Viator Newsletter 2002 Winter

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Winter 2002


160 Years in America First Viatorians Arrive in the U.S. in 1842

By Fr. James Fana le, C.S. V

Itis a little known fact that six Viatorian Brothers, including two Americans, arrived in St. Louis, Missouri, on January 31, 1842. 160 years ago Fr. Louis Querbes, our founder, responsed to the entreaties of Bishop Joseph Rosati of St. Louis. The Canadian Viatorians, who arrived at Bourbonnais Grove, Illinois, in September 1865, were not the first sons of Fr. Querbes to labor in the United States as is widely believed. Rosati had been named the first bishop of the newly created diocese of St. Louis in 1827, and by 1840 he had enlisted five communities of religious women to instruct the girls of his diocese. But the situation for the boys was problematic. The Catholic boys of the city, most of them poor, their numbers growing yearly with the waves of German and Irish immigrants, had little opportunity for schooling. St. Louis had one Catholic grammar school for boys

run by Alexander McDonald in a single room over the downtown firehouse. He and a former student, William Shepherd, wanted to form a community of teaching brothers for St. Louis. R1 c hAn L'.&.IJ.&.L'-'1""

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advice to Fr. James Fontbonne, a priest from Lyons, France, who had accompanied the French Sisters of St. Joseph to Carondelet, Missouri. The Sisters had opened a girl's school in Carondelet. In November 1838, Fr. Fontbonne wrote to the Vicar General of Lyons, Fr. Jean Cholleton, with Bishop Rosati's request. Explaining that the human resources of the Marists were stretched thin, Fr. Cholleton suggested another community of brothers, the Viatorians, whose founder, Fr. Querbes, was well known to him. This community had just received the approval of Pope Gregory XVI, with Fr. Cholleton himself as an influential patron. Bishop

Rosati happily accepted the suggestion. For his part, Fr. Querbes, despite the numerous requests already received for his brothers, committed the new congregation to the work of a foreign mission "flo7 ~-1-"h

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and absolute trust in the providence of God. Rosati suggested to Querbes, a novel arrangement. He would send his two American candidates; McDonald and Shepherd, to the motherhouse at Vourles, France, where they would share in the first fervor of the community, making their novitiate, learning French, and teaching English to the brothers destined for the American mission. The Americans arrived at Vourles on June 21, 1839. Shortly after, McDonald would write his Bishop: "We all live happily here. I have been much edified to witness their ready obedience to their director, and the love and charity they have towards one another, and towards

all men. If you can get these brothers established in the diocese of St. Louis, it will be the crowning of all your zeal." Bishop Rosati visited Fr. Querbes and the brothers and Vourles on August 3, 1840, Vv"'f-lcrl fi...-Lal plarLS vv路ere laid for the mission. A building for a school was to be purchased in St. Louis; a farmhouse and sixty acres of property owned by the diocese in southwestern Illinois (Fraire du Long township), about thirty miles south of St. Louis, would be given to the brothers for their novitiate. The priest-director of the mission would be Fr. Fontbonne, who had planned to join the Viatorians. On October 22, 1841, the six brothers set out from Vourles for America. With the two Americans, were Brothers Thibaudier, LaHaye, Pavy, and Lignon. They reached St. Louis on January 31, 1842, but Bishop Rosati was not there to greet them. He was at his missian in Haiti, en route to a C011till11ed 011 Page 5


From The Provincial's Perspective _ _ Viator Reverend Charles G. Bolser, C.S.V. Provincial Leo V. Ryan, C.S.V. Director of Communication

Editor VIATOR is published quarterly by the Clerics o f St. Viator, the Viatorians, for friends, families, parishioners and alumni of Viatorian apostolates . The Clerics of St. Viator are religious priests and brothers sent by the Catholic Church to teach the Faith and proclaim Jesus Christ as Gospel. In parishes, schools, and a variety of o ther ministries Viato rian s work with Christian commtmities to live, d eepen and celebrate their faith. Our legal title is: Clerics of St. Via tor. An illinois Corp oration

