Provincial Perpective “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” The Reverend Mother whispered this axiom to her postulant, Maria, in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s delightful musical, The Sound of Music. During the past few weeks, the Viatorian Community members in Colombia are living witnesses to this reality. Over the past years, they have explored the establishment of a new school in Villavicencio. For a brief period the project looked hopeful, but challenging issues arose, forcing the door to close on that plan.
With little time to spare, I traveled to Colombia twice during the month of August. First, after touring the school and property, I met with the provincial and other representatives of the sisters. The school was perfect, with plenty of land for expansion and development. On Aug. 30, the Clerics of St. Viator and the members of the Foundation of Colombia agreed to purchase the school and to rename it Colegio San Viator – Tunja. With this new ministry in Colombia, the Viatorians will be able to expand their mission of education beyond Bogotá to Tunja, a city with a growing population and many vibrant, expanding neighborhoods. I believe that God offered us a new opportunity for life in the Foundation of Colombia and to the Province of Chicago.
Then, just as the dust settled, God opened a window and placed a new project in front of our very eyes. In the city of Tunja, Colombia (less than two hours away from our school in Bogotá) the Sisters of Cristo Rey were confronting a difficult situation and were preparing to close their school, which was only 10 years old. There simply were too few sisters available to administer and teach at their school. Then they met the Viatorians, shared their story, opened their doors, and invited the Viatorian Community to consider taking over their dream by purchasing the school, the land, the local religious community house, and all of the existing furnishings and equipment that already were in place at the school. Indeed, a window opened and an opportunity presented itself to continue their mission, now with the Viatorian spirit and presence.
I am grateful to Fr. Pedro Herrera, CSV, who initiated the dialogue with the sisters, and to all who have so willingly embraced God’s invitation to take the risk, step on the path, and courageously follow the call to bring the Good News into the hallways and classrooms of Colegio San Viator – Tunja. It is a wonderful mission, with great opportunities for growth and possible vocations for our community. Congratulations to all. In St. Viator and Fr. Querbes,
Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Provincial – Province of Chicago
In this Issue: 2 3 4
Provincial Perspective: If You Build It, They Will Come Uncovering New Life in Saint Viator Catholic Community Church Paying it Forward on the Football Field Building a Brighter Future with Young Viatorian Leaders Q&A with Kevin Ho Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep Unveils Plans for New Campus
From the Archives... Preserving the Legacy of St. Viator Parish – One Alum at a Time
10 Viatorian Provincial Assembly: Gathering as a
Community Responding to the Spiritual Needs of the Hispanic Community in Kankakee
12 In Memoriam: Fr. Edward C. Anderson, CSV 13 In Memoriam: Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV 14 In Memoriam: Fr. Kenneth E. Yarno, CSV 15 Celebrating Our Jubilarians 16 Around the Province 2
Provincial: Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Editor: Fr. Thomas E. Long, CSV
Director of Communications:
Eileen O’Grady Daday
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: email@example.com
If You Build It, They Will Come It was the move of the Blessed Virgin Mary statue that did it, says Fr. Richard Pighini, CSV, pastor of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Bourbonnais. “The minute it was moved into place,” he says, “I knew it was just right.”
“Our Lady of Grace” originally was commissioned by a family back in 1914 to be perched on top of the convent for the Congregation of Notre Dame sisters, who arrived in Bourbonnais in 1860 to teach local students.
When the convent was razed in 1971, the statue was moved to a high visibility location along the curve on Marsile Street, in front of the school. “I think moving it closer to the church makes it even more prominent,” says Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, associate pastor. “It just seems more powerful to see it as you enter church and it’s a fitting place for our patroness.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
Fr. Richard Pighini, CSV, pastor, rededicates the Our Lady of Grace statue during a dedication of the plaza in September
The 7 1/2-foot, 1,400-pound statue — made of iron and dating back more than 100 years — is the centerpiece of a newly dedicated plaza, built over the summer to enhance the front entrance of the church.
Other improvements include taking out two large spruce trees to open up space for the plaza, installing stone pavers throughout, planting new landscaping and placing a fountain. New benches are coming. “Already, we’ve seen a difference,” Fr. Pighini says. “With the plaza, people have a place to gather, both before and after Mass.”
A parish family provided the lead gift for the renovation, but several more donations have come in, including one from the Viatorian Community, to finish the project. Fr. Pighini is quick to point out that no money from the weekly collection has been used for the enhancements.
The new outdoor plaza and gardens are the latest renovations to the historic parish, which Viatorians view as the “mother church.” The Viatorians arrived in 1865 from Canada, assumed the leadership of the parish and have continously staffed it. Three years ago, the church interior underwent a dramatic facelift, with the painting of the ceiling cast as a starry night, with gold leaf embellishments and all in contrast with the altar and gleaming white sanctuary. One year later, a new pipe organ was installed.
“The environment has to be beautiful, both inside and out,” Fr. Pighini says. “Beauty is just important when it comes to faith.” He likens it to the Viatorians’ overarching mission, which is to build up communities of faith. And it starts, he says, with honoring their parish patroness.
