No matter where Viatorians serve around the world, they all paused Saturday to celebrate the feast day of the patron of the community, St. Viator.
“We celebrate in different languages, in a variety of cultures and in different settings,” said Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, Superior General at a St. Viator Day Mass at the Province Center in Arlington Heights, “from Vourles in France where our congregation was born; to Africa, where the vitality of our charism is alive and taking root in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast; to the high school classrooms in Chile and to the Province of Chicago, where new and bold apostolates are committed to those often forgotten and neglected in our world.”
In all, the Viatorian Community spreads across 12 countries, including Spain, France, Chile, Peru, Canada, Honduras, Japan, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Colombia and the United States. Here is a look at the different ways Viatorians celebrated their patron and recommitted themselves to the mission:
- In Abidjan, in Ivory Coast, Fr. Carlos Orduna, CSV, was the main celebrant of a feast day Mass at the Saint Viateur College. The celebration took place in front of the entire school and involved students in the Mass and music.
- In Arlington Heights, Viatorian associates, brothers and priests gathered for Mass. During the liturgy, Associates Barbara D’Urso and Linda Nishi recommitted themselves for a period of five years. Later, all of the professed stood to renew their vows, “We renew and reaffirm our commitment to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to serve God’s people on earth.” One day prior to the feast day, students at Saint Viator High School started their school day with Mass, celebrated in different languages, “as a sign our solidarity with Viatorians around the world.”
- In Bogotá, students at Colegio San Viator celebrated their patron saint with a variety of special activities at the school, including a live band and outdoor crafts.
- In Bourbonnais/Kankakee, Viatorian associates, brothers and priests gathered together at St. George Parish for a prayer service before enjoying a meal together.
- In Las Vegas, students and staff at Cristo Rey St. Viator heard from Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, about one of the Viatorians’ newest ministries, Viator House of Hospitality, and its mission of accompanying young asylum seekers. Over at nearby St. Viator Catholic Community, Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, Pastor, and his parishioners enjoyed the Taste of Viator, which featured live music, food and brought together the community.
- In Madrid, students at Colegio San Viator enjoyed special activities to celebrate the colegio’s patron, from playful bouncy houses, to educational presentations to spirited gym activities.
- In Tunja, Viatorians at Colegio San Viator celebrated seven years of leading the school. To deepen their commitment, they unveiled a new sculpture of the patron saint in the middle of its plaza. The statue was created by a well known sculptor of the region, Omar Santamaria, who uses recycled metal materials in his designs. They range from different parts of cars, bicycles, motorcycles and farm implements. Fr. Pedro Herrera, CSV, celebrated Mass for the entire school community, after Archbishop Gabriel Angel Villa Vahos blessed the statue.