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Viatorian Community

Fall 2012

Volume 17, No. 3

Immersion Trip Leaves Lasting Impression

Destination: Belize.
In June, a group of nine young adults from four Viatorian institutions traveled to the Caribbean, on the inaugural Belize Immersion Program. But this was no sightseeing vacation. The aim was to connect them with everyday Belizeans, to discover how they are living, deepening and celebrating the Christian faith and to explore friendships that might animate the Viatorian charism. With young adults from St. Viator Parish in Chicago, St. Martin de Porres in Waukegan, Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights and St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, the program got under way in the Mexican city of Cancun. “I don’t really know what to expect,” said Robert Oliver of St. Thomas More on the first day. “I just know I am ready to discover a world bigger than what I know.” Br. John Eustice, CSV, of the Belize Foundation, met the group in Cancun and brought them to Corozal Town in Belize, where they explored Mayan ruins and learned about the country’s history and culture.

“What you are going to discover during your time here is that the church in Belize is held together by Catholic lay people,” said Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, who ministered at the Viatorian mission in Belize for 12 years. “Our faith is growing thanks to these women and men.” The group went on to share a meal with members of the Viatorian Community as well as other families hosting the young adults in their homes. From that moment forward, the group immersed themselves into the daily lives of ordinary Belizeans, sharing meals, conversation and faith. “I love the fact that we are being invited into their homes,” said Connor Romenesko, a Saint Viator High School graduate. “They are showing us what life is like around their kitchen tables.” Throughout the remainder of the program, participants visited schools, community programs and parish celebrations with the purpose of experiencing how Viatorians live their faith in everyday life.


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Annual Pilgrimage to St. Anne Offers Renewal

After 132 years, the devotion continues. Hundreds of worshippers descended on historic St. Anne Church at the end of a nine-day novena to St. Anne, the mother of Mary. They came for spiritual renewal and healing. “This place is made holy by the prayers of so many, for so many years,” said Fr. James Fanale, CSV, pastor since 1996. Located outside of Kankakee in central Illinois, the 19th century church is home to the original shrine to St. Anne in the United

States, brought by French Canadian settlers. The Viatorians have served as caretakers of this national treasurer since 1920. The novena culminates on July 26, the feast day of St. Anne. This year, more than 600 worshippers converged on the church campus, including busloads from Whiting, IN and Rockford, IL. “She has granted me so many favors,” said Anne Singel of Whiting, who has organized a bus trip to the shrine for the last 36 years. As evidence of St. Anne’s intercession, a wooden wheelchair stands in

Las Vegas Teens Find the LIGHT
What do get when you gather 90 teens together for five days armed with energy and the light of Christ? Camp LIGHT, that’s what! St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, administered by Viatorians, brought back Camp LIGHT this summer, and despite triple digit temperatures, it drew high schoolers fired up and ready to work. “I just got back from the hardest working, blistering, exhausting, five day LIGHT retreat — and it was awesome,” said Robby Haverman, one of the teens at the end of the week. Another teen, Shea Swiercinsky of Henderson, agreed, except that she didn’t want the experience to end. “This has been the greatest week,” she said. “Can’t we just live at St. Thomas More, please?” Since 2001, leaders in the parish’s LIFE Teen ministry have organized

the five-day work camp, around the acronym, Living In God’s House Together. Teens stay in classrooms, start their day with morning Mass and return from work sites for an evening filled with prayer, music and celebrations. In between, they divide up into teams and head to one of 15 different sites around the Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson areas. They do everything from sort clothes at a thrift store and food donations at a food bank to paint and complete landscape projects. “For nearly 100 teens to give up a week of their summer vacation to do service work — in that heat — we find incredibly humbling,” says Steven Dwyer, who co-directs the parish’s LIFE Teen program with his wife, Amanda. “The teens often say that it is the most memorable experience they have in their high school days.” Both Steve and Amanda point to Camp LIGHT as the kind of hands-on activity, that together with its spiritual dimension, keeps young people involved in the church. As it is, they average 300 teens involved with the program each week during the rest of the year. “Camp Light is like a work camp experience, but we really think of it as a retreat,” says Amanda Dwyer.

the back of church, with a pair of crutches propped against it. The wheelchair remains from the most famous healing at the shrine that occurred in 1902. That’s where 20-year old Matilda Cunnea's wheelchair remains as evidence of St. Anne's intervention back in 1902 Reportedly, as she was wheeled to the altar, Matilda rose from her chair and walked, to the astonishment of her parents who were on hand to witness the healing. Fr. Fanale even described how his own mother had attributed having children to St. Anne. He told of how she prayed a novena to St. Anne, after losing an infant son and having several miscarriages, and then went on to have five healthy children. “What a wonderful intercession she is for all us,” Fr. Fanale added. “With the tender brush of her hand, we are her much loved children.” The day allowed visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of their everyday

lives and become immersed in the spirituality of the place. They lit candles and collected water that flowed over a St. Anne medal. Local vendors offered different images of St. Anne to remember the day, as well as bouquets of gladiolas grown in nearby farms. The anointing Mass was the highlight. Those in attendance solemnly waited in lines to be anointed by the many Viatorian and diocesan priests on hand, before walking in procession while praying the rosary.

Fr. Donald Wehnert, CSV, annoints a worshipper during the healing Mass.

No obvious miracles or healings were reported that day, so far, but people came away changed from the experience. “She can relate to all our needs, and is a powerful witness as we journey through life,” said Viatorian Associate Marilyn Mulcahy. “Ultimately, she is dedicated to life and to the sanctity of that life.” Eileen O’Grady Daday

waiting list. Parish staff members were aided by 100 parent volunteers, who made meals for the teens, went to work sites and helped with nightly activities. “It changes teens’ lives,” Amanda says, “and the way they look at their own community.”

