gorman and Saint Viator high schools. Come Aug. 1, when Fr. Pat Render takes over, Fr. Bolser can spend more time doing what he loves: following his beloved White Sox. Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, was acknowledged at the annual Founders’ Dinner, hosted by officials with Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan, IL. As one of the original religious communities to help launch the school in 2004, the Viatorians remain a backbone of the school, which is part of the Cristo Rey network of 30 high schools across the country. At the dinner, its president, Preston Kendall, announced the school would be moving to a larger site, and he thanked its founders for supporting their dream. Last month, the Viatorian Provincial Council approved the ordination of the community’s latest priest: Br. Dan Lydon, CSV. He will be ordained a priest on June 13 at St. Viator Parish in Chicago. Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, who serves the Diocese of Belize City in Belize and is the only Viatorian bishop, will preside at the ordination. The ceremony will culminate a long history with the Viatorians that started at Saint Viator High School, where Br. Lydon graduated in 1973. Since then, he has worked beside Viatorians as a teacher and administrator, director of vocations and most recently as an ordained deacon, while he finished his studies at Catholic Theological Union. The Viatorians’ commitment to accompanying recently released immigrants with nowhere else to go, continues. They continue to work with the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants, in sponsoring houses of hospitality, accompanying men and women as they try and access social services. Associates Don Abrahamian and Jim Thomas, as well as Br. John Eustice, CSV, Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, and Fr. Greg Jones, CSV, all volunteered to cover the Marie Joseph House of Hospitality for Men on Saturdays. They began attending training sessions in February. The additional volunteers will offer re-
spite to Novice Peter Lamick and Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, who already have been volunteering for this ministry. “The Viatorians are one of the reasons the Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants is able to do what it does,” says Br. Michael Gosch, CSV. Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, spends much of his time attending to the needs of immigrants, praying with them at detention centers and advocating for their rights. Now, he has deepened his role: Fr. Long was asked to be on the board of directors of the Chicago Latino Union, which works to empower low income immigrant workers. In life, Fr. Donald Huntimer, CSV, hoped people would see the beauty of God in his paintings, and in death, his art work still moves them. In February, a friend of Fr. Huntimer’s emailed the Provincial Center to see if he could obtain some of Fr. Huntimer’s original paintings. The man described how Fr. Huntimer had helped his family when they came to this country from India. He hoped to display some of his work, so that his children and others would know of the Viatorian priest who helped his family 30 years ago. Br. Don Houde, CSV, the unofficial art historian in the community, promptly selected a pair of oil paintings that Fr. Huntimer valued —“Wild Horses” and “Quin Abbey, Ireland” — and shipped them off. His legacy lives on. Associate Rafael Cob continues to advance the Viatorian charism in Belize, of serving the poor and caring for those “accounted of little importance.” With the help of a mission group from Dayton, Ohio, Rafael completed building a new house for a mother and her six children, whose husband had been murdered. Rafael also helped to buy doors, windows, and screens for the windows of another house for a family in nearby San Narciso. “This was my 24th house,” Rafael says, “since I was given the opportunity by the Viatorians to serve my people.” In February, Judy’s Medical Missions returned to Corozal Town to help provide care to local residents. They have returned every year for nearly 15 years. They take their name from Judy Glancy, the registered nurse from Moline, IL that started the group. Her son, Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, was among the first Viatorians to establish a mission in Belize. Eileen O’Grady Daday
