Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, was the last Viatorian president of Bishop Gorman High School, when he left in 1999 to become president of Saint Viator High School.
“Since then, there’s been a void in Viatorian educational leadership in Nevada and Las Vegas,” Fr. Tom says in this latest podcast episode of Viatorian Voices.
Both he and Br. Carlos Flórez, CSV, reflect on starting the first Viatorian school in the Las Vegas area in more than 60 years.
“We were invited by the bishop to consider opening a Cristo Rey school,” Fr. Tom adds, “which is a whole different model.”
Cristo Rey St. Viator College Preparatory opened in 2019 and this fall will be seating its third class of students. It is the 37th Cristo Rey school to open across the country and is built on the pillars of being a Catholic, college preparatory high school and one that gives access to lower income families.
Br. Carlos serves as Director of Admissions and Recruitment.
“I had worked at another Cristo Rey school in Waukegan (IL),” he explains. “My first language is Spanish, so it was very important for me to say yes to this new ministry here in Las Vegas.”
Together they describe more about the recruiting process and the work study program, but Br. Carlos boils it down to this: “People love that Cristo Rey St. Viator is here. They feel we are here for them.”