Camp LIGHT youth paint an uplifting mural outside a center for at-risk teens.

Youth ministers patterned their camp after one they visited in Phoenix, but it bears many of the same components of the nationally known Catholic Heart Work Camps, but here the teens stay close to home. “What a beautiful week,” said Kirsten Schwarz, an adult team leader. “There’s nothing better than seeing the light of God shine through more than dedicated teenagers. I feel so blessed to be part of it.” They now offer it every other year and teens eagerly await the chance to sign up. This year’s camp filled up in one week, and they had a long

College interns helped to organize teens during the week long Camp LIGHT.


Annual Viatorian Assembly Revitalizes Members
Spirituality, Community and Mission
Those three pillars drove the annual Viatorian assembly, held Aug. 7 and 8 at Saint Viator High School. Eighty delegates — associates, priests and brothers — from across the province attended, including those from Bourbonnais, Chicago, Kankakee, Las Vegas and Corozal Town, Belize. Several years after committing themselves to a Viatorian Community made up of associates and professed members, valued equally, delegates took a closer look at making that ideal a reality. “Over these next two days we will enter into dialogue, prayer and celebration,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, “as we transform the Viatorian Community of the Province of Chicago.” “How honored we are that five Viatorian associates are making a commitment — in a definitive way — to live out their baptismal promises in a Viatorian way,” Fr. von Behren said. “We are grateful for God’s gift of you, and for your commitment.” The final night showcased this year’s jubilarians, who collectively brought 450 years of religious life to the celebration. They included Fr. Francis White, CSV, (75 years), Br. Donald Houde, CSV, (60 years), Fr. John Linnan, CSV, (60 years), Fr. James Fr. Frank White, CSV, and Viatorian Michaletz, CSV, (60 years), Associate Leona Iglinski of Henderson, Fr. John Milton, CSV, (60 years), NV, share a laugh together at the Fr. Daniel Mirabelli, CSV, Provincial Assembly (60 years), Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, (50 years) and Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, (25 years). Br. Houde cited John’s gospel about the vine and the vineyard — “If you remain in me as I have in you, you will bear much fruit” — when he described their individual contributions during his homily. “Well, we have remained in him and born much fruit,” Br. Houde said. “The number of people’s lives we’ve touched in our various ministries, is amazing.”

These Viatorians made definitive commitments, including from left: Lynda Connor, Patty Wischnowski, Randy Baker, Cathy Abrahamian and Henrietta Chamness in front

The first day closed with the definitive commitments of five Viatorian associates, Cathy Abrahamian, Randy Baker, Henrietta Chamness, Lynda Connor and Patty Wischnowski.

Superior General Bids Adieu
Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, received a standing ovation and heartfelt gratitude from Viatorians attending the provincial assembly in July. The recognition took place as he closed out his second term as superior general of the worldwide congregation. “A lot has been produced over the last 12 years,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial. “You’ve not only represented us well, but the entire international congregation has benefited from your leadership and your vision. We are much better off for your service.” Fr. Francis was a professor of liturgy at Catholic Theological Union back in 2000 when he was elected by his peers to serve as their pastoral leader in Rome. The international position came after he had earned his Doctorate in Sacred Liturgy in Rome, and after serving in Colombia.

“I would say that I am most proud of the international dimension of who we are as Viatorians,” Fr. Francis said to those at the assembly, “and that was evident at the general chapter meeting (in Rome) where the look and sound of the community was different.” He pointed to the different languages being spoken, and how the international aspect of the community provided renewed energy to their discussions. “It has strengthened our sense of identity in our charism inherited from Fr. Querbes,” Fr. Francis said, “and created ties of friendship between members throughout the international community.” In September, Fr. Francis began a one year sabbatical, serving as a visiting scholar at Santa Clara University in Northern California. He also will be writing a book that will examine Catholic liturgy, nearly 50 years after Vatican II. “I have great hope for the Viatorian Community, that we represent something positive for the church,” he said in closing at the assembly. “With the complementarity of our community, devised of priests, brothers, married and single men and women as associates, and deacons, I think we are a microcosm of what church is supposed to be.”

Eileen O’Grady Daday

Viatorians Elect Canadian as New Superior General
The town of Ariccia located outside Rome, offered a picturesque setting for the 39 Viatorian delegates from 15 countries who converged there in early July. Every six years, Viatorians gather for their general chapter meeting in Rome. They discuss a wide range of issues facing the worldwide congregation — before casting votes on who will lead them. For the past 12 years, it has been Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, a native of suburban Chicago and graduate of Saint Viator High School. Having reached his two term limit, delegates elected Fr. Alain Ambeault, CSV, from the Province of Canada, as their next superior general.

Viatorian Brother Heads to Rome
Br. Carlos Ernesto Flórez, CSV, attended the recent Viatorian general chapter meeting in Rome as an interpreter and liturgy coordinator, and to offer technical support for the delegates who attended from 15 countries. He emerged as one of four members — and the only American — of the general council, appointed by the new superior general, Fr. Alain Ambeault, CSV. “When he asked me, I couldn’t sleep that night,” Br. Carlos said. “But I saw it as an exciting opportunity in my life,” he adds. “It’s a chance to serve the international community, and I believe that I have the skills and the background to do it.” However, he admits to having mixed feelings. The opportunity meant leaving his community and relationships formed in Arlington Heights that have been an important part of his life for the past 12 years. “My heart remains in this province,” he said during the provincial assembly, “but I know I will return with a rich experience.” As a councilor, one of Br. Carlos’ responsibilities will be to represent the superior general, in Latin American and Caribbean countries where Viatorian vocations have increased over the last decade, which is an important organization where Viatorian vocations have increased over the past decade. “As a native of Bogotá, Colombia and someone who worked in Belize, and lived in the United States, "says Fr. Thomas von Behren, provincial, "he's a natural."

