There’s no better image of Catholic schools than seeing students in their uniforms, filling the pews in church and attending Mass together.

That was the scene this week at St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas when students from area middle schools and the two Catholic high schools in the Las Vegas Diocese gathered for Mass.

This unique tradition plays out every year in Las Vegas during Catholic Schools Week, but this was the first year students from Cristo Rey St. Viator Catholic Preparatory High School attended.

Viatorians gather with Cristo Rey St. Viator students.

“Our school was thrilled to make our first appearance at this annual event in the diocese,” said Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, counselor at Cristo Rey St. Viator.

Mrs. Tracy Brunelle, Principal of St. Viator Catholic School, said simply: “It was wonderful to welcome our students from Bishop Gorman and Cristo Rey home today.”

Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, presided at the Mass and Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV — president of Cristo Rey St. Viator — was among the concelebrants.

Fr. Richard Rinn reads the gospel.

For Fr. Rinn, the chance to reflect on the importance of a Catholic education, let alone his own Viatorian education, was personal.

He graduated from Saint Viator High School in 1966 before entering the Viatorian novitiate one month later. Over the course of his more than 50 years as a Viatorian, he has served as a teacher and president of his alma mater and for the last 20 years he has led St. Viator Church and School as pastor. Indeed, he is paying his Catholic education forward, tenfold.