My Brothers and Sisters in St. Viator, Happy New Year!! January in Arlington Heights, illinois; normally gray days with a lot of snow on the ground and very cold . Today, as I look out my window to the world, the stm is shining, the temperature is in the 30's and the grotmd is a mixture of green and brown. It seems to me that we tend to expect a certain "norm" throughout our lives. The phrase "we have always done it tha t way", speaks volumes about our desire for stability and constancy. The Stock Market thrives on stability and quakes when there is a disrup tion to the supposed normal way of operation. O ur emotional life seeks the calm. However, we know tha t life is no t static or unchanging. Life is full of mystery and stuprises. As we study history, we find tha t d isrup tion, death, and change is integral to life. The Gospel caJls us to a fuJltmderstanding that as the world around us is in cons tant growth, upheaval, and renewal, so too is life. Birth and dea th are not simply one-time events in the life of an individ ual or a nation; they are cons tants. The only constant is change. Change and anxiety are part of the process of God's creative process o f life becoming aware of itself. Jesus reminds us that throughou t this dynamic p rocess of life, God is with us. Emmanuel - God is with us. The Incarnation of God into the world through human flesh is the story of God's love and passion. Jesus invites us to enter into this mystery with faith and confidence in God' s loving presence. Jesus invites us to enter into the fuJlness of the mys tery and wonder of life and all that life brings- to become hilly human. My wish for all of you is a life with great and wonderful adventures - a life filled with an awareness of the wonder and mystery of God in all tha t you experience, recognizing that we are truly God's beloved creation as well as well as recognizing that this creation is ongoing and working through us. In this we begin to recognize that we are indeed blessed .

Happy St. Viator's Day! Sincerely in Viator,

~~A~e-Charles G. Bolser, C.S.V. Provincial

Las Vegas Area Viatorians in the News Henderson, Nevada November 4, 2001: Newly ins talled Las Vegas Bishop Joseph Pepe chose St. Thom as More Catholic Community for his first pastoral visit to Green Valley. He formally installed Fr. Patrick Render, C.S. V., former Provincial (1984-1992), as pastor. 'fhe Bishop also presided at STM Life Teen mass that night.

Las Vegas Cathedral Fr. John Liru1an, C.S. V., pastor of Maternity BVM parish in Bourbonnais, Illinois, preached at the G uardian Angle Cathedral Advent Mission, December 8-12, 2001. Br. John J. Dodd, C.S.V:, has been reappointed by Bishop Joseph Pepe as Financial Officer of the Diocese of Las Vegas.

Dec. 1, 2001 His Eminence, Pedro R11bumo Saenz, Cardinal Archbishop of Bogota, ordained Fr. Felipe Montes, a Viatorian priest. Fr. Motltes celebrated his First Mass at tile parish Cl1ristn Rey, assis ted by Fr. 11wmas von Behren, C.S. V. (left), Assistant Provincial cf the Cl1icngo Province and Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, C.S. V. (right), President, Colegio San Viator, Bogolti.

St. Viator Parish Of nearly 5,000, the St.Viator Drama Ministry presented a:n original prod uction . "TI1e Birth o f Halloween", which dramatized the Catholic connection with Halloween, now Atnerica's second most favorite holiday.

Oct. 2, 2001 The Superior General, Mark Francis, C.S. V. in the presence of C.S. V. Provincials of Canada, France, and the U.S., Regional Superiors from Central atJd South America atJd more tltnn 1,000 students and parmts dedicated the new Fr. john Cusack, C.S. V. Gymnnsi11m, Colegw Van Viator, Bogota. Fr. C11sack pioneer Chicago Misswn Procurator, co-fmmde.d tl-1e Colombinn misswn.

R.I.P. (Remember in Prayer _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ R.I.P. (REMEMBER IN PRAYER) Fr. Roger Drolet, C.S. V., founder of the Viatorian Oriental Missions in Szupingki, Manchuria (1933) and after WWII in Japan (1948) and in Taiwan (1952). Fr. Drolet was 98 and served 65 years in the Orient. He died in Taiwan, Aug. 16, 2001. A Viatorian for 77 years, he was a priest for 68 years. Harley E. Harmon, Sr., Las Vegas Catholic leader and Viatorian bene-

factor w ho was instnm1ental in securing the land on which St. Via tor Church and school were built in Las Vegas. He died in Las Vegas Sept. 24,2001. Fr. Robert H. Carey, C.S.V., former pastor, Maternity BVM, Bourbonnais, Illinois. Teacher and pastoral minister assisting at Guardian At1gel Ca thedral a t the time of his dea th in Las Vegas, Oct. 2, 2001. A Viatorian 52 years, he was

a priest for 43 years.