Fr. Alain Ambeault, CSV, of Montreal was elected in July as the next Superior General

Fr. Ambeault now takes over as the pastoral leader of the congregation’s 500 brothers and priests around the world. They serve in the provinces of Canada, Chile, Spain, the United States and the delegation of France, as well as the foundations of Belize, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Japan, Peru and Taiwan. Assisting him in leadership will be his council, including Fr. Harry Celestin, CSV, of Haiti as vicar general; Fr. André Cozier, CSV, of France as secretary; Fr. Luis Alvarez, CSV, of Spain, as treasurer; and Br. Carlos Ernesto Flórez, a Colombian native most recently serving in Arlington Heights. Fr. Ambeault said discussions at the general chapter meeting presented a clear direction facing the congregation over the next six years.

“The two priorities that we need to address will concern vocation ministry and a strong encouragement for social justice,” said Fr. Ambeault, "It is clear the next six years will be challenging and truly exciting.

Delegates from the Ivory Coast entertained everyone with music at a special reception

Eileen O’Grady Daday


Viatorians Take Action in Responding to Hunger
1,000 pounds and counting!
Five hundred pounds. That was the figure ambitiously set forth by members of the Viatorian Community and its staff members, who planted a garden in June, specifically to address hunger in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. And they more than doubled it. Not even this summer’s extreme temperatures or the worst drought to hit the Midwest in 50 years could slow this little garden that could. Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, who attended the garden blessing and endorsed the idea from the beginning, saw its handpicked vegetables as a tangible way for the religious community to respond to the hunger in the Northwest suburbs. He pointed to the book, “Opting for the Poor,” by Peter J. Henriot, SJ. “Our God does hear the cry of the poor, we know that. But do we? That is the serious question — the critical challenge — which faces our Church today. Do we really hear the cry of the poor?” Br. Gosch adds that one of the main social justice issues driving the Viatorians’ Provincial Council is working to end poverty, especially as it affects children. Bread for the World, a Christian lobbying group that urges nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad, reports the following staggering statistics from 2010: • More than one in seven Americans, including more than one in five children, lived below the poverty line ($22,113 for a family of four). • Food banks in the United States saw a 46 percent increase in clients seeking emergency food assistance between 2006 and 2010. • Throughout the world, 1.5 billion people live in extreme poverty, on less than $1.25 a day. Locally, food pantries have eased the hunger crisis for the increasing numbers of families faced with job loss, foreclosure and other unforeseen crises. However, they typically provide only nonperishable foods, leaving families scrambling to afford fresh produce. The majority of the harvested produce went to the food pantry run by Wheeling Township, which last year served more than 3,700 individuals from across the Northwest suburbs. “The Viatorians are our biggest contributors,” says Maryann Hernandez, food pantry coordinator. “They’ve been a Godsend. For the majority of our clients, this is the only fresh food they get.” And not just food. Associate Joan Sweeney donated small bouquets of hand cut flowers from the garden to accompany, to add an extra human touch to their food donations. “We, as a community, have been very blessed,” says Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, who is leading the effort. “This is something we can do to help those around us. We see it as our responsibility and our mission.”

Their garden took shape on unused land behind the province center. Neatly tended rows of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, beans, watermelon and asparagus sprung up and all surrounded by a white picket fence. Colorful zinnias and giant sunflowers, planted in front, served as its gateway. Gardeners included seasoned veterans as well as novices, who collectively were drawn to the idea of helping local families enjoy fresh produce. One week after their planting, they gathered to bless the garden, and the gardeners, as they headed into its growing season. “These are families who are having a hard time putting fresh, home grown vegetables on the table,” said Joan Sweeney, Viatorian associate and archivist. “This is one way we can help.”

Pre-associate John Dussman weighs vegetables from the garden in order to track their donations

Eileen O’Grady Daday


In the Footsteps of Our Founder...
The Homeward Journey to Lyons
The return of Fr. Louis Querbes - priest, pastor, and religious founder - to Vourles was a major event for the citizens of Vourles, the parishioners of St. Bonnet and for the Viatorian religious of Clerics of St. Viator. Fr. Querbes left Vourles May 8, 1838 for Rome on his almost “mission impossible.” Now after five months and five days, he was returning triumphant in achieving his goal but still humble, modest and self effacing in his demeanor. The Misses Madeleine and Antoinette Comte sisters, his most generous benefactors, went to Lyons in their private carriage to meet Fr. Querbes on October 12 and to return him “to his own” in Vourles on October 13, 1838. Not only did they provide their carriage for his return, but they funded the local celebration that would honor his return. The Viatorian religious were already in Vourles for their annual conference and community retreat. The town’s people, and especially the parishioners, were excited about the return of their pastor and distinguished priest-citizen. Fr. Pierre Robert, CSV, his biographer and later his successor as superior general, reported that “The Community and the parish set out in the early hours of October 13 in procession to meet him at the limits of the commune on the St. Genis Road. When the carriage came into view, the bells began ringing at full peal. The vivas re-echoed, and the singing of hymns followed the acclamations. All were eager to get near him, they knelt for his blessing, the children wanted to embrace him, and they could not cry loudly enough, ‘long live our pastor’”. (Robert, From this Root, 179) Even to this day, a cross remains to mark the point of this encounter and to commemorate the return of Fr. Querbes from Rome. The procession celebration reportedly continued unabated for nearly an hour. Finally, the procession reached the village of Vourles and entered the Church of St. Bonnet. Fr. Querbes prostrated himself before the altar and tabernacle. It was here, for more than a dozen years before, that he prayed so earnestly over the idea of the possibility for founding a confraternity of teachers. Today he was returning with his idea approved by the Holy See. Fr. Robert describes the scene: “Then he mounted the pulpit, opened his heart to thank them for the sympathetic reception … expressed his happiness at seeing [them] after the trials, fatigue and sickness which made him fear he would never be able to return”. Then he spoke to them about Rome, about the Pope and “who had been so good to him, so fatherly”. (Robert, 180) Then he gave them an Apostolic Benediction especially granted to his parish. Then he announced that he brought for each home a picture of the Holy Family, especially blessed and indulgenced by the Sovereign Pontiff. After the church ceremony Fr. Querbes joined his community, “embraced his sons, pressed them to his heart, and gave them the watchword which they should never cease to repeat: ‘Let us bless the Lord and give thanks to God’”. (Robert, 180) Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV

Gracious God, be forever blest for your gift in Fr. Louis Querbes, dedicated pastor in the education of youth, and in the service of sacred liturgy, and founder of the Viatorian Community.


Viatorians Celebrate Jubilees
Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, celebrates his 50th year as a member of the Clerics of St. Viator. From St. Procopius High School in Lisle, IL, and on to St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, IN, he came to the Viatorian Community. His 50 years have been filled with work that is characteristic of the plan of our founder, Fr. Querbes.
Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, celebrates his 25th year as a member of the Clerics of St. Viator. After graduating from Mt. Zion High School in Mt. Zion, Illinois, he attended Eastern Illinois University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Education. By 1980 he had found his way to the Viatorian Community. He pronounced his first vows on August 6, 1987.

Thomas Long, CSV

Rob Robertson, CSV

After his first profession in 1962, he completed his BA degree in history at Loyola University. His seminary education was completed at the Viatorian Seminary in Washington, DC as was his Master of Arts degree in European History at the Catholic University of America. He was ordained in 1969. His first year of teaching was at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee. From there he was assigned to Alleman High School in Rock, Island, where he taught religion and history for seven years. In l984 he began a 7 year position as associate pastor at St. Viator parish in Chicago. From there he went on to become the founding pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Henderson, Nevada. Fr. Long writes, “As I look back over the last 50 years, I am grateful to the Viatorian Community for its support and encouragement to utilize various ways to serve humanity and to work for a better world.” That he has done. After graduate study in social work in 1993-94, he spent the years 1994 to 2003 in California doing social work. His activities included HIV/AIDS educator, and an intern and outreach worker to the homeless. In 2003 he returned to Chicago to work in the Viatorian development office and become editor of the community newsletter, Viator. Always the student, he has become proficient in Spanish; he teaches English as a Second Language to immigrant workers and those who are part of the temporary worker force in Chicago; and he is involved in many social justice projects.

His first teaching assignment was at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, where he taught business and religion for one year. He then returned to Chicago to complete his Masters of Religious Education degree at Loyola University in 1989 before beginning four years as campus minister at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights. From 1994 to 1999 Br. Robertson returned to Bishop Gorman High School as teacher of religion. Since 1999, he has been religion teacher, counselor and campus minister at Saint Viator High School. In 1992, he was one of the faculty leaders who introduced the Kairos retreat program to the student life of the school. By his example, students experience the world beyond the confines of the school. Br. Robertson is always fostering the current issues of social justice. He recalls his first meeting with the Viatorians: “He recalls his first meeting with the Viatorians coming in the form of an unexpected call from Fr. Robert Erickson, CSV, inviting him to interview for a job at Griffin High School — for which he had never applied. It changed my life has been more rewarding than I ever could have thought on that day when I walked through those doors of Griffin High School as a young man, who certainly had no idea that God had a plan of a religious vocation for me. God certainly does work in mysterious ways.”
Br. Donald Houde, CSV

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They met with youth ministers in Belize, who launched a concept to engage. Youth ministers in Belize launched the concept to engage local youth in service projects. On the day the immersion group visited, they worked side by side to construct a home for a family in need. “Today I mixed cement with a group of teenagers,” said Frank Avino, a Saint Viator High School graduate, “but what struck me was that the whole neighborhood came out to lend a hand.” Another group joined with Viatorian Associate Glenda Francis to visit the homebound elderly through an organization she directs, called HelpAge. “Listening to their stories, sitting in their homes, it was like there

was no better place than to be there,” reflected Ellie Brick of St. Viator Parish in Chicago and Alex Nowakowski , a Saint Viator High School graduate. Fr. Moises Mesh, CSV, pastor of St. Francis Parish in Corozal Town, commended the young adults for visiting and walking with everyday Belizeans. “You know a bit of what it means to care about others in a profound way,” Fr. Mesh said. “That makes me so happy.” The next Belize Immersion Program leaves Dec. 27. For more information, visit:\immersion. Barton Hisgen

