Provincial Perspective Stay Out of Politics... must speak out on protecting people — all people — holding each person as important in the public dialogue. We must not speak of “them” but rather of “us.” We must not seek to separate and divide, but rather bring together and support.
Stay out of politics! The Church has no business getting involved in the election process. Your place is in the pulpit and in your parish/school offices taking care of “church business” – not politics. Many of us priests, brothers and sisters hear these types of comments each election cycle. And when the topics of individual candidates or political parties surface in the conversation, these voices get louder and are filled with emotion and at times anger. Yes, we are in the middle of the political season, and as the November election approaches, emotions and judgments will rise like the summer temperature. Sometimes I think we all need to take a cool drink of lemonade or ice tea, (or a nice glass of chardonnay) and sit back and relax.
This is the Catholic dialogue in the political process. And yes, we have a right — a duty — to speak out on issues of life, justice, poverty, inclusion and peace. These are not political issues — these are Gospel issues often spoke about by Jesus to the people of his times.
Does the Church have any business getting involved in politics? Absolutely. We are reminded of the words of Pope Francis, that “good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern” (9/16/13). We also hear the words of the U.S. bishops in their document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, that states that we are called to “contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue; and to shape political choices in the coming election in light of Catholic teaching.” This statement lifts up our dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and as American citizens with rights and duties as participants in the civil order.
And so the next time you hear someone say that the Church should stay out of politics, remind that person that as citizens we are all called to become involved in the public discourse and are called to speak out for Gospel values that are not just Catholic, but rooted in our common experience as children of God. This discourse should be civil, thoughtful and respectful. We might disagree on which party to support; we might disagree on which candidate to vote for; but we should not disagree that the dignity of each person must be protected and those who suffer must be cared for when it comes to making decisions in our political choices. In St. Viator and Fr. Querbes,
We are also reminded that as Catholics, “we are to raise questions in the political arena that are different from those that concentrate on ‘individual and material well-being’.” As priests, brothers and sisters we know that our role and focus is not on party affiliation, ideology, economic systems, or the individual candidate. Rather, we focus on what protects or threatens the dignity of every human life. Practically speaking, this means that ministers in the Church
Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Provincial – Province of Chicago
In this Issue: 2 Provincial Perspective: Stay Out of Politics 3 Saint Viator High School Names New President 4 New Viatorian Brother: From Saint Viator High School
5 Rejoice! New Viatorian Priests Ordained in Bogotá 6 History Uncovered: It All Started with a Viatorian
7 Q&A: Viatorian Associate Karen Cutler 8 Honoring One Family’s Legacy: A
Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV
Saint Viator High School
Editor: Fr. Thomas E. Long, CSV
11 Responding to the Call: Welcoming Immigrants
Director of Communications: Eileen O’Grady Daday
Released from Detention
12 Colegio San Viator: Coming of Age as International Baccalaureate School
13 From the Archives: The Gift of Knowing 14 In Memoriam: Robert E. Erickson, CSV 15 Celebrating our Jubilarians 16 Around the Province
Editorial Board: Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Br. Donald P. Houde, CSV Fr. Lawrence D. Lentz, CSV Eileen O’Grady Daday Associate Joan Sweeney Layout and Design: Dianna Ehrenfried, Visualedge, Inc. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This Just In; Pigs Can Fly!
Querbes Scholars: Thinking Outside the Box at
Saint Viator High School Names New President A former Saint Viator High School administrator, who is a sitting member of its board of trustees as well as a current parent, was named its new president earlier this month. Brian Liedlich was introduced to the faculty and staff at an early morning meeting by Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, Provincial of the Clerics of St. Viator and President of Saint Viator’s Board of Governors. “At the beginning of the search process, it was our hope that the new president, as he walked through the front doors of the school, would be someone we knew and who knew the school community well,” Fr. von Behren said. “And in fact, we have found our candidate.” Liedlich brings solid experience in Catholic education to the role. He served at Saint Viator from 2003 until 2008 as executive director of institutional advancement, and he also brings his experience as a managing director of regional development for Marquette University to his new position. Most recently, he has served as a vice president of development with Advocate Health Care and is on its leadership team for Advocate’s charitable foundation. The Barrington resident has two daughters who graduated from Saint Viator, a son who is a current senior and a seventh grader at St. Anne School, who plans to attend.
“Our family has been profoundly impacted by the Viatorian mission of ‘raising up communities where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated,’ “ Liedlich added. “Our children take pride in being “Lions for Life” and have become people of service, who actively live out their faith.” At the same time, Fr. von Behren announced the creation of a new position at the school, the Vice President for Viatorian Identity and Mission. “We created this position to guarantee that the Viatorian identity continues to flourish and that our mission guides everything we do here at Saint Viator High School,” Fr. von Behren said. Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, has agreed to take on this new ministry — in addition to his teaching responsibilities. Fr. Hall has been a member of the Saint Viator faculty for 15 years, including serving as chair of the social studies department. This past year, he also served as an assistant coach for both the football and wrestling teams, while also serving on the Provincial Council. Fr. Hall has been a member of the Viatorian Community for nearly 35 years and this year he will celebrate 28 years in the priesthood.
