He is the oldest member of the international Viatorian Community, and at 97 years young, he has no intention of slowing down.
Fr. Francis White celebrated his 97th birthday on Sept. 19 with his fellow confreres at the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights. Even the provincial leading the Viatorian Community in Chile, Fr. Kepa Plaza Arrospide, CSV, called to wish Fr. White a happy birthday.
The day started with Mass in the chapel and built to a party that night, with members of the community around him.
“I’m speechless,” he said to them. “You humble me.”
His birthday came during the same year in which he celebrated his 70th jubilee as a priest and 77 years in religious life.
Fr. White was ordained June 3, 1944, and since that time he has served in schools and parishes from New York to Las Vegas, and even served as the principal of a Viatorian school that opened in Kyoto, Japan.
Before retirement, Fr. White served as pastor of St. Viator Catholic Community and as associate pastor of Guardian Angel Cathedral, both in Las Vegas. Parishioners from those churches remembered him on his birthday.
“I loved parish work,” Fr. White said of his time in Las Vegas, “but I am blessed to be here.”