Colegio San Viator Recognized as Committed to Excellence
the school was indeed committed to excellence, and they commended school officials for having achieved sustainable excellence and for advancing best practices. “It is with great satisfaction and joy that I share this new achievement for our school,” Fr. Venegas, wrote to the school community. For more than 20 years, the European Foundation for Quality Management has used a management model for corporations and nonprofit organizations around which they measure themselves. The model allows them to develop a culture of excellence, while giving them access to good practices and encouraging innovation and improved results. Colegio San Viator earned a rare distinction this spring shared by only eight schools in all of Colombia: They were recognized by the European Foundation for Quality Management as a school committed to excellence. The certification came after nearly six years of work, as administrators worked to implement changes needed after a self-evaluation program. “Over the last two years, we have worked hard at setting and meeting the criteria,” said Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, CSV, principal, “including updating documentation, improving disclosure mechanisms and developing new controls in the procedures.” Ultimately this spring, a panel of experts from the European Foundation visited the school and conducted a rigorous assessment. They declared EFQM assessors found Colegio San Viator to be “an example of continuous improvement.” They commended school officials for having adopted strategies and methodologies that align the school with the management model, “allowing it to maintain higher levels of performance, which meet and exceed the expectations of studentsand parents.” Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial of the Province of Chicago, extended his congratulations to members of the Viatorians and the other school administrators who run the colegio. “This is wonderful news for the school,” Fr. von Behren said. “It’s like winning the Blue Ribbon Award in this country.”

Fr. Frank Encisco, CSV: Latest Viatorian To Be Ordained
It was a rare sight in August, when a Viatorian bishop ordained another Viatorian into the priesthood. The celebration took place at San Juan de Avila Church in Bogotá, where Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, of the Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan, ordained Fr. Frank Enciso, CSV. It was the second time this year, a native Colombian became a Viatorian priest. Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, said the occasion was significant, especially with more men in the formation process. “Frank’s ordination marks an important moment in the life of the Colombian foundation,” said Fr. von Behren. “It’s the first time we’ve had two Viatorians ordained in the same year, and that speaks well for our vocations, and the future of the Viatorian presence in Colombia.” The ordination comes less than six months after Fr. Fredy Santos, CSV, another native Colombian, was ordained in March. Fr. Enciso directs the pre-novitiate program for the Viatorians in Colombia, which is located at Colegio San Viator, where he has added an educational component into the formation as well as pastoral and community service.

He also was named vicar at St. Inez Parish, which the Viatorians recently were asked to administer, as well as serve as future vicar for the proposed new St. Viator Church, to be located in Bogotá. “The community has been blessed with a steady stream of vocations over the past several years,” Fr. von Behren said, “and Frank’s ordination is a visible sign of that new life.”

Bishop Christopher Glancy ordains Fr. Frank Encisco, second from right, into the priesthood.

Eileen O’Grady Daday

with Rosalie Raines and Mary Bisaillon
A grotto built in the image of Our Lady of Lourdes, when she appeared to young Bernadette, has been drawing worshippers and visitors to Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Bourbonnais for nearly 100 years. Fr. Richard Pighini, CSV, pastor, acknowledges the powerful draw of the historic grotto, but he defers to a pair of sisters, Rosalie Raines and Mary Bisaillon, whose father, Willard Arsenau, helped to build the site with Br. John Koelzer, CSV, as its unofficial historians. At 84 and 83, respectively, Rose and Mary have been collaborating with the Viatorians nearly all of their lives in caring for the grotto. Both continue to be active parishioners at Maternity BVM and they take pride in how many people still come to the grotto — on Thursday evenings to say say the rosary, as well as for silent prayer and devotion by visitors of all ages, and for wedding and anniversary photos. We caught up with Rose and Mary on a beautiful day last summer, when they reminisced about the role their family played in establishing this sacred spot.

Mary Bisaillon, left and her sister, Rosalie Raines reminisce in front of the grotto at Maternity BVM Church, that their father helped to build

Q. A. Q. A. Q. A. Q.

How did your father become involved in the building of the grotto? We believe they started building it in 1915, when our dad was just a teenager. They dedicated it to soldiers fighting in World War I, including our dad’s brother, Roy, who was just 17. How long did it take to build? Three years. It was dedicated in 1918, 40 years after Mary first appeared to Bernadette. What do you remember about the grotto, growing up? There were 13 children in our family, and when we were kids, we always prayed here and would say a novena every summer. During World War II, we prayed here for all the soldiers. Besides the two images of Mary and Bernadette and the cascading water flowing over the flag stones, there is Nanother statue nearby in the garden, of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys. The names of your father and mother are inscribed on its pedestal and Fr. Pighini knows never to move it. What is its significance?


She was the founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame, whose nuns started the school here back in 1860. And, we know she welcomed all the women who traveled to Montreal from France, as young brides and taught them how to be mothers. With the nuns gone (from Maternity BVM), the students won’t know who she is, unless she stays. Has the grotto changed over the years? Yes! It was much more rustic than it is now. With all the flowers, benches and paved bricks, it is much prettier than it was when we were growing up. It makes it even more peaceful and holy. We know that Br. Koelzer left the area shortly after finishing the grotto and that he spent the last 30 years of his life at St. Viator Parish in Chicago, but what about your father and uncle? Our uncle survived the war and he and our father lived into their 80s. They even brought our father’s casket here for a blessing. Even in his hospital room, when he was near death, he knew that it was Br. Koelzer who would welcome him home to heaven.