Uncovering New Life in St. Viator Catholic Community The scaffolds are down and the results are in: Parishioners at St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas love the new look of their church. After attending Mass all summer in the school gymnasium, they returned — three weeks early — to find the interior of their church trimmed in shades of taupe, as well as new pews, kneelers, carpeting, organ speakers and sound panels to enhance its acoustics. The highlight of the project is the iridescent tile work behind the crucifix — set off by stacked stonework with bits of gray and gold — which really draws attention to the altar and sanctuary. “With the crucifix on the stone and gold backdrop, it presents a beautiful focus for prayers,” says Beth Schill, who coordinates marriages and baptisms for the parish. Bands of gold trim enhance the columns in the church and taupe highlights around the stained glass windows, seemed to make the colorful images, well, pop, parishioners say. “We wanted to make the church feel warmer — and more welcoming,” says Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, pastor. A pair of murals on either side of the altar was commissioned when the church was built in 1995, and they continue to offer a vibrant addition to the sanctuary. “It’s amazing how the colors of the walls make everything stand out,” says Fr. Rinn, who has led the parish since 1999. “I sit in this church now and see things I never saw before.” Fr. Rinn worked with his associate pastor, Fr. Lawrence Lentz, CSV, to design the church’s new look. “Given the Viatorians’ passion for good liturgy, we felt this was a wonderful excuse for us to collaborate as confreres and friends in this very special undertaking,” Fr. Lentz says. “With the help of many others, this is our gift to the St. Viator Catholic Community.” One of the last elements of the renovation was an image of a stained glass window of the parish’s patron, St. Viator, positioned on the back wall, visible to worshippers leaving the church. Just the sheer size of the image makes an impact. It measures 12-feet tall and six-feet wide and was created from an original stained glass panel that hangs in the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights. “Hanging St. Viator in church, makes all the sense in the world,” Fr. Rinn adds. “He is our patron.” www.viatorians.com
Eileen O’Grady Daday
Paying it Forward on the Football Field Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, still remembers his last football game at Saint Viator High School. It took place exactly 10 years ago next month. He was a lineman with the Lions and for the first time in recent memory, the team made it to the second round of the playoffs. Their dreams of advancing came crashing down when a tipped pass led to a reception by their opponents from Batavia High School, who went on to win, 40-37. Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, was one of the coaches on the sidelines, and he tried to console an emotional Br. Lamick after the loss. “I still remember it as if it was yesterday,” says Br. Lamick, who would go on to play football at Division III Benedictine University in Lisle, IL, before ultimately taking his first vows in 2015 and joining the Viatorian Community as a professed brother.
when you’re their classroom teacher. “It’s another avenue of communication,” he adds. “You really get to know the kids.” Not that he cuts his players any slack, just because he is a priest. He Ten years ago, Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, consoles senior is their coach, af- lineman Peter Lamick. ter all, and he doesn’t fool around. “Kick each point as if it was a championship point,” Fr. Hall says to the young backup kicker on one of the first days of practice.
This fall, he returned to where it all started: the gridiron at Saint Viator High School, serving as assistant coach of the freshmen team alongside his mentor, Fr. Hall.
“Concentrate on technique,” he adds to the blocking linemen during point-after drills. “If you don’t, you’re wasting your time.”
“The experiences I had playing football in high school helped instill in me some critical values,” Br. Lamick says. “It feels odd to say that a sport played such an important role, but God finds a way to reach us no matter where we are or what we are doing.
Br. Lamick watched Fr. Hall put the young players through their paces, and he smiled. He remembers hearing the same commands when he played for him, and they helped shape his life, literally.
“In football,” he adds, “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.” For his part, Fr. Hall says he is “ecstatic” that Br. Lamick has joined him in the coaching ranks. He remembers that even as a player, Br. Lamick talked about becoming a coach someday, and now that he has, Fr. Hall believes his young freshmen players will benefit. “I get tremendous joy from it,” Fr. Hall says of coaching. “As a coach, kids come and talk to you about things they wouldn’t
When he’s not coaching football, Br. Lamick continues to work on his master’s degree in education at DePaul University, and help out in Campus Ministry. Fr. Hall, meantime, began the year as the newly installed Vice President of Viatorian Identity and Mission at the high school. He likens the role to that of a spiritual advisor on the academic team, under new President Brian Liedlich. Or to put it in simpler terms, he sees himself as an assistant coach, still shaping students’ lives.