Friday Morning Vigils: Praying for Immigrant Families Every Friday morning, even in the dead of winter, the same scenario plays out at the Immigrant Detention Center in Broadview, IL that ultimately rips apart families. Members arrive before dawn to say goodbye to their loved ones who are then shackled at their hands, ankles and waists, loaded onto buses, driven to the airport and expelled from the United States. The trauma of they and their family members saying goodbye, fully aware that this may be the last time they will ever be in the same room together, wrenches the insides of everyone and the wounds will last for years, especially for the children who have just lost a parent. As a sign of contradiction, Viatorian Community members join with others every Friday in prayerful support of those being deported Emotional good-byes are traumatizing for family members. Photo by: Saverio Truglia and their family members. While they are praying outside, trained A central tenant of the Viatorian mission statement is to reach out volunteers are inside offering support and letting them know that to those who are counted of little importance by some. Many people people care. and the present governmental system consider the deportees and their families of little importance. In response, many Viatorians, professed At approximately mid-morning, the deportees shuffle in sinand associates, have participated in the Friday vigils, been inside the gle file onto the buses where they begin the final journey back center with the deportees and their families and prayed on the buses to countries rift with violence and poverty. Many have little or before they depart. no money and all share the dread of journeying into the unknown while being vulnerable and defenseless. Before the journey As a Viatorian said, “Silence means acceptance and not to do anybegins, Spanish-speaking ministers board the buses to offer words of thing about this situation would say that this is acceptable.” The key encouragement, tell them that people are outside praying for them Scripture verse the leaders so often refer to during the vigil is from St. and their family members and conclude with a short prayer. The Matthew, “What so ever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto driver then starts the engine and the dreaded trip begins. me” (25:40). We are deporting Christ. Fr. Thomas Long, CSV For some family members, it might be the last time they see their loved one, before he is deported. Photo by: Saverio Truglia
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Newsletter – Spring 2015 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
Groundbreaking Year Continues at Saint Viator High School Construction continues at Saint Viator High School, with its new Fr. Louis Querbes Hall nearly completed and its $3 million renovation of its fine arts facilities underway. New growth is in the air at the school, and that was underscored at its entrance exam in January, when Saint Viator drew 314 students to take the test, the most since 2008. “This is an incredible time for Saint Viator High School,” says Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president.
Demolition of the old band and chorus rooms started the day after the musical closed, back in February, before construction started in March. The new space will include 100 seats in the band room and possible space for private instructors, while the choral room will allow for a studio-like recording experience in its space.
Querbes Hall is the new equivalent of the former Red Lion Room, or to faculty and staff alike, the caf. It is the third phase of the $14 million Shaping the Future with Faith campaign, which included major building improvements and an increased endowment fund. As a result, the site is transforming into a setting that promotes collaborative learning — before and after school — as well as a college-style food court.
“These new facilities will double the space available to our fine arts students,” Fr. Brost added, “providing the latest in 3D technology to visual arts students, and world class band and choral areas, acoustically designed to enrich the quality of our musical program and student development.” Bill Faltinoski, fine arts department chairman, says the impact of technology on the arts is huge. “We’re building the art room for the next 25 years,” Faltinoski said. “Almost doubling in size, the 2,794 square foot space will enable us to do things that were never before possible.”
School officials are set to have the grand opening of the 500-seat, multi-media enabled Querbes Hall, in August. “Not only will we have a food court style dining hall that you find on many college campuses today,” Fr. Brost says, “but a technologically advanced space that will allow students to work together on class assignments as well as meeting space for our growing co-curricular activities.”
To date, campaign improvements included the renovated Scanlan Center, as well as increasing the school’s overall endowment to $10 million.
Steve Burks, building and grounds director at Saint Viator, thanked faculty members for their patience and flexibility during all of the construction.“Construction on the Fr. Louis Querbes Hall is going very well — and is on time,” Burks said. “This is going to be a great place for all to gather, and is a milestone achievement for the school.”
“These enhancements provide professional space that validates the collaborative learning style we are teaching our students,” Manno says. “These techniques ensure that our students not only do well at Saint Viator, but in college and in their professional lives.”
All of which will add to the celebration at the school’s Night of the Lion gala on April 11. That’s when guests will honor Principal Eileen Manno for her more than 30-year commitment to the school, as a teacher, counselor and principal.
Eileen O’Grady Daday
Vol. 20, No. 1