Q. A. Q. A.


From the Archives… Our Lady of Grace…Graces Us All
Back in July, Michele and Joe Richey, Jr. of Peoria dropped in at the province center in Arlington Heights for a visit. They were on a genealogy quest to find a statue located on the Viatorian Community property which was created in the memory of Joe’s grandparents and their gravesites in Chicago. Joe’s sister, Jeannette Richey Nelson, had already been in contact with the Viatorian Community Archives, seeking information about the history of the statue. he make the connection with the Richey family? It turns out that Fr. Anson’s mother, Regina, and Annie Richey were friends in Joliet. This connection was uncovered by Michele Richey after going back through Annie’s funeral guest book and will. Archive records show that the shrine was funded by the Richey Family children in honor of their parents. The shrine in Arlington Statue at St. Nizier Church, Lyons, France Heights, which faced the entrance on Euclid Avenue, was made of white marble and was a product of Dinelli of Pietrasanta, Italy according to a 1955 issue of Lector, a Viatorian newsletter. The inscription on the pedestal read: “Our Lady of Arlington Under the Title of Our Lady of Grace.” Fr. Anson chose the same statue that was erected earlier in the year at Mater Mediatrix – the Viatorian residence on the west side of Chicago. It was a Baroque image of the Madonna and Child and its pedestal read: “To Mary Mediatrix of All Grace, the greatest influence in the life of Fr. Louis Querbes, founder of the Clerics of St. Viator.” Both statues erected in 1955 are replicas of one in St. Nizier Church in Lyons, France. It was here, in front of this statue, that Fr. Louis Querbes made his vow of chastity as a boy. It was created by Antoine Coysevox, the court sculptor of King Louis XIV and one of the principal sculptors of the statues in the Garden of Versailles. This fall, Joe and Michele Richey are traveling to France and plan to visit Lyons, to see the original statue of Our Lady of Grace. This devotion to Our Lady of Grace, which began with Fr. Louis Querbes, continues from the Richey family legacy to the Viatorian Community today, more than 200 years! Joan Sweeney Archivist and Viatorian Associate

Michele and Joe Richey with the statue in its new location, July 18, 2012

The family had an early photograph of the statue and a letter from Joe’s brother, Francis, explaining what he knew. According to the letter, a memorial was to be set up in honor of Alex Richey, their grandfather, at Mount Olive Cemetery in Chicago where he was buried in 1944. This was the intention of Annie Richey, the wife of Alex, and their two children, Joseph Richey, Sr of Springfield, IL and Edith May Richey Shoemaker of CA. However, there was no space at the cemetery. When Annie died in 1955, her children searched for another setting to honor their parents — and they found one on the grounds of the Viatorian Community. That same year, Fr. William Anson, CSV, headed a project to establish a shrine at Our Lady of Arlington Novitiate in Arlington Heights – the Statue in its original location on the current province center for the Viatorian property c. 1955 United States Province. How did


In Memoriam, Leonor Itzab, 1949-2012
A little more than two years after Leonor Itzab made her first vows as a Viatorian Associate, she passed away. Leonor lost her long battle with kidney disease on May 15. She was 62. Her Viatorian confreres said her passing was as spiritual as the life she lived. Br. John Eustice, CSV, visited Leonor's home the day before her Leonor Itzab passing to discuss preparations for her recommitment as an associate. He marveled that even as she battled her serious illness, she never wavered from her devout faith. “Tonight at the wake Gregorio told me they prayed Lectio Divina together on Monday,” together on Monday, where each of them wrote privately in their journals, and took turns reading the scripture aloud," said Br. John. “Each of them wrote privately in their journals, but they took turns reading the scripture aloud.” In Belize, where the Viatorians minister in 23 villages that surround their home base at St. Francis Xavier Church, Leonor played a valuable role as a coordinator of Santa Rita Church faith community, presiding at Sunday services when there wasn’t a priest available, which was probably three weekends a month. She and her husband made their commitment to the Viatorians official in 2010, when they made their two-year commitment as associates. “Besides the spiritual needs, she and her husband took care of the physical needs of the parish, like paying the bills, taking up the collection and maintaining the facility,” says Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, former pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church. “They were in charge of that little church.” “She had a heart for those in need,” says Br. Michael Gosch, CSV.” Leonor and her husband taught marriage preparation classes and she also coordinated the same program at the Santa Rita Church. Leonor also served on the Viatorian Scholarship Committee which awarded grants to local high schools, including Chunox St. Viator. Leonor was the one to call and congratulate them, as a representative of the Viatorian community. In a letter to the provincial council, back in 2009, Leonor described how she came to “joyfully accept” the invitation to become a Viatorian associate. She was among the second “class” of nine new associates, including four men and five women, and Viatorians there rejoiced at partnering with more local people in ministering to so many peop

Leonor was a proud member of the second class of Viatorian associates in Corozal, Belize.

“I have been an active member of St. Francis Xavier Parish for many years,” she wrote. “With the arrival of the Viatorians in Corozal, I loved their work and I joined along.” She specifically pointed to the chance to work beside Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, and Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, in helping a needy family, as life-changing for her. “That experience offered me an opportunity to know, love and serve God through my brothers and sisters,” she added in her letter. “I have learned the life of Fr. Louis Querbes and the Viatorian Community, as a pre-associate. It is with much pleasure that I promise, with God’s help, to give all that is in me as a Viatorian associate.” Her peers maintain that she did just that, giving all that she had to her vocation as a Viatorian associate, right up until her final days. We will miss her. Eileen O’Grady Daday


Peace Delegation in Colombia Advocates for Human Rights
What was particularly noteworthy was seeing the children laughing and playing, some of whom swam out to meet the boat carrying the delegates. The Viatorian Charter states that the Viatorian Community will pay particular attention to those who are accounted of little importance. One way members work to make these words a reality is by supporting organizations like Witness for Peace. WFP conducts delegations to various Third World countries where delegates respectfully listen to various struggling communities to better understand how U. S. foreign policies directly impact them and other vulnerable populations. The communities include small farmers fighting to preserve their land and water rights and dock workers forming a union despite threats to their safety. Delegates then commit themselves to advocate for policy changes when they return to the United States. For the last five years, at least one Viatorian has participated in the August delegation to Colombia.