Eileen O’Grady Daday
Br. Peter Lammick, CSV, gives his freshmen team a pep talk before a practice early in the season
Building a Brighter Future with Young Viatorian Leaders Where do you go from here? That was the parting question asked of the nearly 50 delegates and one dozen young adult leaders who convened in July for the 7th annual Viatorian Youth Congress. After four days immersed in prayer, discussion groups, sharing Eucharist together and learning about social justice — all at the Bellarmine Retreat Center in Barrington, IL — the congress came to an emotional close. But not before each delegation met to discuss action plans they intended to bring back to their own communities, to help empower people living on the margins of society. “Everything I’ve heard here hits home,” said Miranda Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, celebrates Mass during one of the days of the VYC. Walters, 18, of Kankakee, who attended the congress (Photo by Matt Fitzgerald) for the fourth straight year. Associate Karen Cutler directed the congress and one of her “I love the whole feeling of community here,” she added. “We’re all coming from parishes and schools from across the country, but we all find common ground with the Viatorians.” Delegates were surrounded by the Viatorian charism, from everything they heard, saw and met. They gathered for large group presentations in a room decked out with a timeline featuring highpoints in the Viatorian ministry in this country, starting in 1865. When delegations retreated to their small group rooms, each one contained an image representing the Viatorians, and virtually everything they discussed had something to do with the charism of reaching out to help those “accounted of little importance.”
main goals was to mix teens with as many Viatorians as possible during their stay. “I think we succeeded with that,” she said. “Viatorians served as delegation leaders, presenters, celebrants at Mass and many new associates were interviewed and introduced to the large group.” Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, helped design the unique congress seven years ago, and he was on hand every day of this year’s event. “The VYC helps our young faith leaders realize that they are part of a worldwide family,” said Fr. Brost said, “that is changing the world.” Eileen O’Grady Daday Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, gathers with some of the delegates and leaders from the Las Vegas region who participated in this year’s Viatorian Youth Congress. (Photo by Matt Fitzgerald)
with Kelvin Ho
The 8th Day Center for Justice may not be a household word, but members of the Viatorian Community share its faithbased commitment to social justice. Viatorians are part of a coalition of 30 religious congregations that support the 8th Day Center and its mission of promoting justice, equality and human dignity among all people. Together, they are committed to the belief that all creation is sacred and interrelated, and they are driven to work together to advance change. Viatorians do more than support the mission. They employ a staff member to advance their priorities. Kelvin Ho has been in that role for one year. We caught up with him recently to find out more about him — and how he forwards the Viatorian mission.
I’ve also worked with groups like the Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition to support individuals facing deportation by ICE. Around labor rights and economic justice I’ve worked with coalitions like Fair Economy Illinois and the Chicago Teachers Union to push back against austerity measures in Illinois.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I spent the first half of my childhood in Los Angeles and the second half in Taipei before coming to Chicago for college. I got involved in social justice during my last two years of college, and it led me to spend the next year organizing college students in the Midwest to get their universities to divest from fossil fuel companies. I worked on a campaign to ban the use of hydraulic fracturing in Illinois and then spent another two years doing labor organizing.
What are your thoughts about being the face — and voice — of the Viatorians, out in the trenches of social justice?
I’m proud to be able to represent a community that consistently puts social service at the forefront of its ministries.
You earned a degree in economics from the University of Chicago, but you chose to work for social justice. Can you tell us what prompted that — and what drives you?
I grew up in a family where politics was always a topic of conversation at the dinner table. My grandparents had been a part of brutally suppressed pro-democracy movements in Taiwan and hearing their stories of friends, who chose to organize against the brutal regime despite the risks to themselves, instilled in me a sense of idealism from a young age.
What are some of the causes that you work to advance, in the name of the Viatorians?
My main organizing focuses have been around labor rights, environmental justice, solitary confinement, immigration and economic justice.
Can you give some specifics of what you do toward advancing these social justice causes?
With respect to environmental justice I’ve helped groups like the Southeast Environmental Taskforce and Rising Tide in garnering press for their demonstrations against petroleum coke piles being dumped on the Southeast side of Chicago. On solitary confinement, I’ve worked with groups like the Illinois Coalition Against Torture and Uptown’s People Law Center to lobby for a bill that would significantly limit the use of solitary confinement in Illinois.
Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep Unveils Plans for New Campus A brief press conference took place last month at the site of a former Kmart store in Waukegan, IL, but it shared big news for supporters of Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep. After more than 10 years of educating students in a former parish facility, the school announced it had purchased a vacant big box store with the intention of converting it into a state of the art school. “This is a milestone occasion for us as we formally embark on our Cornerstone Campaign,” said Preston Kendall, president of Cristo Rey St. Martin. “Our new facility will bring new life, hope and a brighter future to both our students and the communities of Waukegan and North Chicago.”
the new site is something of a dream come true for school officials and supporters alike. At that time of its opening, 95 students occupied the second floor and basement of a former Social Security Administration building in downtown Waukegan. Two years later, with enrollment up to 140, the school leased the former St. Joseph Parish complex from the Archdiocese of Chicago. However, with enrollment now up to 400 students, it has outgrown that classroom building. Artistic rendering of the Cristo rey College Prep school
Phase One of the renovation of the building will include an initial renovation of half the building, roughly 50,000 square feet, to house 21 classrooms, a cafeteria, a library commons area, as well as administrative office space. Among the classrooms will be three science labs to support the biology, chemistry and physics curriculum.
Preston Kendall, president of Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, brings students inside the building which eventually will be their new school.
Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, looks at the rendering of the new campus with supporters
Viatorians were among the founding religious communities to financially back Cristo Rey St. Martin when it opened in 2004, and they remain committed to its innovative vision started by Fr. John Foley, SJ, who was on hand for the announcement, as was Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, Viatorian provincial. He described the day as the “beginning of a new era.” “As partners in mission, the Viatorians are pleased to support this undertaking and look forward to the day when we dedicate the new Cristo Rey St. Martin,” Fr. von Behren said. “The vision continues.” Acquiring the new building came after a two-year search, and the raising of $17 million to cover the purchase and phase one renovation continues with the Cornerstone Campaign. But www.viatorians.com
One aspect that hasn’t changed through its series of moves is its unique work study model, which has students taking a rigorous, college prep curriculum while spending one day a month working at area businesses to help afford their tuition.
“This experience reinforces critical thinking and organizational skills needed in today’s workforce,” says Kristen Watson, development director for the school. Cristo Rey St. Martin is part of the 32 schools across the country in the Cristo Rey Network. They all share the same mission of providing quality education, coupled with innovative work experience, in order to break the cycle of economic immobility for students growing up in challenging communities. Viatorians heartily agree, and over the years, they have supported the school both financially and spiritually. Its members have served in administration, on its board, on the faculty and staff, in Campus Ministry and as mentors and benefactors. 8
Eileen O’Grady Daday
From the Archives: Preserving the Legacy of St. Viator Parish — One Alum at a Time Documents, photographs and artifacts, oh my! St. Viator Parish in Chicago has all of these, and Maggie Goschi Gebien ’75, director of alumni relations and development, is tackling them. Her goals are to reconnect the grade school graduates with each other — and with the school — as well as to preserve the 128-year parish history. Photos of the grade school classes and activities are a major portion of the collection, but she is always looking for more. For Maggie, this is not just a job, it’s personal. “The parish is an integral part of this community and my life,” Maggie says. “It has given so much to me, and my hope is to pass on this heritage to our children.” St. Viator Parish was established in 1888 by the Clerics of St. Viator. As the Maggie Goschi Gebien ‘75 looks through a school photo album and graduation composites. archivist for the Viatorian Community, I was called in to assist Maggie in the arrangement of these historic materials and select the archival supplies and materials for rehousing the collection. The rich parish legacy will be preserved and protected for generations to come, and many photos will be digitized for easy access.
Personal memories, family stories, tales, and more! What better way to understand and preserve the past, than with an in-depth reflection of one person’s personal experiences of growing up in the parish. Jack Smith, graduate of the class of 1956 and now a deacon at St. Zachary’s Church in Des Plaines, shared his memories of St. Viator Church and School during a recent oral history interview with Br. Jim Lewnard, CSV historian, and myself.
Jack Smith ’56 proudly shares his grade school and family memories during an oral history interview.
Jack brought in numerous photos and artifacts from his past. Visual materials prompt memories and memories prompt stories. Sharing those with us, he described the love he has for the church, school and especially for the Viatorians. Jack’s family lived on Addison Street, near the church and his grandfather and parents were very close to the Viatorian pastors and their assistants.
Jack fondly remembers how the pastor would knock on the door every evening to sit and watch the 10 p.m. news with his father back in the 1950s and how his mother always cooked a “good hot meal” for them and the neighbors. Jack had to personally deliver these before he could sit down and eat his own dinner. “I think that makes them pretty good parish priests, when you can remember stories of growing up with them and relating to them,” he said. Now we need your help to uncover more hidden gems from the past. If you attended St. Viator Church and School, consider reaching out to Maggie Goschi Gebien ‘75 to share your stories and photographs and get on the alumni mailing list. She publishes a newsletter twice a year. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 773-286-4040 ext. 31. Joan Sweeney, Viatorian Associate and Archivist
Class of 1956 in St. Viator Church with Fr. Edward Cardinal, CSV, pastor (right) and Fr. Edward Gorman, CSV, assistant (left).
Viatorian Provincial Assembly: Gathering as a Community
4. 3. 1. Jubilarians include, from left: Fr. Fredy Santos, Fr. Michael Keliher, Fr. Simon Lefebvre, Fr. John Palmer, Fr. Alan Syslo and Fr. John Van Wiel. Missing: Fr. John Pisors 2. Fr. Patrick Render, left, Fr. Lawrence Lentz, center and Associate Enrique Valdovinos take in the displays during the Provincial Assembly. 3. Fr. Lawrence Lentz, left, Fr. Thomas von Behren, right, and Fr. Richard Pighini, second from right, congratulate Associates David and Susan Surprenant on making their definitive commitments to the Viatorian Community. 4. First year Associates, front row, from left: Jackie Dupon, Betty Faraci, Gema and José Rangel, Susana Tellez, Enrique Valdovinos and Ivy Vera, Second row: Definitive Associates Connie Gerber, left, and David and Susan Surprenant
Fellowship, spiritual renewal and strengthening the bonds. Those were some of the goals of the annual Provincial Assembly, which this year drew more than 80 Viatorian associates, brothers and priests to Saint Viator High School for the three-day conference. The timing of the assembly was key. This year’s gathering occurred less than six months before the General Assembly, which takes place in November in Madrid, when delegates from around the world will gather to discuss issues facing the international Viatorian Community.
