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Honoring the Founder in Bogotá

September 2, 2020

Viatorians around the world paused Sept. 1 to remember their founder, Fr. Louis Querbes, who founded the congregation in 1831 in Vourles, France, where he served as pastor of a small church.

Fr. Louis Querbes

Fr. Querbes passed away Sept. 1, 1859 at the age of 66.  He is buried in the cemetery at Vourles, where his gravestone describes him as a “priest of great zeal, selfless and admirable charity.” In October, Pope Francis advanced his cause for sainthood, proclaiming him the Venerable Louis Querbes.

While the global pandemic has put restrictions on large gatherings, Viatorians found ways to honor their founder.

“No matter how difficult the restrictions and social distancing are, the Viatorians in Bogotá celebrated Fr. Querbes Day,” says Br. Jhobany Orduz, CSV. “This year, the whole world is living differently and our community is no different. However, Viatorians in Bogotá took the appropriate actions to celebrate our founder.”

A shrine featuring (L-R) images of St. Viator, Fr. Louis Querbes and Our Lady of Grace

Fr. Fredy Santos, CSV, presided over a Mass in Querbes House, located on the campus of Colegio San Viator in Bogotá. Fr. Rafael Sanabria, CSV, and the postulants joined the celebration.

Fr. Fredy Santos celebrates Mass at Querbes House.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to remember that everything we do as Viatorians is in the service and vocation of Fr. Querbes,” Br. Jhobany added. “The new challenges we now face remind us that we are not alone in the process.”

In fact, Fr. Querbes is with us and Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, Superior General, urged Viatorians to pray for his intercession with the hopes of documenting a miracle.

It was back in 2007, that Fr. Querbes was named a Servant of God. On that day, Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, then Superior General, celebrated a Mass in the church Fr. Querbes had built in Vourles.

“I am convinced Fr. Querbes is speaking to us today,” Fr. Francis said. “He is telling us to be confident in the future; that our faith in Christ can help us to overcome any obstacle. God is with us!”