“I consider it a privilege to serve as president of Saint Viator High School,” Liedlich said at the faculty meeting. “I look forward to working with the board of governors in providing a continued successful direction for this wonderful institution.”
“Mr. Liedlich and Fr. Hall join with our principal, Mrs. Eileen Manno, and the other administrators in beginning an exciting new chapter for Saint Viator High School,” Fr. von Behren added. “I believe this change will bring new life to the school community and create new educational programs that our students will excel at — and embrace.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
He first became acquainted with the Viatorians more than 20 years ago, when his sister’s children attended Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. His niece, Bridget Moore Michlik, now serves as director of advancement at the high school and she is a Viatorian associate. (left to right) Mr. Brian Liedlich, Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, and Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV
New Viatorian Brother: From Saint Viator High School to Professed Religious In January, the Viatorians welcomed their latest professed member, Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, who made his first vows before family and friends at the Province Center chapel in Arlington Heights.
Br. Peter Lamick, CSV
Br. Peter is a 2007 graduate of Saint Viator High School and one of five siblings to attend the school. He also is the first vocation to come from the school since Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, who graduated in 1974.
Consequently, excitement was running high leading up to the ceremony for his many high school classmates and family members who attended, since most of them had never witnessed a religious vow ceremony. It was just as momentous for members of the Viatorian Community, who welcomed their latest Viatorian, as well as for Br. Peter, who from this day forward will date the start of his religious life back to Jan. 9, 2016. “I ask for the grace of God to serve this religious community more fully,” Br. Peter said to Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, at the outset of the ceremony. Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV, who had served as Br. Peter’s novice director over the last year, formally called him to the altar to pronounce the vows. Br. Peter then placed his hand on the Bible and professed the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for a period of three years.
“This call, heard within the whispers of others throughout your life story is now to be lived out in service to the People of God as a consecrated religious,” Fr. von Behren said. One day after completing his year in the novitiate and taking his first vows, Br. Peter moved to St. Viator Parish in Chicago where he began work in peace and justice initiatives with Br. Gosch, while attending DePaul University to earn his accreditation in education. “We Viatorians rejoice with you this day, and with your family,” Fr. von Behren said, “and we pray that you will be filled with the grace necessary to live out these vows in holiness and humility.” Eileen O’Grady Daday Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, presents the St. Viator medal to Br. Peter.
“It is important to note that this call is first and foremost from God, originating in our common baptismal call,” Fr. von Behren said. “Then it is heard within the Church, through the many little places in our lives where we encounter God’s spirit.” Fr. von Behren credited Br. Peter’s spiritual upbringing within his family, at St. James Parish, at Saint Viator High School and at Benedictine University, which all had helped to bring him to this point.
Many of Br. Peter’s high school classmates came to support him, admitting they had never before seen a vow ceremony.
Rejoice! New Viatorian Priests Ordained in Bogotá In the span of one day, the Viatorian Community expanded to include two new priests, with the ordination of Fr. Gustavo López, CSV, and Fr. Edwin Ruiz, CSV. Both are natives of Colombia and they are the latest vocations to come out of the Foundation of Colombia, which the American Viatorians established in 1961. “In this time when many religious communities are experiencing declining vocations and few ordinations, this is a hopeful sign,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, “that the Viatorian Community had ordained three new members in our province in the last year.” Last June, the Viatorian Community also welcomed Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV, who was ordained in Chicago. Fr. López is the first vocation to come from Libano — where Viatorians served for six years in an educational ministry — located near the center of Colombia and in its coffee region. He brings to the priesthood degrees as a computer systems specialist earned at the Universidad de Caldas, and as a systems engineer from Universidad San Martin, both in Colombia. Prior to his ordination, Fr. López served in campus ministry at Colegio San Viator and taught at a Christian Brothers school in Bogotá. He also served as director of vocations for the Viatorian Community in Bogotá, and he has been invited to celebrate Mass and help with sacramental responsibilities at Parroquia San Juan Maria Víanney, a Viatorian parish. He also will serve as coordinator of association for the Foundation of Colombia.
Viatorians on hand for the ordination included from left: Br. Michael Gosch, CSV; Br. Carlos Flórez, CSV; Fr. Edgar Suárez, CSV; Bishop Hector Pizarro; Fr. Gustavo López, CSV; Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV and Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV
Fr. Ruiz earned a degree in religious education at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Colombia before his ordination. In preparation for the priesthood, Fr. Ruiz worked with students with special learning needs at Colegio San Viator, while helping out with pastoral ministry at local Viatorian parishes. He now has been invited to celebrate Mass and help with the sacraments at Parroquia Santa Inés de Guaymaral, another Viatorian parish in Bogotá, as well as serve as director of pre-novices for the foundation. Currently, there are four in the formation process. They both earned degrees in philosophy and theology from Universidad La Javeriana. Their ordination took place at San Juan María Vianney, which was filled with members of the Viatorian Community and parishioners, including Fr. von Behren, Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, and Br. Carlos Ernesto Flórez, CSV. Bishop Héctor Pizarro, apostolic vicar of Trinidad, Casanare in Colombia, presided. “Personally, it was satisfying for me to return to the place of my formation,” said Br. Carlos, a native of Colombia who now serves as a general counselor to the Clerics of St. Viator, “and see the continued growth of the foundation.”