CSV; as well as Associates Connie Gerber and Daniel Schwarz, both of Las Vegas. The first night of the assembly featured a Mass and joyous dinner celebration for this year’s jubilarians. Their years of religious life and of the priesthood collectively span nearly two centuries — and stretch from Illinois to Nevada and California, to as far away as Bogotá, Colombia and Taiwan.
Part of the agenda was to choose delegates for the General Assembly, as well as to craft a response to the international community’s major priorities — vocation ministry and social justice.
They include: Fr. Simon Lefebvre, CSV, 70 years of religious life; Fr. John Palmer, CSV, and Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV, 50 years of religious life; Fr. Fredy Santos, CSV, 25 years of religious life; and Fr. John Pisors, CSV, Fr. Alan Syslo, CSV, and Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV, who all celebrated 50 years of priesthood.
Representing the Province of Chicago at that meeting in Madrid will be Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, Fr. Mick Egan, CSV and Br. Gustavo López,
“Today, we give thanks that we’ve been able to serve the people of God in so many different ways,” Fr. Van Wiel said in his homily, “and pray for the grace to continue.”
Responding to the Spiritual Needs of the Hispanic Community in Kankakee Fr. Fredy Santos, CSV, returned last spring to Kankakee to pursue a labor of love: ministering to the growing number of Hispanic residents in the area and empowering them in their faith. A Colombian native, he earned his undergraduate degree in science education, with a specialization in catechesis from the Universidad La Gran Colombia in Bogotá. But as part of his preparation for the priesthood, Fr. Santos spent time with Spanish speaking parishioners at St. Patrick, St. Rose of Lima and St. Teresa parishes in Kankakee. Now he has returned, and he has a full slate of responsibilities. “Viatorians have been in Kankakee for more than 100 years, but this is the first time a Viatorian has reached out to the Hispanic community here,” says Fr. John Peeters, CSV, pastor of St. Patrick Parish. “It’s a new ministry and one that is needed, especially from a native speaker.” More than 10,000 Spanish speaking residents live in Kankakee and up to 50,000 in the wider Kankakee Valley region. Fr. Santos works closely with officials from the Joliet Diocese to help fill the void. He says Masses at St. Martin of Tours, St. Teresa and St. Rose of Lima parishes, which are covered by only two diocesan priests. He keeps a timetable of the teams of Eucharistic ministers, lectors and acolytes serving in the three parishes, and it turns out the list is important. Candidates for the Diocese of Joliet’s first Hispanic pastoral leadership formation program were recruited from these active
The second night honored this year’s associates, who were at various stages of their commitments to the Viatorian Community. A special group included Connie Gerber of Las Vegas, and David and Susan Surprenant of Manteno, IL, who all made their definitive commitments. Another group of adults joined the Viatorian Community for the first time. They made their first commitments — for a period of two years — after completing a two-year discernment program. They included Jackie Dupon, Betty Faraci, Gema Rangel, José Rangel, Susana Tellez, Enrique Valdovinos and Ivy Vera; all from St. Viator Parish in Chicago.
parishioners. The leadership training classes began this month, and they will focus on the parishioners developing their personal, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral skills that they will in turn share in their faith communities.
Fr. Fredy Santos participates in the opening prayer session at this year’s assembly.
“It’s an important project,” says Fr. Santos. “These ministers are in formation, working with professional theologians.” He also leads a family Bible study group every week, coordinates baptism and marriage preparation classes as well as quinceañera celebrations. Fr. Santos is involved in the youth group that all three parishes feed into, and last summer he accompanied them to a retreat at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Des Plaines, IL. “I am very happy in my ministry here,” Fr. Santos says. “By providing formation, I am helping this community to deepn their faith and live the Gospel.”
Eileen O’Grady Daday
Associates in Las Vegas gathered Sept. 12 to make their commitments. They included Mimi Roos, who made her five-year recommitment, as well as Mary Jane Miller, Maggie Saunders, Kathy Underwood and Deacon Michael Underwood, who all professed their definitive commitments. Finally, more commitments took place Oct. 16 in Bourbonnais, where Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie made their definitive commitments, and Curt and Kathy Saindon and John Dussman, all made their first commitments as associates. “What a wonderful celebration of our cultures and of our faith,” Fr. von Behren said. “Thank you for making this important commitment to the Viatorian Community.” Eileen O’Grady Daday
In Memoriam High School in Rock Island, IL. In 1966, he advanced into educational leadership and served as principal of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, NV, until 1969. He also served as associate pastor and pastor at St. Viator Catholic Community, and later as rector of Guardian Angel Cathedral, both in Las Vegas.
Fr. Edward C.Anderson, CSV 1921-2016
The Province of Chicago lost its oldest member and a former provincial, with the passing of Fr. Edward C. Anderson, CSV. He died Aug. 14 in Las Vegas after a long illness. He was 94.
Between teaching so many Viatorians as seminarians and later serving with them at ministry sites across the province, Fr. Anderson became a popular figure amongst his peers.
