At the heart of the Viatorian Community is to “raise up communities where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated,” and that mission was on clear display this week in places where Viatorians serve.

Fr. Thomas von Behren holds up his palm at the start of the service.

Take Cristo Rey St. Viator College Prep in Las Vegas. Br. Carlos Florez, CSV, Director of Catholic & Viatorian Identity and Mission, designed a prayer service for the school community, recalling the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

“It was a simple prayer service with the whole school to start Holy Week as a community,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, President, which took place Friday and included a blessing of the palms.

At nearby St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas, members of the parish’s Drama Ministry acted out the story of the passion at all five Palm Sunday Masses. Led by Pastoral Assistant Bob Blaskey, these liturgical actors included young people and adults in bringing the story of Jesus’ last hours, to life.

Cast members from the Passion Play at St. Viator Catholic Community.

“It was very impressive and everyone at my Mass (5 p.m. on Saturday) seemed to enjoy it,” said Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, Superior General. “I thought it was great that it included parishioners of all ages.”

At St. George Parish in Bourbonnais, Fr. Daniel Belanger, Pastor, credited members of the Art & Environment Committee with decorating the sanctuary — and the altar of repose — in preparation for Holy Thursday Mass. This active ministry decorates the church for every liturgical season, using everything from flowers and greenery, to lighting, candles and the appropriately colored altar linens.

Members of the Art & Environment Committee at St. George Parish

Finally, at Maternity BVM Church, the parish resurrected its vibrant Living Last Supper. This sacred portrayal dates back more than 35 years in the parish and with the pandemic, this will be the first time in five years that it will take place.

Viatorian Associate John Ohlendorf helped to bring the idea to the parish back in 1987, directing it for the first 20 years. Parishioner John Bevis now directs the re-enactment, which occurs every other year. The production includes actors of all ages who paint a vivid portrayal of that holy night.