Eileen O’Grady Daday Newly ordained Fr. Edwin Ruiz, CSV, left, and Fr. Gustavo López, CSV, right, with Bishop Héctor Pizarro
History Uncovered: It All Started with a Viatorian Mission Trip Viatorian Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie are in the midst of planning this summer’s annual Hearts of Hope mission trip. The weeklong trek immerses teens from the Boubonnais/Kankakee region into one of the poorest parts of the country, Pembroke Township — located less than 20 miles from their homes.
Ken and Michelle Barrie concede they had no idea that the mission trip and meeting the people of Pembroke would have such a lasting impact, but the region and its residents continue to resonate with their teens. “We don’t just go down for mission trip, we return to Pembroke throughout the year,” Michelle Barrie says. “It’s the relationships the kids make that touch them — and change them.”
Over the years, the Barries have found David Baron the trip to be transformative for teens, and nowhere is this more evident than with David Baron, now an attorney for the city of Chicago, who was on their first mission trip in 1999. “I am certain that this community and my time there 16 years ago shaped my life,” Baron says now. “I went to a community known for its poor conditions, but instead I witnessed a richness of spirit.
PEMBROKE A RURAL, BLACK COMMUNITY ON THE ILLINOIS DUNES DAVE BARON
“I met individuals who were proud of their faith and other traditions, committed to serving each other and authentically content,” he adds. “I came back with a new confidence that I too could find that level of satisfaction — not necessarily by acquiring material wealth, but by embracing a purpose on behalf of others.”
Baron’s book is part memoir, as each chapter opens with a personal vignette of Baron’s experiences from his mission trip. But the story also bears out the years of research Baron undertook in documenting its history, consequently it is drawing interest from academics and local history buffs alike. Essentially, Baron details how many black farmers from the South came to the area during the Great Migration. Finding Chicago to be overcrowded and inhospitable, they were able to buy land at low prices in Pembroke, just 65 miles south of the city. However, the poor soil made it nearly impossible to establish profitable farms, and economic prosperity has eluded the region ever since. Baron expects the book to be published this summer, but preorders with the publisher and on Amazon.com already are coming in.
Baron went on to attend the University of Notre Dame and earn his law degree at Harvard, but the effects of that week in Pembroke remain with him. In fact, he has written a book about the history of the township and of some of its memorable residents, called Pembroke: A Rural, Black Community on the Illinois Dunes. He landed a publisher last fall, Southern Illinois University The group of teens who went on the first Hearts of Hope mission trip in 1999 to Press, whose press packet summed up the book this way: “A Pembroke, includes Dave Baron, seen at right, with his friend Adam on his shoulders portrait of a remarkable African-American town in northern “It’s extremely exciting to see everything come together,” Baron Illinois and how it transformed the author.” says, “and to hear from people who are intrigued to read the hisAlvin Tillery, Jr., an associate professor of political science at Northtory of this remarkable community.” western University reviewed Baron’s book and described it “as a must read for anyone interested in understanding the roots of the Eileen O’Grady Daday racial gaps that plague post–Civil Rights America.” www.viatorians.com
Viatorian Associate Karen Cutler
Associate Karen Cutler has served as director of programs and special events for the Viatorian Community for more than 10 years, and as one of her duties she helped design the Viatorian Youth Congress when it launched in 2010. After working in the background with many of its logistics, Karen steps up this summer as the new director of the youth congress. We caught up with her to find out her vision for this year’s event and just what her imprint might be.
Congratulations on getting tapped to run this important ministry for the Viatorians. Can you tell me a little bit about your background, that people might not know?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies/Youth Ministry. Over the last 30 years, I have been a youth minister in parishes and a campus minister at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas and Trinity High School in River Forest, IL. But I also have volunteered in retreat programs as well as my work the last 10 years at the Province Center.
What made you want to take this on, managing a fourday youth conference — and leadership weekend — with more than 50 young people?
It was difficult to say no to an activity that I think is one of the best things we do as Viatorians. I was a little concerned because there are some areas that I have not worked on over the last six years – but since it is a group effort I know there are people to rely on.
Tell me some of the things you plan to do to put your stamp on the VYC this summer.
A. It is difficult to say what will put my “stamp” on this year’s VYC, but each year we have made small changes to keep making things better or different. I think I want to involve as many Viatorians as I can – inviting even more of them to become involved.
Q. What do you think are its strengths for young people who participate?
The young people truly engage in all aspects of the Congress – from making friends and having fun, to helping out in the liturgies, learning new prayer styles and coming to understand their part in bringing justice to their communities and our world. They arrive full of energy and ideas. They truly are the oneswho make this a vibrant, dynamic experience! 7
What about the many adults and Viatorians who help out? I suspect they come away changed from the experience.
I think everyone benefits from the VYC whether they be a young person or an adult who participates. But I also think the parish or school community benefits when the young people return from the VYC, with renewed perspectives that they can implement in their own community.
Finally, as an associate with the Viatorian Community, how important is this program? Do you feel as though you’ve been entrusted to carry on the mission?
