Fr. Albeyro Vanegas, CSV, passed away Jan. 7 after a short illness. He was 66. Fr. Vanegas had been a member of the Viatorian Community for 44 years and a priest for 34. He is being remembered as the driving force behind moving Colegio San Viator in Bogotá into a highly regarded school. But he also holds the distinction of being the first Viatorian from Colombia to serve on the Provincial Council.
Fr. Vanegas pronounced his first vows Jan. 6, 1980 and was ordained a priest Dec. 1, 1990 at Parroquia Divino Salvador in Bogotá by Bishop Fabio Suescún.
While a member of the community, Fr. Vanegas earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Universidad de San Buenaventura in 1986 and a degree in Theology from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in 1990, in Bogotá. In 1995 he earned his degree in Management and Administration of Schools from Universidad de la Sabana in Chía, Cundinamarca, and he put those skills to good use in his years with the Colegio.
Over the course of his more than 25 years at the Colegio, Fr. Vanegas served as a teacher, director of scholarship program, transportation coordinator, counselor and advisor, and chaplain. He was named President of the Colegio in 1994 and served until 2002, before being named President again in 2012 and serving until 2020.
Fr. Vanegas’ vision of a Viatorian school was one that provided all students with access to a quality education. Consequently, during his years as President, the school implemented great changes: It went from an all male school to a co-educational institution, it successfully became certified as an International Baccalaureate (IB) school and transitioned into a bilingual institution.
“He has moved the institution forward,” said Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, a former Provincial, “into a position that is setting the standard in Bogotá and throughout Colombia,”
After stepping away from the school in 2020, Fr. Vanegas continued to emphasize service to the growing number of Venezuelan immigrants fleeing across the border into Colombia, something he started with Colegio students in 2018.