Viatorians have served at Maternity BVM Parish since the end of the Civil War, and that long commitment was on full display June 25, as another Viatorian took one more step closer to the priesthood.
Br. John Eustice, CSV, was ordained a transitional deacon, completing the last step in his formation before he transitions into priesthood. The ordination took place in front of a full church, with nearly a dozen Viatorians on the altar and many more lay associates in attendance.
Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, was the main celebrant at Mass, which was enriched by the parish’s adult choir, as well as hand bells and instrumental music. Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, Provincial, presented Br. Eustice, the candidate, to Bishop Glancy for ordination.
Br. Eustice then made his promise of obedience to his ordinary (Provincial Superior), while kneeling in front of the bishop. Perhaps the most dramatic part of the ordination occurred when Br. Eustice laid prostrate on the floor, while the choir and the congregation invoked the intercession of the communion of saints by singing the Litany of the Saints.
In another memorable moment, Br. Eustice’s mother, Natalie, and his parish priest from when he was a teen, Fr. Thomas Long, CSV, helped him put on his first vestments, including a stole and dalmatic.
“When my family and I moved to Henderson, NV, we were nourished by the charism of the Viatorians at St. Thomas More Catholic Community, where Fr. Tom Long, CSV, was pastor,” Br. Eustice said in a written reflection.
“The invitation from God to the ordained life clearly came through the people I encountered through ministry and my Viatorian Community over the past 18 years as a professed brother,” he added. “The people of St. Viator Parish in Chicago, Saint Viator High School, St. Patrick Parish in Kankakee, St. Francis Xavier Parish in Belize, the Catholic Theological Union and the people of this parish have all been instrumental in God nudging me.”
Br. Eustice professed his first vows as a Viatorian in 2005. He began his priestly formation in 2021, taking classes at Catholic Theological Union. During the past two years he has lived at Maternity BVM Parish, serving with Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, Pastor, and Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV, Parochial Vicar.
“I’m so happy for Br. John Eustice,” said Fr. Nesbit. “We go back to day one of the journey of religious life.”