I think this event is very important. These young people come from Viatorian-sponsored institutions, so they have some sense of the Viatorians, but through the week they get a better understanding of the Viatorians and also come to understand that they are part of a shared vision and mission, and that they are not alone in this mission. I definitely feel privileged to carry out this mission, but I also know that I am not alone in the adventure!
Honoring One Family’s Legacy: A Groundbreaking Gift At its annual gala in March, officials with Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas inducted one of their most distinguished families into its Royal Order of the Gael: the Mowbray family. The 550 guests who gathered at the Red Rock Casino learned of the family’s long history with the school — more than 60 years — that literally started with them donating the land to build the first Catholic high school in Southern Nevada — and suggest an order of priests and brothers to staff it, the Viatorians. “What started as an act of faith and love resulted in an institution that has produced thousands of successful alumni in a community rich with excellence and tradition,” said Viatorian Associate Bridget Michlik, development director for Some of the honorees included: Jerry Mowbray, left, his cousin, Jeff Bishop Gorman. Their story goes back to the early 1950s and starts with Romy Hammes, a Kankakee businessman and the same contributor behind the Hammes Bookstore at the University of Notre Dame. However, in the case of his Las Vegas roots, it picks up shortly after his daughter, Kathryn or “Kax” married a recent graduate of Notre Dame Law School, John Mowbray, in 1949. It was when the couple packed up and joined John’s classmate in Las Vegas to start their law practice, that the story takes shape. While visiting their daughter and son-in-law — who would ultimately advance from the Clark County’s District Attorney’s Office to becoming the chief justice of the Nevada Supreme Court — that Romy Hammes and his wife, Dorothy, realized there was no Catholic high school in all of southern Nevada.
Hammes, center, and John Mowbray, right
The couple first met with Bishop Thomas Gorman in 1953. They ultimately donated land for the school and they even suggested the same religious community to run it, who had educated their children in Kankakee. Fr. John Brown, CSV, the Viatorian provincial at the time, agreed, but with the condition that they also establish a parish. Those negotiations led to St. Viator Catholic Community and Bishop Gorman High School, that both opened in 1954. “They invited the Viatorians to partner with them in a Catholic school and be part of their vision of a Catholic school that is steeped in excellence and faith,” says Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial and former president of Bishop Gorman. Guests at the gala watched a 10-minute video that detailed the family’s legacy and also offered several interviews with key members, including a 1994 oral history with Judge John Mowbray, the son-in-law that helped put their donation in motion. “I believe the Viatorians were the strongest single spiritual force in Nevada during my time in the state,” Judge Mowbray said. “They brought something to the state which the state never had and they continued it and developed it.” Ultimately, the Knight of the Gael dinner raised $150,000 for a cause near and dear to the hearts of its founding family: tuition assistance to help make a Catholic education accessible.
Romy Hammes, second row left, and his wife, Dorothy, first row center, and their daughter, Kax, first row second from left, and her husband, John Mowbray, back row far right; gathered with Viatorians in the mid-1950s in Las Vegas. Viatorians in the back row included from left to right: Fr. Bob Carey, Fr. Bob Teed, Fr. Leo McFadden, Fr. John Ryan, Br. Joseph Drolet, Fr. John Shields and Fr. Harold Devereaux. Seated at the table are Fr. Phil Clifford, left, and Fr. Pat Toomey, second from right and Fr. Larry White, right.
“We are so grateful for their continuous and enduring support of Bishop Gorman High School,” says Viatorian Associate Connie Gerber, a former principal of Bishop Gorman, “and for their support of the Viatorians and of Catholic education.” Eileen O’Grady Daday 8
This Just In: Pigs Fly! Circular motion, rotational mechanics and a conical pendulum, oh my!
Fr. Milton has been consulting at Cristo Rey and celebrating Mass there since 2011 when he retired from De Paul, after a 24-year career.
These may be learning objectives on the AP physics exam, but to students at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, it came down to a memorable lab experiment they completed recently, “When Pigs Fly!” Literally, they used string to suspend a toy pig — with wings — to the ceiling above their lab table. When they turned on their wings, the pigs flew in a horizontal, circular path, creating a conical pendulum.
He helps to develop curriculum and update its lab equipment. Three years ago, Fr. Milton worked with Ms. Bonnerjee to develop an AP physics curriculum for the school, and numbers of students enrolled in physics continues to increase.
The lab was the latest contribution from Fr. John Milton, CSV, a retired physics professor at De Paul University and founding member of the science staff at Saint Viator High School. He commutes each week to Cristo Rey St. Martin, where he serves as an advisor to Ms. Kumkum Bonnerjee, physics teacher. Viatorians were among the founding religious communities to back Cristo Rey St. Martin when it opened in 2004, and they continue to support its mission of providing a college prep education to students of limited means.
This year, nearly 60 percent of students at Cristo Rey St. Martin take a physics course in their junior year, and Fr. Milton reports that number is much higher than the national average, as indicated by a survey of more than 2,000 high schools.
Fr. Milton learned of the experiment at a meeting of the Illinois State Physics Project, which draws high school and college teachers together to share new labs and teaching methods. “The flying pigs make it fun,” Fr. Milton says, “but there are solid scientific concepts explored during the experiment.” Specifically, the experiment challenged students to measure rotational motion and determine the centrifugal force. Some of the variables included the mass of the pig, length of the string, diameter of the circular path and the time it took to complete one revolution.