It was the blatant injustices that haunted them. Last August, a delegation sponsored by Witness for Peace traveled to Colombia to meet with seven communities struggling to assert their basic human rights. Among them was the indigenous community of Nonam, who with their children had been forced off their lands by armed rebels. Two years ago, they had fled to the city of Buenaventura, finding their only refuge in a one-room warehouse, where living conditions were so severe — with temperatures in the triple digits — that two children died. Government officials there had turned a deaf ear to their human rights, leading the community to appeal to non-governmental agencies such as Witness for Peace. With their help, they were able to return to their homeland on a riverbank, where they could fish and transport their goods. Their welcome to the delegates in their homeland was far different from the previous one in the warehouse. Here, in their own community, they were thriving. The delegates gathered in the school where the town elders warmly welcomed them. The elders explained how they have made progress toward gaining respect for their basic human rights, but more challenges lie ahead, such as the drug trafficking on the river, mining companies looking to exploit their land, and a possible extension of a highway right through their territory.

The participants arrived at a consensus that although the sufferings and injustices often seem overwhelming, the power of people telling their stories, that in turn leads to them coming together for a common purpose, forms a force for good that is unstoppable and gives reason for hope. Further information about Witness for Peace is available at its website, Thomas E. Long, CSV


Around the province...
As a nurse with Hospice of Kankakee Valley, Viatorian Associate Mary Finks provides both medical and spiritual support to individuals as they near the end of life. Filmed by hospice officials, Mary shares her passion for caring via a video that has been posted to YouTube. A hospice nurse since 2002, she believes she is called to this ministry. To hear Mary’s testimonial, filmed last May, please visit
Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, installed Fr. Moses Mesch, CSV, center, as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish

Viatorian Associate Mary Finks

Sr. Theresa Galvan, CND, and Fr. Richard Pighini, CSV, held a series of workshops in September that centered on women’s spirituality. They gathered a panel of women representing various phases of life, from 98-year old Sr. Rosemary Meyer, SSCM, to a young mother and a retired single woman. The CND and CSV congregations have a long history of collaboration that dates back to the 1860’s. As a result of the growing Hispanic ministry at St. Viator parish in Chicago, parishioner Mario Hernandez, a native of El Salvador, enrolled in the Instituto de Liderazgo Pastoral sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago. After completing more than five years of formation while working a full-time job, Mario was ordained April 22 by Cardinal Francis George into the permanent diaconate. Fr. Charles Bolser, pastor of Mario Hernandez St. Viator parish where Mario is assigned, reminded his parishioners that “deacons are to be visible signs of the Christ the Servant in the community.” Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, installed Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Corozal Town, Belize. Fr. Mesh, the first Belizean to enter the Viatorian Community, was pleased to have Bishop Glancy, his former pastor, preside at the installation. Parishioners, who came from the 23 villages that the parish serves, filled the church for the liturgical celebration held on June 10.

Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, presided at the Sacred Heart Griffin High School graduation Mass last June. A 1971 Griffin High School graduate, he was inducted into the Sacred Heart Griffin Hall of Fame during graduation ceremonies held after the Mass. He was recognized “for the exemplary way in which he has integrated the mission of Sacred Heart Griffin into his life.” Fr. von Behren accepted the award on behalf of the many Viatorian brothers and priests who have served Cathedral, Griffin and Sacred Heart Griffin high schools.

Half way around the world, the devotion of one Viatorian priest to the people of the Far East, has not been forgotten. Although Fr. Roger Drolet, CSV, died in 2001, his legacy continues at Catholic Viator High School in Taichung, Taiwan, which he founded in the mid-1950’s. School officials mounted an expansive exhibit on Fr. Drolet that stood throughout the month of June, documenting his ministry in Taichung, which stretched 45 years after opening the school.


Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, a faculty member at Saint Viator High School, and Board of Trustees member, Sue Donnelly, led other cancer survivors in a Relay Fr. Arnold Perham, front left and Sue Donnelly, for Life event to right, lead the survivors' lap at a Relay for Life raise money for the event in June American Cancer Society held June 8. They were joined by 65 students from the school, making them the largest team to participate. “This has been a difficult year for us,” said Viatorian Associates Cathy and Don Abrahamian, who coordinated the team with teens from the organization, Students Making Smart Decisions. “Four of our faculty members have been diagnosed with cancer within the last year, making this year’s relay even more meaningful.” Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, was featured in a “Letter from Rome” in the July edition of The Tablet, the international Catholic newspaper published in London, with this lead: “The Union of Superior General and English-speaking Catholics in Rome are saying goodbye to one of their most beloved and respected members.” Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV, returned to the Midwest in mid-June after serving as parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV for the past 15 years. A graduate of Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee and a former biology teacher at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights, Fr. Keliher is serving as parochial vicar at St. Viator parish in Chicago where he served his diaconate year 36 years ago. He is enjoying his ministry at the parish as well as taking in White Sox games whenever the opportunity presents itself. At 85, Br. Leo Ryan, CSV, still is receiving academic recognitions. He returned July 30 from Poland, where he addressed the International Society for Business Ethics and Economics on ethical leadership. He and his colleague, Richard J. Hunter, Jr. (Seton Hall University) presented a major paper on the privatization of Polish economic development, that won “best paper” of the conference. Best of all, Br. Leo was named one of five “World Voices for Business Ethics” — and one of only two from the United States.

