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Honoring Our Jubilarians

June 22, 2016

Collectively, they span nearly two centuries of religious life, whose ministries DSC_0008have stretched from Illinois to Nevada and California, and as far away as Bogotá, Colombia and Taiwan.

Their work has inspired students at eight different high schools and four colleges, while ministering to families at 18 parishes, and serving as chaplains to Vietnam veterans and those suffering from HIV/Aids.

Fr. Alan Syslo with Fr. Thomas von Behren

Fr. Alan Syslo with Fr. Thomas von Behren

“What a blessing,” said Fr. Alan Syslo, CSV, as he looked out over the assembly who gathered for jubilee Mass held at the Province Center chapel in Arlington Heights.

Fr. John Van Wiel and Fr. Thomas von Behren

Fr. John Van Wiel and Fr. Thomas von Behren

Fr. Syslo joined with Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV, in celebrating 50 years of priesthood. Their classmate, Fr. John Pisors, CSV, also reached his golden jubilee but he remained in Bogotá, where he serves on the faculty of Colegio San Viator.

 

Fr. Simon Lefebvre and Fr. Thomas von Behren

Fr. Simon Lefebvre and Fr. Thomas von Behren

Fr. Simon Lefebvre, CSV, the patriarch of the group, celebrated a rare milestone: 70 years of religious life and 60 years of priesthood. Notable among his many placements was serving as an assistant professor at a university in Taiwan, before serving as a professor of Chinese at the University of San Diego and ultimately spending the next 30 years in pastoral ministry in California.

Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV joined with

Fr. Michael Keliher with Fr. Thomas von Behren

Fr. Michael Keliher with Fr. Thomas von Behren

Fr. John Palmer with Fr. Thomas von Behren

Fr. John Palmer with Fr. Thomas von Behren

Fr. John Palmer, CSV, in celebrating 50 years of religious life. Fr. Keliher has served most of the last 20 years as an assistant pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Las Vegas, while Fr. Palmer served as a professor of music at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL, while also performing as an organist at venues across the country and in Europe.

F. Thomas von Behren with Fr. Fredy Santos

F. Thomas von Behren with Fr. Fredy Santos

Fr. Fredy Santos, CSV, reached 25 years of religious life. The native of Colombia has worked in pastoral ministry in Bogotá, and currently is working in Hispanic ministry in the Kankakee region.

“Today, we give thanks that we’ve been able to serve the people of God in so many different ways,” Fr. Van Wiel said in his homily, “and pray for the grace to continue.”