1.) Fr. John Milton, CSV, serves as a consultant to physics teacher Ms. Kumkum Bonnerjee at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep 2.) One of the battery-operated toy pigs, manufactured by Arbor Scientific, for the rotanional experiment
“We have been recognized nationally for the number of AP courses we offer — determined by the size of our school and percentage of low income students we serve,” says Principal Mike Odiotti. “Fr. John’s support and expertise has been instrumental in getting us there.”
It’s all part of rotational mechanics, Ms. Bonnerjee says, and they used creative methods to come to their conclusions.
Eileen O’Grady Daday
“The lab went really well,” she said. “Students really knew what they were doing.”
Students measure the diameter of the flight of the flying pig as part of the experiment
Querbes Scholars: Thinking Outside the Box at Saint Viator High School Senior Liam Warner serves as co-editor of the Viator Voice student newspaper, he captained the boys’ golf team last fall and he was just named valedictorian of the class of 2016. But after hosting a first ever academic symposium at Saint Viator High School, he may have a future in moderating political debates. The symposium was a presentation of the senior Querbes Scholars — who came up with the concept, planned the questions and participated in the forum — which fittingly took place in Querbes Hall. The honors program was created in 2010 to enable highly motivated students to excel in academics and personal enrichment, and named after the founder of the Viatorians, Fr. Louis Querbes. “I think it was marvelous,” said Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, a math tutor at the school who attended the symposium. “The fact that these students can think on their feet, use critical thinking to analyze these Symposium panel members Xiangxi Mo, Jonathan Meehan, Drew Morton topics and communicate them to an audience, all speaks well of their and Max Paulus pass the microphone to participate in the discusison liberal arts education.” Their topic for the symposium: Exploring the conflict that exists between Western-style democracy and Middle-Eastern cultures. Saint Viator senior Liam Warner describes the symposium to audience members
“These are urgent, world issues,” Liam said before taking the microphone, “and discussions about them shouldn’t be limited to professional pundits. “We’re all nearly of voting age,” he added. “We should be able to consider the bigger issues of today. We’re concerned with what’s going on in the world.” Right from the first question — framed around the influence of the Islamic State on its neighboring Mideast countries, and its ramifications on the rest of the world — the opinions were flying and audience members took note. Senior Max Paulus admittedly took on the role of the devil’s advocate in the early discussions. “I think ISIS is filling the role of what everyone in the Middle East wants, and that is structure and stability,” he said. His classmates disagreed and stated that ISIS is imposing its extremist type of religion on other countries, using brute force to do it. “It has led to the polarization of ideals,” said senior William McEvoy. “As time goes on, people become more extreme.” The discussion lasted more than one hour, as students explored whether democracy is possible in the Middle East, as well as the religious influence on national identity, and ultimately globalism versus protectionism in the emerging 21st century. “I know we’re all kids from the Northwest suburbs, and it’s hard to talk about some of these subjects,” said senior Emily Hayes, “but it’s good to be aware of what’s going on around the world.” More than 100 people attended the symposium, including Querbes Scholars from every grade level, teachers, Viatorians and parents. “This is our first academic symposium and it’s exciting that it’s all led by students,” Mrs. Eileen Manno said. “These are our intellectual leaders of the school, and they’re demonstrating critical thinking and being able to speak articulately about difficult issues.
Eileen O’Grady Daday 10
Responding to the Call: Welcoming Immigrants Released from Detention Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is about to release “Mohammad,” an undocumented immigrant, from its facility in Chicago. After filling out the paperwork, he walks out the door feeling lost, alone and cold. It is January and he was picked up in July. The only clothes he has has are the ones he was wearing when he was arrested in the summer. He had never been to Chicago and has to navigate to the bus station asking directions in his halting English. Because of the relationship between the ICE officials and the Post Detention Accompaniment Network (PDAN), the ICE desk officer called its hotline number. Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, frequently answers it and after getting the necessary information, he then calls designated volunteers. Many drive for over an hour from the suburbs to the ICE headquarters in downtown Chicago. Upon arriving at ICE headquarters, they immediately recognize “Mohammad” who jumps into the car, Viatorian Associates Joan Sweeney, Randy Baker and Gerry Roller help placing his trust with complete strangers. Even though there may be assemble backpacks for newly released immigrants a language barrier, everyone speaks the human language of hospitality, especially to the stranger. After the initial introductions, the volunteers stop at a local restaurant for a meal with their new friend. They make a quick assessment as to what needs to be done for him to rejoin his family. For “Mohammad” and many others, this means a long bus ride, frequently lasting more than 24 hours and involving several connections. After finishing their meals, the volunteers will drive him to St. Viator Parish in Chicago where he can call his family, get a backpack with seasonal clothing and snacks, take a shower, enjoy a hot meal and rest. Very possibly he may stay overnight there because his bus will leave the next day and a clean bed is much more preferable than a bus station waiting room. The next day, another volunteer will accompany him to the bus station, buy his ticket and stay with him until the bus departs. “Mohammad” will have in hand a printed itinerary. Last year there were more than 100 of these simple, yet profound, human encounters that enriched everyone involved. The volunteers continually tell stories of how these simple gestures mean so much. Associate Joan Sweeney said that the immigrants trustingly put themselves in your care. “It is a great honor.” she said. “If my son was in a foreign country, undocumented, couldn’t speak the language and was lost, I would hope that someone would reach out to him and show him basic humanity.” That is what PDAN does. Viatorians gather Friday mornings at the Broadview Processing Center to stand in prayerful vigil with those who are being deported that day and to be with the grieving family members left behind.