When approached by his students at Saint Viator High School to help form Praise Project, a musical group devoted to contemporary praise music, Br. James Lewnard, CSV, responded with his characteristic, “Why not?” The student-led group has performed in several parishes and events throughout the summer. For more information, please contact Br. Lewnard at Parishioners at St. Josaphat Parish in Chicago gave Br. Donald Houde, CSV, a standing ovation after Mass, when Fr. Richard Prendergast, pastor, honored him for his nearly 30 years of service. “It would be Br. Don Houde gives the homily at the jubilarian difficult to overstate Mass in July how much this extraordinary man has done for St. Josaphat throughout all these years,” Fr. Prendergast said. In late August, he moved to the retirement center at the Viatorian Province Center. Br. Houde spent several years in the field of education before moving into pastoral work at St. Josaphat Parish, where at various times he led the RCIA program, served as an advocate for those seeking annulments, and supervised the maintenance work. He also was active in liturgy planning and creating a prayerful space for worship. Br. Houde celebrated his 60th year of religious life this year, and now is on the lookout for a new ministry that will appeal to his creative nature. The Viatorian Community offers its prayerful support of Leadership Conference of Women Religious in light of the criticism from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Fully aware of the delicate nature of the situation, members of the province affirm the sisters as they discern their next steps. For the complete story on many of the above items, please visit the What’s New page at the Viatorian website: Michael Gosch, CSV

Viator Newsletter is published three times a year by the Office of Mission Advancement for the Clerics of St. Viator, Province of Chicago. Email: Website: Provincial:
Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV

Fr. Thomas E. Long, CSV

Editorial Board:
Fr. Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Br. Michael T. Gosch, CSV Br. Donald P. Houde, CSV Br. Leo V. Ryan, CSV Eileen O’Grady Daday Barton Hisgen Joan Sweeney

Layout and Design:
Dianna Ehrenfried Visualedge Creative Services, Inc.

Director of Communications:
Eileen O’Grady Daday


Clerics of St. Viator 1212 E. Euclid Avenue Arlington Heights, IL 60004-5799


Newsletter – Fall 2012


Provincial Perspective
Each time I travel to Vourles, France, I get that special feeling and suddenly I find that my spirit is lifted and becomes brighter. A sense of awe overcomes me, and I am taken back to the inspirations of a man who walked these very streets and traveled the beautiful hills of the countryside off in the horizon of this small village community. For it is here that the spirit of Fr. Louis Querbes, Founder of the Clerics of St. Viator, continues to permeate and inspire Viatorians and visitors alike as they make their pilgrimage to Vourles. Here, in the 1830’s, as pastor of the local parish, Fr. Querbes inspired his parishioners, preached the gospel, celebrated the Eucharist, and enhanced its music and chants, all with the quiet certitude that God was with him through the Spirit of Jesus and the guidance of Mary, the Mother of God. And so again, I have just returned from a visit to Vourles. For it was with this visit on September 1, 2012, the 153rd anniversary date of the death of Fr. Querbes, that Viatorians from four continents gathered together for the special occasion of the installation of the 15th Superior General of the Clerics of St. Viator, Fr. Alain Ambeault, CSV. Viatorians representing every province/delegation of the congregation gathered at the parish church of St. Bonnet, where Fr. Querbes served as pastor, to witness and support Fr. Ambeault as he made his profession of faith, along with his vicar general, Fr. Harry Célestin, CSV. The special day began with nearly 50 Viatorians gathering at the gravesite of Fr. Querbes, remembering this anniversary date and giving thanks for the life and vision of our founder. We prayed together, remembered and looked to the future as a new chapter of the Viatorian story was about to begin. Afterwards, we celebrated the installation ceremony and Mass. At the beginning of the Mass, each provincial

representative processed in with a lit candle and proclaimed a personal international greeting from his province to the entire gathered community; affirming the support of his province to work in collaboration with Fr. Ambeault and his new council. As Mass continued, each member of the general council – Fr. Harry Célestin, vicar general; Br. Luis Álvarez, general treasurer; Br. Carlos Ernesto Flórez, general councilor; and Fr. André Crozier, general secretary – read excerpts from the formal “Message to the Viatorian Community” that was written and approved at the conclusion of the general chapter, that was held in July in Ariccia, Italy. It was an inspirational moment. The spirit of this day was one of hope – international solidarity with a commitment to pursue the approved priorities for the next six years, namely, a renewed emphasis on vocation ministry and a recommitment to advance peace and social justice in our Viatorian ministries and community life. Yes, a new era has begun for the Viatorian Community with new leadership and a renewed commitment to continue to make the vision of Fr. Querbes come alive in our world today. May God bless Fr. Ambeault and his council, and may they always be guided by the words of our founder that in all things, “May Jesus be Adored and Loved.” In St. Viator and Fr. Querbes,
Page 1 Immersion Trip Leaves Lasting Impression Page 2 Annual Pilgrimage to St. Anne Offers Renewal Las Vegas Teens Find the LIGHT Page 4 Annual Viatorian Assembly Revitalizes Members Superior General Bids Adieu Page 5 Viatorians Elect Canadian as New Superior General Viatorian Brother Heads to Rome Page 6 Viatorians Take Action in Responding to Hunger Page 7 In the Footsteps of Our Founder Page 8 Viatorians Celebrate Jubilees Page 9 Colegio San Viator Recognized as Committed to Excellence Fr. Frank Encisco, CSV: Latest Viatorian To Be Ordained Page 10 Q & A with Rosalie Raines and Mary Bisaillon Page 11 From the Archives… Our Lady of Grace…Graces Us All Page 12 In Memoriam, Leonor Itzab Page 13 Peace Delegation in Colombia Advocates for Human Rights Page 14-15 Around the Province

Thomas R. von Behren, CSV Provincial – Province of Chicago