Fr. Thomas von Behren first met the Viatorians in 1967 when he was a student at Griffin High School in Springfield, IL. His teachers would have a profound effect on him, leading Fr. von Behren to join the community in 1971 and spend the bulk of his 45 years in ministry in education and congregational/community leadership.
Upon completion of his undergraduate studies at Loyola University of Chicago, Fr. von Behren returned to Griffin High School in 1976 as a novice, where he taught religion. He also spent one year as a teacher at Saint Viator High School, from 1978-1979, where 20 years later he would return to lead the school as president and principal.
After completing his seminary studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago he was ordained a priest in 1983 at St. Joseph Church in his hometown of Springfield.
Fr. von Behren’s first assignment as a priest was to lead the pastoral ministry department at his alma mater, Griffin High School, from 1983-1985. He would serve next as vocation director for the Viatorians for the next seven years, 1985-1992, before being assigned as parochial vicar at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais for two years.
From there, Fr. von Behren would begin his service in educational and community leadership, first as president of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, from 1993-1999, before returning to Saint Viator High School to serve as president and eventually president/principal from 1999-2005.
It was during his years at Bishop Gorman High School that Fr. von Behren first served on the Provincial Council from 1996-2000. He was Assistant Provincial from 2001-2005, before being elected to three consecutive terms as Provincial, from 2005-2017.
Most recently, Fr. von Behren has served as president of the Viatorians’ newest school, Cristo Rey St. Viator College Preparatory in North Las Vegas. He led the effort to open the school, from its conception in 2017 to this academic year, when all four grade levels were seated.
Fr. von Behren announced in May of 2022 that he would step down as president of Cristo Rey St. Viator and in November he was elected to Provincial Council and will also serve as the treasurer of the community. Fr. von Behren will continue to reside in Las Vegas and remain engaged in ministry and Viatorian leadership.