Fr. Thomas Long, CSV
Colegio San Viator: Coming of Age as International Baccalaureate School Colegio San Viator already is recognized as an award winning private school, but earlier this year the Viatorian school in Bogotá, Colombia, earned a new certification, as an International Baccalaureate school. “The International Baccalaureate is recognized worldwide because of its high quality programs and rigorous assessment methods,” says Diego Cordoba, director of the Primary Years Program at the colegio (school). “We share the IB mission of aiming to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” Started in 1968, the International Baccalaureate Program foundation is based in Geneva, Switzerland and has regional offices in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Colegio San Viator now jo ins a network of 4,000 schools around the world authorized as IB schools. Officials with the IB program held workshops at the colegio in January — aimed at teaching how to implement the programming in the school — that drew 100 teachers, including those from Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Mexico. IB officials then returned in March to San Viator to officially authorize the colegio’s Primary Years Program as an International Baccalaureate World School. In the northern section of Bogotá, where Colegio San Viator is located, there are 37 schools accredited by the International Baccalaureate Program, but San Viator is one of the only ones on the “B” calendar, or that started its new term in February, and that offers the continuum of international education at every level.
The entrance to the new cafeteria in the Primary Years Programme
to Bogotá, after spending all of last year immersed in English at Dominican University in River Forest, IL. “The IB programs have resulted in very positive changes for our educational community — including students, teachers, parents, administrators and staff,” says Diego Cordoba. “They have allowed us to strengthen our education and training, and all within the values of the Viatorian Community. “High school students will be recognized at national and international universities because of these high, excellent academic standards and excellent value formation,” Cordoba added. “Being a part of the IB will open doors for students in many parts of the world.”
Eileen O’Grady Daday
Children in the Primary Years Programme pose outside their building.
This continuum includes the Primary Years Programme (PYP) led by Cordoba; the Middle Years Programme (MYP) led by Br. Fredy Contreras, CSV; and the Diploma Programme (DP) and the Career-Related Programme (CP), led by Br. William Pardo, CSV. Currently, the Middle Years Program is recognized as a candidate school, with its official verification status scheduled for later this year, while the Diploma Programme has requested to become a candidate school, with the expectation of its official implementation next year. Br. Pardo was tapped to lead the diploma program upon his return
From the Archives: The Gift of Knowing
The Christmas season can involve expensive gift giving, but who knew the simple exchange of information would become one of the best family gifts shared this past holiday. Early in December, 2015, John P. Farris of Homewood, IL, was looking to find out more about his father, John S. Farris (1907-1970). He knew his dad had been a Viatorian seminarian and attended St. Viator Academy and College in Bourbonnais, IL, but he didn’t remember much more. Mr. Farris’ online search led to the Viatorian Community Archives, where research unfolded his father’s early years. John S. Farris, who grew up in Chicago, spent his high school years at St. Viator Academy and graduated in 1928. He entered the Viatorian novitiate in 1930 at Fournier Institute in Lemont, IL and professed his first John S. Farris, vows with the Clerics of St. Via- St.Viator Academy, Class of 1928 tor in 1931. His scholasticate years were spent back at St. Viator College through 1934. During the 1934-35 school year, Br. Farris finished his bachelor degree at Loyola University in Chicago, while ministering at the Mission of Our Lady of Mercy on Jackson Avenue in Chicago (today known as the Mercy Home for Girls and Boys). In the fall of 1935, Br. Farris went to Washington, DC to attend the Viatorian Seminary on Quincy St. After much discernment he made the difficult decision to leave the community in early 1936. John found employment with the Chicago Surface Lines, the predecessor
of the CTA. He progressed through management ranks to become station superintendent at the Lawndale Garage. In 1941, John married Mary Solon from Chicago and they had three children, Marilyn, Suzanne and John Patrick. The family settled on the East Side of Chicago, and was among the first parishioners at Annunciata Parish. During World War II, John served John S. Farris holding young John P. in the U.S. Coast Guard and re- Farris in a family photo in the early ceived a silver lifesaving medal for 1950s (Courtesy of John P. Farris) rescuing several shipmates when the USS Chimes exploded in 1942 in Milwaukee Harbor. John Patrick was only 20 years old when his father passed away in 1970 at the age of 63. Filling in the gap of his father’s early years and seeing photos of him as a young man, impacted him greatly. “Learning more of his time as a Viatorian has made me reflect a great deal on my own life,” the younger John said. “My dad’s birthday was Christmas Eve and I always have deep thoughts about him on that day. This year will be much fuller for my family and me, as I can share so much more of his life.” Finding out the missing pieces of a loved one’s life is a gift – the simple gift of knowing – to be shared and passed on for generations to come. Joan Sweeney Viatorian Associate and Archivist
Br. John S. Farris, young Viatorian novice, 1930-31
In Memoriam... Fr. Robert E. Erickson, CSV (1940-2016) In nearly every office Fr. Robert Erickson, CSV, occupied, prints of Abraham Lincoln and some of his historic sites in Springfield surrounded him. While Fr. Erickson was born in Springfield, his passion for Lincoln went beyond his native roots. He admired the statesman in Lincoln — and the orator — and his unwavering moral standards. Fr. Erickson died Jan. 15 while he was recovering from a recent surgery. He was 75. “He was a true gift to the Viatorian Community,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, at his funeral. “He lived a life committed to Christ.” Fr. Erickson was in his 57th year of religious life and he would have celebrated 50 years as a priest next year. His introduction to the Viatorians came at Griffin High School in Springfield, where he was an outstanding student and received the Auxilium Latinum award for excellence in Latin scholarship from Fr. Charles Maranto, CSV. Fr. Robert E. Erickson, CSV After graduation, Fr. Erickson entered the Viatorian Community. He then earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at Loyola University and Master’s degrees in Sacred Scripture and Mathematics from Catholic University of America before he was ordained a priest in 1967.