Mrs. Catherine E. Bolser, mother of Provincial, Fr. Charles Bolser, C.S.V. and Fr. Robert T. Bolser, C.S. V., St. Thomas More Associate Pastor. She was also mother of sons Joseph, John, Steph en and daughters Judith Atm, Sister Mary Katerine O.P. and Colleen. She died in Champaign, Illinois on Dec. 11, 2001. •


Viatorian 2002

Jubilarians 65 Years of Religious Life Rev. Francis P. White SeptemberS


Patty Wischnowski and Judy Glancy organized another Belize Medical Mission: which was a great experience and success for those from Maternity BVM, Bourbonnais, fL, who went to Corozon City. Fourteen went on the mission for ten days beginning October 29th. They worked in existing clinics in outlying villages of the parish of St. Francis Xavier. Begiruling on the Wednesday, the 30th, tl1e Xaipa Commtmity Center saw crowds numbering 143, half of which were children. San Joaquin Commtuuty Center served 173 people. Timrsday morning they were in libertad, Ma ternity's sister parish, and 165 were seen, 42 by Dr. Tapendu Basu himself. Friday morning in Corozol Hospital CliJuc, 72 total were seen. After the weekend, off to Chunox where 159 were adnumstered drugs, toothbrushes and given exanlinations. Tuesday they traveled by bus, ferry and boat to

reach San Narcisus. 188 visits were recorded for the day. They actually had to turn people away to make the last ferry. Wednesday they set up clinic and saw 179 in the San Andreas Commtulity. Parisluoners helped as mterpreters, drivers, made meals and the hospitality was warm and enthusiastic. For all who supported t!Us group with love, prayers ... and financially, WE THANK YOU!!!


Ivory Co.1sl


Dec. 8, 2001 Brother Edgar Suarez, C.S.V. pronotmced final vows as a Viatorian a t a corruntulity ceremony before fanilly and friends ill Bogota. Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, C.S.V., delegate of tl1e Superior General, Mark Francis, C.S.V. received the vows. TI1e explosion of African vocations has resulted in an intercommtuuty mission support program for Viatorian houses of formation in the Ivory Coast of Africa. TI1e Chicago Provmce pledged $25,000 arumally for four years to help to undenvrite the trailling of African Via torians.

TI1e Sisters of tl1e Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrated the 75th aruuversary of their founding on Dec. 27, 2001. The Sisters have shared tile U.S. Viatorian mffiistry over 45 years. Viatorians, Brothers Dale Barth and Pat Drohan, Fr. Robert Bolser, Fr. Thomas McCartihy, and Fr. John N. Peeters, accompanied the Provincial, Fr. Charles Bolser to Mexico City to represent the Clucago Provmce for a celebration.

60 Years of Religious Life

Rev. Michael J. O'Brien fanuary 25 Rev. Thomas G. O'Brien August IS

50 Years of Religious life

Br. Donald P. Houde Rev. Daniel J. Mirabelli February 2 Rev. Robert C. Foster Rev. John E. Linnan Rev. James E. Michaletz Rev. John W. Milton Rev. Thomas J. Pisors September 8

Years of Priesthood Rev. Patrick J. Durkin Rev. Hugh W. Robbins May18


Rev. Thomas P. McCarthy

October 1

25 Years of Priesthood Rev. Thomas G. Kass January 8 Rev. William L. Carpenter ApriL 3D


In One Accord- Our Partners In Mission _ _ _ __ Association, the charism of Fr. Querbes, our founder, and the bonds between Associate Members and the Congregation. The Provincial Council approved a Comntission on

Lay Associate Program Day of Recollection Six Associates of the Clerics of St.Viator, Oucago Province; Kay Dowling, Mary Finks. Marilyn Mulcahy, John Ohlendorf, D01ma and Tun Schwarz, together with five prospective Associa tes, met at the Province Center in Arlington Heights for an lustoric first, a Lay Associate Program Day of RecoUection on Nov. 9, 2001. Br. Corey Brost, C.S. V. - Director of Associates, and Fr. Charles Bolser, C.S.V. - Provincial, who led the day's activities, began at 10 am wi th a prayer service. The Lay Associate Program was the topic of the morning session in wluch Fr. Bolser explained the history of the program, the purposes of

