Br. Donald Houde, CSV, may have stepped aside from St. Josaphat Church, but he hasn’t been forgotten. The parish nominated him for the Christifidelis Award, presented by the Archdiocese of Chicago to men and women for their dedication to the church and their ministries.
The ceremony took place Nov. 4 at Holy Name Cathedral, where Br. Houde and other outstanding volunteers received their ecclesial honors from Cardinal Francis George. For more than 25 years, Br. Houde served as sacristan for the Chicago church as well as on its Art & Environment committee, but he also led its RCIA program and served as an advocate for those seeking annulments.
“It would be difficult to overstate how much this extraordinary man has done for St. Josaphat throughout all these years,” wrote Fr. Richard Prendergast, pastor, who nominated Br. Houde for the award.
“Br. Don has brought his wonderful style and grace to everything he has touched,” he added. “He has brought beauty to all who cared to look.”
Br. Houde’s pastoral work came after a distinguished career as an educator and administrator, including teaching English and religion at Ampleforth College in York England, and working in the Office of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago, among his many assignments.
“When we entered the (Viatorian) community, we heard over and over that our goal was to be teachers of Christian doctrine and servers of the holy altar,” Br. Houde says. “Doing that has given me a full and interesting life.”
Now back at the Province Center, Br. Houde has stayed busy. Most recently, he completed a project of packing up academic and leisure books — filling up to 50 boxes — to be shipped to Belize, while he also designed the 2012 Christmas card for the Viatorians.