That same year, he began his teaching career at Saint Viator High School, before moving to Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee. But it was at his alma mater, Griffin High School, where Fr. Erickson would make his biggest impact. He served as principal from 1978 to 1988, before serving as vice principal and development director during its first three years as a merged, co-educational institution, Sacred HeartGriffin High School. “This was an idea whose time had come,” Fr. Erickson said in 2014, in advance of the 25th anniversary of the merger. “In merging, we combined the best elements of both schools.” Fr. Erickson influenced many lives, including this young teacher he hired at Griffin High School, who ultimately converted to Catholicism and became a Viatorian brother: Br. Rob Robertson, CSV
Fr. Richard Pighini, CSV, now pastor of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Bourbonnais, was a teacher during Fr. Erickson’s term as principal. “His leadership was strong and steady,” Fr. Pighini said. “He was absolutely reliable. He was faithful to the Viatorian Community, to the Church — and to the work at hand.”
Fr. Erickson served a brief assignment as campus minister at the University of Illinois’ St. John Catholic Neuman Center, from 1991-1993, before being called to serve as provincial treasurer of the Viatorian Community. He held this position until his retirement in 2010. More recently, Fr. Erickson was well known throughout Chicago’s Northwest suburbs for his homilies as a visiting priest at local parishes, and for his scholarly approach to the Scriptures that was so evident in the Bible study groups and retreats that he led. He also was a fixture at the annual St. Anne Novena, held every July at St. Anne Church, led by Fr. Erickson’s confrere, Fr. James Fanale, CSV, who offered the homily at his funeral. “Father Erickson was a classic Viatorian, almost by definition,” Fr. Fanale said. “He remained devoted to the original formulation of Fr. Querbes, of teaching Christian doctrine and providing service to the holy altar. Fr. Erickson excelled at both. His loyalty to the Viatorians was unwavering. He went where he was needed and he gave himself completely to the task at hand.” He will be missed.
Eileen O’Grady Daday
Celebrating our Jubilarians... Fr. Simon Lefebvre, CSV, has reached a rare milestone among active members of the clergy. This year, he celebrates 70 years of religious life. Fr. Lefebvre pronounced his first vows as a member of the Clerics of St.Viator of the Province of Montreal, Canada, on Aug. 15, 1946. As he learned more about the community from within its walls, he sought permission to transfer to the Province of Chicago. He was granted that reFr. Simon Lefebvre, CSV quest and on March 19, 1953 he made that profession. In the 70 years that followed, Fr. Lefebvre has been a teacher and parochial associate in Peoria, Chicago and in Taiwan, as well as at several parishes in the San Diego area of California. He holds a Master’s degree in Romance Languages from Catholic University of America in Washington DC and another Master’s degree in Chinese Language from Fu-Ren University in Taipei, Taiwan. He also did post-graduate studies in English language and literature at the University of Nevada at Reno. The word Viator means traveler. The patron saint of the community has given Fr. Lefebvre credentials to be a Viatorian. After retirement in 2004, he has continued to work as a part-time parochial minister in several parishes. Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV, celebrates 50 years of religious life this year. He was attracted to enter the Viatorian Community by his teachers at Bishop McNamara High School and St. Patrick’s parish, both in Kankakee. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-med biology from Loyola University in Chicago and a Master of Divinity degree from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. His assignments from 1976 and 1997 first Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV included Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights as a teacher, and then as parochial vicar at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais and later at St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas. Most of his time since 1997 has been as parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, Nevada where he is currently assigned. Among his responsibilities, he serves as director of the large Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program. He has worked with that program for years and has a strong commitment to its process of welcoming and introducing others to the faith. In between times, Fr. Keliher is an avid Chicago White Sox fan, he is praised as a good cook of pasta dishes and his cheesecakes bring in high prices at the parish bake sales.