His confreres remember him fondly, and they all point to the fact that he was the first elected provincial of the Province of Chicago — from 1969 to 1974 — signaling a profound change in the way the Fr. Edward C. Anderson, CSV Viatorian Community was led. “Fr. Anderson ushered in a new spirit and vision for the congregation,” says Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial. “With a Vatican II spirit, Fr. Anderson laid a foundation that embraced collaboration with the laity and an openness to the emerging post-Vatican II changes that were taking place throughout the church in the United States.
Fr. Ed Anderson, CSV, center, joined the administrative team at Bishop Gorman High School in 1966, with Fr. Philip Clifford, CSV, left, and Sr. Irmalyn, CSC, vice principal
“He allowed the spirit to move within the community,” Fr. von Behren adds “and he encouraged experimentation in the way in which religious life was lived.” By all accounts, Fr. Anderson did not seek the leadership position. He was a scholar, who had earned undergraduate degrees at St. Charles College in Baltimore and DePaul University in Chicago. He went on to do graduate work at Fordham University in New York, and earned a master’s degree in education at the University of Illinois. It was at Catholic University of America, while Fr. Anderson studied for his licentiate in sacred theology, that he also taught moral theology to Viatorian seminarians, both in Washington and back in Arlington Heights, where he returned in 1954 after earning his degree. “He was an excellent teacher,” says Br. Don Houde, CSV. “Like all good teachers, he listened to his students and he challenged them.” His teaching assignments would take him to St. Joseph School for the Deaf in New York City, Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, NY, Spalding Institute in Peoria, IL, Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield, IL, and Alleman www.viatorians.com
“He was widely read and well respected,” says Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, pastor of St. Viator Catholic Community, who remembers Fr. Anderson as an active member of the board of trustees for Bishop Gorman High School, after his term as principal. The ability to elect their own provincial superior came as a result of a two-year self-study undertaken in the Viatorian Community following Vatican II. When elected, Fr. Anderson was charged with implementing some of the decisions that came out of the study. “It was a rebellious time for the church and the country,” Br. Houde adds, “and (Fr. Anderson) had to cope with that. It wasn’t easy, but he handled it well.” A funeral Mass took place Aug. 20 at St. Viator Catholic Community before Fr. Anderson was laid to rest at Davis Memorial Park, both in Las Vegas. He will be missed. 12
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university, overseeing preparation classes for outgoing volunteers. In 1966, he ultimately would serve as deputy director of the Peace Corps in Nigeria.
Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV 1927-2016
A collection of African art, religious icons and family photos filled the walls of Br. Leo Ryan’s rooms at the Province Center in Arlington Heights, capturing a life spent in higher education, the Peace Corps and in religious life.
A call to serve his Viatorian Community followed, when in 1967 Br. Ryan was elected to serve as a member of the General Council in Rome and later as director of education for the Viatorians, overseeing all of the appointments of Viatorians serving in schools. In 1972, Br. Ryan left his administrative role to serve as the first president of Saint Viator High School, leading an administrative team that included Br. Donald Houde, CSV, as principal and Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, as assistant principal.
The largest piece of artwork was a framed poster of a log cabin in New Salem, IL, where Abraham Lincoln Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV lived as a young man. Highlighted on the poster was this quote: “The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.”
“Leo brought his whole career in management into the administration of the school,” Br. Houde says. “He wanted to make Saint Viator a significant educational experience for students.”
Br. Ryan lived that credo throughout his long life. He passed away June 22, at the age of 89. “For Leo, it was about relationships,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, at his memorial Mass on July 2 at Saint Viator High School. Br. Ryan grew up in the small town of Waukon, Iowa and enrolled at Marquette University in 1944, before being inducted into the Army during World War II. He served in the infantry and was chosen to be among the delegation to travel — after the war — to the Central Pacific to test the strength of the atomic bomb, authorized by President Harry Truman. Witnessing the destructive force of the bomb firsthand, he discerned a call to religious life, a decision from which he never looked back. He returned to Marquette to complete his degree before pronouncing his first vows as a Viatorian in 1950. Br. Ryan’s first assignments took him to Springfield, IL, where he taught at Cathedral Boys High School and later at Spalding Institute in Peoria. A move to St. Louis University to pursue his doctorate in management and educational administration, after having earned his MBA at DePaul, signaled a career change into higher education. From St. Louis, Br. Ryan returned to Marquette, where he was an assistant dean of the evening business school and continuing education director. Toward the end of his eight-year assignment at Marquette, Br. Ryan took over as director of Peace Corps activities at the 13
In 1974, Br. Ryan left the high school to become dean of the business college at the University of Notre Dame for five years, before serving as dean of the College of Commerce at DePaul. Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, DePaul president, gave one of three eulogies at Br. Ryan’s memorial Mass, describing Br. Ryan as “legendary.” “He’s the one who organized Chicago’s corporate leaders and our many alums,” Fr. Holtschneider said.“Working together, they raised DePaul regarded school of business.”