Associate Membership in November. Marilyn Mulcahy was nominated as Chairperson of the Comnussion with Associates Kay Dowling and John Ohlendorf the Associate members and Fr. William Carpenter, C.S.V. and Br. Corey Brost, C.S. V. the professed members. The afternoon session included a presentation by Fr. Bolser on "Our Contemplative Life" and concluded with Eucharist. Chicago and A rlington Heights, 11 NEED SOME PEACE? -Come pray with us!! The Viatorians are especially inviting teens and young adults to join the groups already existing in the Chicago and Kankakee areas. Viatori.ans gather regularly at 7:30 pm for an hour of meditation, prayer and singing music from Taize. Taize is an ecumenical monastery

in France founded after WWll. Monks there have developed a meditative style of praying \-vith music that has become popular particularly among yotmg adults who flock to Taize throughout the year. In March 1999, the Viatorian Vocation Office began sponsoring monthly Taize prayer services in the chapel at the Province Center a t 1212 E. Euclid St. in Arlington Heights. Each second Wednesday, between 30-100 people regularly a ttend. In FaU of 2001, the Vocation Office began Taize prayer services in the Kankakee area, which rotate between Ma ternity BVM and St. Patrick's, both Viatorian parishes. Viatorian Taize prayer services have become another way that we advance the work of Fr. Louis Querbes, our founder, who cared deeply about connecting yotmg people with Ouist. For infonnntion on

Tn.ize and on prayer services, see www. Tnizefr or Or call us l!ere nt 847-398-6805. •

160 Years i11 America (cont.) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -fund-raising trip to Rome, where he would die on September 23, 1843. After their visit at Vourles, the brothers would not have seen him again.

America was in the grip of a severe financial depression in 1842, Bishop Kenrick, Rosati's successor, determined that he could neither purd1ase a school building, nor provide the novitiate farm property. The Viatorians spent the cold, damp Missouri \-vinter with Fr. Fontbonne in his cabin rectory at Carondelet, where the Sisters of St. Joseph shared their food wi th them. Almost i.rumediately, the brothers opened a

school in the rectory, whose sleeping quarters became a classroom by day. Their students were the Frenchspeaking boys of Carondelet, a village whose poverty was legendary in the St. Louis area. Later the brothers would open a Cathedral boys' school in St. Louis. Bishop Kenrick would ordain two of the brothers, Anthony Thibaudier and Francis LaHaye, priests. By 1847, with the promise of a novitiate property wuealized, the mission disbanded, Fr. Thibaudier and Fr. LaHaye departed for Canada to join the new Viatorian mission a t Joliet. They would become the edu-

cators and advisors of the next group to tmdertake a mission in the United States in 1865. As to the other members of the St. Louis mission, McDonald restttned the administration of Ius own sd10ol, Shepherd remained at St. Louis as sacristan for the Cathedral, and Pavy joined the Vincentian community a t Perrysville, Missouri. The Viatorian nussion to St. Louis was short-lived (1842-1847), but were wih1esses to the faith and sacrifice of the new community and their founder. •

Viatorians Adopt a Vision Statement for the New Millennium A Viatorian Vision statement drafted by the Task Force on Comprehensive Development, and recommended by the Provincial Chapter was approved on October 22,2001 by the Provicial Council 1.

The Clerics of St. Viator, Chicago Province, Tesolve to expand and deepen our prophetic role as a Religious Congregation by addressing the contemporary social issues. We rl'affirrn our Gospelinspired mission to be dedicated educators of faith and to raise up communitie11 of believers who espouse the values of Jesus Ouist in their life and work.


The Clerics of St. Viator acknowledge and respect the role of laymen and women in the Church by ministering •-vith them as equal partnersin the Church. Further, we acknowledge our need to expand beyond our traditional roles in innovative, unique and distinctive ways.

3. The Clerics of St. Viator, in the spirif of their founder;lllinister to and with young people in the Church and are committed to their fa~th development and active menlbership in their respective fa) th communities. 4.

The Oer:ics of St. Viator, living in a world o f diversity embrace those who are "acc-ounted of little importance" by some.

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