Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, and the seniors at Cristo Rey St. Viator College Prep in Las Vegas are on the same course these days as they approach graduation.

Fr. Thomas von Behren introduced a new ring tradition to seniors in February.

Both Fr. von Behren and the senior class started their journey together, when Viatorians opened the school in 2019. In three weeks, they will graduate together as the seniors head off to a new future and Fr. von Behren steps away, to let new leadership take the helm.

Last month, he introduced the school’s new president, Lisa Cano-Burkhead, to the school community. She begins her new role June 1.

This week, as they experience a series of “lasts,” Fr. von Behren and some of the seniors enjoyed their last “Royal Lunch with the President.”

School officials, including Br. Carlos Florez, Director of Catholic & Viatorian Identity and Mission, established this new tradition last fall. Fr. von Behren and school administrators alike describe the luncheons as a successful way of connecting with the seniors in a more intimate setting.

This week’s Royal Lunch took place outdoors at the school, in what they call the “President’s Garden.” Seniors are served their meal, “like royalty.”

Fr. von Behren has led Cristo Rey St. Viator since it opened in 2019.

Conversations about their future, embarking on a new chapter in their lives after graduation, whether in college or in adulthood, were just some of the topics Fr. von Behren enjoyed with the students.

“Royals, thank you for spending a little bit of time with Fr. Tom,” Golda Pidlypchak, Assistant to the President, told the students. “We hope you enjoyed the royal treatment, as much as we enjoyed serving you like the king and queens of Cristo Rey St. Viator, that you are. We wish you God’s favor where your journey takes you.”