Br. Leo V. Ryan received an honorary doctorate degree during the 2013 DePaul University graduation ceremony
from a regional to a nationally
Upon his retirement in 1988 as dean, Br. Ryan remained at DePaul as a professor of management, while also lecturing at the Helsinki School of Economics in Mikkeli, Finland and teaching management during fall semesters at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań Poland. “Even with his many titles, being a Viatorian and a religious was the most important title of all for Leo,” Fr. von Behren said. “He embraced the vocation of being a brother and saw that he could have a significant impact in our world and church without being ordained.” He will be missed.
Eileen O’Grady Daday www.viatorians.com
In Memoriam Fr. Kenneth E. Yarno, CSV
“We all thought he looked like Paul Neuman,” Costello says. “He was sweet and gentle and a sympathetic shoulder to lean on if things didn’t go well.”
The auditorium at Saint Viator High School, the baptismal font at St. George Church in Bourbonnais and a hand carved, wooden clock at the Viatorian Province Center. They all share the imprint of Fr. Kenneth Yarno, CSV, whose love of woodworking and attention to detail sustained him during his 65 years of religious life.
In 1973, Fr. Yarno was tapped to serve as principal of Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, where he would stay for eight years. Beyond making physical improvements to the campus, he also launched a new fundraising idea, Madcaps, drawing on his theater background. “There were live performances on stages set up throughout the school,” says Viatorian Associate Susan Surprenant, a former student.
Fr. Yarno passed away June 8 after suffering a stroke. He was 84.
A switch to pastoral ministry came in 1983 for “He was a good and holy priest Fr. Yarno, calling him to be pastor of Immaculate - a gentle, quiet and just man Fr. Kenneth E. Yarno, CSV Conception Parish in Kankakee before serving as who drew people to him,” said pastor of St. Viator Church in Chicago, and later St. Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, Joseph Church in Springfield. provincial, at his funeral Mass on June 15. Fr. Yarno entered the Viatorian Community in 1950 after It was there that Fr. Yarno formed a lasting friendship with graduating from St. Patrick High School in Kankakee, where the school principal, Sr. Rita Bregenhorn, OSU. Viatorians had taught him. He pronounced his first vows in 1951 and was ordained a priest in 1959.
In 1994, Fr. Yarno was assigned to be pastor of St. George Parish in Bourbonnais, where he would spend the next 15 years.
He would earn degrees in philosophy, industrial arts and ultimately a certificate in educational administration. However, his first assignment after ordination was as assistant director and ultimately director of vocations.
“He loved the people here — and enjoyed all the peace and solitude of St. George,” says Viatorian Associate David Surprenant.
“This was no small task, coming after Vatican II and with all the upheaval in the 1960s,” Fr. von Behren said. “But Ken persevered.”
During his years as pastor, Fr. Yarno oversaw the renovation of its church and built the baptismal font and lectern out of the same marble as the altar.
It was in 1968, that a fire occurred at Saint Viator High School that left the auditorium and stage gutted. Fr. James Michaletz, CSV, the principal at that time, said the first thing he did was to ask permission for Fr. Yarno to be assigned to supervise its restoration. “He had a background in industrial arts, and he was very organized,” Fr. Michaletz says of his good friend. “He was a godsend.”
In retirement at the Province Center, Fr. Yarno built models and clocks that adorn the building, including a large one built of hand-cut balsa wood, which resembles a chalet in France.
Fr. Yarno not only resurrected the theater in time for its next musical, but he stayed on as producer of the next three shows.
“We celebrate his journey of life and of service,” Fr. von Behren said, “and as a religious priest.”
Kate Costello, who has directed the last 15 musicals at Saint Viator and appeared in them during her high school years, remembers Fr. Yarno fondly.
He will be missed.