Fr. John Palmer, CSV, also celebrates 50 years of religious life this year. He is a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia. He holds degrees in music from several conservatories, including Acadia University in Nova Scotia, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Trinity College of Music in London and Northwestern University. Among his other credits, Fr. Palmer was made a fellow of Trinity College in 1979. He also studied in Paris with French clasFr. John Palmer, CSV sical composer, Jean Langlais. His degrees in philosophy and Latin studies were completed at Loyola University, Chicago and theology at Washington Theological Coalition, all before he was ordained on Jan. 2, 1971 by Archbishop James Hayes of Halifax. Fr. Palmer has gained recognition as an organist having given recitals each year at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in Toronto and he has been featured on the Distinguished Artists series for CBC Radio in Canada. Fr. Palmer also has played at the Washington National Cathedral and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. In New York, he has given several recitals at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and at Columbia University. In England, he has performed at several churches including St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Fr. Palmer continues to perform and he frequently presents master classes in piano for the Illinois State Music Teachers’ Association. He also is involved in private teaching and is a weekend assistant at St. Petronille Church in Glen Ellyn, IL. Fr. Palmer was professor of music at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL, from 1973-2004, until he retired as professor emeritus. Fr. Fredy Santos, CSV, celebrates 25 years of religious life. He pronounced his first vows as a member of the Clerics of St. Viator on Dec. 8, 1991. In his 25 years as a Viatorian, he has become known for his work with young people who are willing to give of their time and talent to the music of the liturgy. On Feb. 18, 2012, he was ordained a priest Fr. Fredy Santos, CSV in Bogotá, Colombia by Bishop Rogerto Ospina. No matter what obstacle, he has been unwavering in his devotion to the Viatorian Community. One of his first assignments as a priest was in the United States to provide pastoral, liturgical and sacramental service to the Spanish speaking parishioners at St. Patrick, St. Rose and St. Theresa parishes in Kankakee. He continues his work with young people in Colombia and has taken on the work of bereavement ministry, which keeps him more than busy. In preparation for his duties as a parish priest, Fr. Santos attended Universidad La Gran Colombia for his undergraduate degree in science education, with a specialization in catechesis. Br. Donald Houde, CSV
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Newsletter – Spring 2016 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
Around the Province...
This issue of Around the Province offers updates on the latest assignments of Viatorians and highlights their ministries around the country.
Br. Leo Ryan, CSV, enjoyed a rare reunion in February with a student he helped train for the Peace Corps, Connie Cookus, more than 50 years ago at Marquette University. The occasion was the 50th annual musical at Saint Viator High School, where Cookus’ grandson, Zac Jones, played Harold Hill in Meredith Wilson’s, The Music Man. Zac is a member of the Querbes Scholars program at the high school and he earned one of four Br. Leo V. Ryan scholarships. Br. Leo says he takes great pride in following young Zac’s accomplishments, but adds that he reflects the qualities of his grandparents — and parents — who back in the 1960s were among the first volunteers to advance the cause of peace by working in the developing world. Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, took a break from his duties as president of Catholic Theological Union in February, to speak to a broader audience: the nearly 15,000 delegates — from 71 countries — who attended the International Eucharistic Congress in the Philippines. Fr. Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, speaking to the Francis was one of six speakers dur- 2016 Eucharistic Congress ing the two-day conference and the only one from the United States. His topic? “Liturgy and the Inclusion of Cultural Influences into the Liturgy and its Enriching Effects.” Also in February, Fr. John Peeters, CSV, briefly left his role as pastor of St. Patrick Church in Kankakee to serve as an interpreter at the Extraordinary General Council held in Santiago, Chile. The meeting draws provincials from all of the Viatorians international provinces — including Canada, Chile, Spain, the United States and the delegation of France — in consultation with Viatorian Superior General Fr. Alain Ambeault, CSV, and his councilors, Fr. Harry Célestin, CSV, Fr. André Crozier, CSV, Br. Luis Alvarez, CSV, and Br. Carlos
Ernesto Flórez, CSV. The gathering is conducted in the spirit of international solidarity and intended to share ways to promote the development of the Viatorian mission around the world. When Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, served as pastor of St. Viator Church in Chicago, he helped usher in a language program for all grades using Rosetta Stone software. This semester, he took his own advice and returned to the classroom to brush up on his Spanish. He audited the course at where else, but Saint Viator High School where he formerly served as president. For a few weeks, he sat in on a Spanish I class taught by a former student, Kurt Paprocki, class of 2000. Fr. Bolser says he hoped to brush up on his skills enough to be able to preach in Spanish. But his return to the classroom impressed his classmates — and their teacher. “It’s been such a pleasure having Padre in my class,” Mr. Paprocki said. “He was such a positive influence on my life during my years as a student at Saint Viator, that I feel lucky to have had a small influence on his.” Speaking of the Bolsers, Fr. Robert Bolser, CSV, moved in February back to the Province Center in Arlington Heights, after a bittersweet farewell at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, where he had served as an associate pastor. In doing so, Fr. Bolser was reunited with his brother, Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, who also moved back in December. The two have not lived in the same residence for more than 50 years, when they were in formation and attending Loyola University. Fr. Robert Bolser can be seen walking the hallways — from one end of the building to the other — to get his exercise, and he is searching out art supplies, to take up his hobby of painting. Eileen O’Grady Daday