Viatorians around the world celebrated the feast day of their patron, St. Viator, on Oct. 21, but at their newest school, Colegio San Viator in Tunja, Colombia, it was a first.

Br. Juan Carolos Ubaque introduces the cast of first graders

Br. Juan Carlos Ubaque, CSV, who directs pastoral efforts of the school, organized the all-school assembly and Mass.

The day started with the entire school enjoying a presentation about the life of St. Viator — portrayed by first graders dressed in costumes — before attending a Mass that honored their patron and his legacy to proclaiming the gospel.

That same weekend, the school community also welcomed Msgr. Luis Augusto Castro, Archbishop of Tunja, who confirmed 19 students, before another 43 students made their first communion at a Mass led by Fr. Fredy  Contreras, CSV.

Bishop Castro anoints one of the students

“It is traditional at the end of the school year, after several months of preparation, that we have confirmation and first communion at the time of St. Viator Day,” says Fr. Pedro Herrera, CSV, president.

First communicants

The feast day celebration had an impact on the entire community, he says, including students, faculty, staff and parents.

“It was our first St. Viator Day as a school community,” he adds. “Everyone was very excited, but at the same time it was a great time to learn about the qualities of this saint, and how it related to lives of the students.

“Saint Viator is not only the name of the school,” Fr. Pedro said, “but he was a person and a saint, who is permeating the different spheres of society here in Tunja.”

Colegio San Viator is the second Viatorian school to open in Colombia and the reputation of the Viatorians and the caliber of their schools drove enrollment numbers to nearly double this year what it had been before they took it over.

Br. Juan Carlos holds the microphone for one of the student actors

Set amid the Eastern ranges of the Colombian Andes, Colegio San Viator features all the qualities of a Viatorian education, namely one that is faith-based, co-educational, bilingual and pastoral, with professed Viatorians on staff.

Like its predecessor in Bogotá, this newest Viatorian school also is working to become certified as an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, with Fr. Fredy Contreras, CSV, vice president of the school, leading the process.