Eileen O’Grady Daday
Celebrating Our Jubilarians Fr. John Pisors celebrated 50 years as a Viatorian priest in September. Looking back, it appears he was destined to become a Viatorian. He attended elementary school at St. Viator Parish in Chicago and followed in the footsteps of his brother, the late Fr. Thomas Pisors, CSV. He also had two sisters who Fr. John Pisors, CSV became members of the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee. Most of his 50 years as a priest have been spent in Colombia, South America, and most of them at Colegio San Viator. In preparation for his role as teacher, Fr. Pisors received his Bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in Latin from Loyola University in Chicago. He received his Master’s degree from Catholic University of America in science and mathematics. Although Fr. Pisors spent shorter assignments at Blessed Agnes Church in Chicago, and at Parroquia de Christo Rey and Parroquia Santa Magdelena Sofia Barat, both in Colombia; he has devoted most of his life to the students at Colegio San Viator. Over the years, he has taught many of the core subjects, while also helping out in sacramental ministry at surrounding parishes. His steady involvement over all these years has helped the school build a solid reputation as a bilingual, college prep school and one that has distinguished itself as an accredited International Baccalaureate program. Fr. Alan Syslo was ordained a priest on June 4, 1966. He obtained his undergraduate degree in accounting at Loyola University in Chicago, before doing graduate study at George Washington University in Washington DC, earning a master’s in social work at Rutger’s University, and his master’s degree in management at Illinois State University. His Fr. Alan Syslo, CSV first teaching assignment was at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights where he taught business and religion. From there he was transferred to Spalding Institute in Peoria, where he taught his major subjects and served as dean of men. After seven years he joined a small group interested in team ministry in Louisiana, which added parish ministry to his resume. From there he went to Las Vegas and broadened the scope of his work, taking on the challenging task of ministry to the gay community in the California counties of Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito,
and San Luis Obispo. “Reflecting on the past 50 years, I see three events that have had a great impact on my life,” Fr. Syslo says. “The first was being involved in the lives of persons suffering and dying with AIDS. The second was learning and helping veterans being affected with post-traumatic stress disorder. The third is an ever growing knowledge and deeper appreciation of the liturgy, both in the Word and in the Eucharist. This has made me see that all theology is rooted in the liturgy, and I have been blessed to be able to celebrate the Divine Liturgy of the Byzantine Rite.” Fr. Syslo now serves as an associate pastor at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV. Fr. John Van Wiel also celebrates 50 years as a priest. Like many of his confreres, he was strongly influenced by his Viatorian high school teachers, in his case at Alleman High School in Rock Island, IL. As he celebrates 50 years of priestly ministry, he can count the ways he has lived a religious life. He spent 35 years teaching chemis- Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV try at Saint Viator High School, but he also served as a teacher, coach, dean of discipline and principal at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, as principal of Alleman High School in Rock Island, IL, and as a teacher and dean of discipline at Griffin High School in Springfield, and the local superior. His interests and talents begin in science and end in the arts. He is a good watercolorist. He studied at St. Procopius College and Loyola University, before completing post-graduate work at St. Louis University, Catholic University of America, University of North Carolina, and the Viatorian Seminary in Washington DC. “Certainly during my 50 years of priesthood and 56 of religious life, I have received much more than the hundredfold promised by Jesus to those who have left all to follow him,” Fr. Van Wiel writes. “I have been blessed in many ways by friends and families who have welcomed me into their lives and by the many students, teachers, parish priests and parishioners with whom I have worked. I loved being a teacher. I could walk into school in a bad mood, but in a short time the energy and liveliness of the students would have me smiling. Knowing that in some way, what I taught helped students make a career choice, was always a great reward. I am truly grateful for my years as a priest and a Viatorian.” 15
Br. Donald Houde, CSV www.viatorians.com
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Newsletter – Fall 2016
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Around the Province... Br. John Eustice, CSV, returned to his role as codirector of the Campus Ministry department at Saint Viator High School — but he did so with a song in his heart. Over the summer, Br. John attended a ukulele camp offered by the school’s band director, Mr. Vince Genualdi. He sat in with students and learned to make — and play — his own ukulele. “What a great way to start the summer — creatively,” Br. John said. Look for him to strum his ukulele tunes at his next retreat. Fr. Richard Pighini, CSV, is known for his green thumb at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Bourbonnais. His lush gardens brighten all corners of the church campus, including his private sanctuary behind the rectory, where he has cultivated a colorful oasis in the midst of shade trees. His efforts are drawing notice. One year ago, the church gardens were part of a community garden walk and this past summer, Fr. Pighini and his gardens made the cover story of Chicagoland Gardening Magazine. “What interests me about gardening,” Fr. Pighini says, “is the design aspect and creating beauty.” In the July edition of the Tablet, an international Catholic journal published in London, Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, wrote the cover story, which asks: “Which Direction Does God Face?” In it, Fr. Francis responded to a call by a Vatican prelate, Cardinal Robert Sarah, for the celebrant at Mass to face the same direction as the congregation, that is, with his back to them as was common in the Tridentine Rite. “One of the main goals of the (Vatican II) liturgical movement was its emphasis on
restoring liturgical participation by the laity at Mass,” Fr. Francis writes. “For this reason it promoted dialogue Masses.” While Cardinal Sarah promoted making the change as soon as Advent, Fr. Francis said that “activity is past.” Read his entire article, here http://www.thetablet.co.uk/features/2/8626/which-waydoes-god-face-. For the second straight year, Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, was asked by members of the Chicago Bears’ front office to come and say Mass for some of the coaches, players and staff when they were at training camp at nearby Olivet Nazarene University. Brian McCaskey, head of training camp operations for the Bears, asked Fr. Nesbit to return — and he brought Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, with him to serve as acolyte. “I know this is probably the most peaceful moment they get for most of the day,” Fr. Jason said. “I wanted to respect their privacy — and also ensure that the main reason for going over was to lead them in prayer and ensure those who were there receive the sacraments.” In other words, he didn’t ask for autographs, but he did grab a photo. Parish duties at St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas kept Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, from celebrating an important milestone in September: his 50th high school reunion from Saint Viator High School. He was remembered, however, during the weekend event as one of many successful graduates of the Class of 1966. One year after graduating from Saint Viator, Fr. Rinn entered the Viatorian Community and he has never looked back. During his nearly 50 years of religious life, he returned to his alma mater to teach and ultimately serve as its president. He continues to advance the Viatorian charism in Las Vegas, where he has served since 1999.