Viatorians around the world paused Sept. 1 to honor their founder, the Venerable Fr. Louis Querbes, but in Colombia, where Viatorians serve in schools, parishes and hospital ministry, the day took on added meaning.

The Viatorian chapel in Bogotá features two portraits of Fr. Querbes.

Viatorian associates, brothers and priests gathered in the chapel of the Viatorian residence located at the Colegio San Viator in Bogotá, some 63 years after three Viatorian missionaries arrived there, and 60 years after they started the colegio.

Fr. James Crilly, CSV, Fr. Thomas  Wise, CSV, and Fr. Bert Mayr, CSV, were considered pioneers when they arrived in Colombia to create a secondary school for boys that would lead to more teachers of the faith.

They couldn’t have foreseen that 60 years later, Colegio San Viator would be thriving, with an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, including boys and girls, and lead to the opening of a second Viatorian school in Colombia, Colegio San Viator in Tunja.

Fr. Pedro Herrera, top, was the first Viatorian vocation in Colombia after attending Colegio San Viator.

Along with the success of their schools, the numbers of Viatorian associates and professed continues to grow, with more than 20 professed in the country and 12 associates. In fact, vocations continue to grow in Colombia as Viatorians work together to advance the charism of Fr. Querbes.

On Querbes Day, their gathering included a meeting to plan future events, as well as a prayer service that reflected on the vision and charism of Fr. Querbes, followed by a special dinner.