Viatorian Archivist Rebecca Skirvin recently finished a detailed and well-illustrated digital timeline of the Viatorian history. It traces Viatorians from its beginnings in France, where the Venerable Fr. Louis Querbes received approval from the Archbishop of Lyon to start his new congregation, in 1831, through the creation of its first province outside of France, in Canada, and forward as Viatorians take their mission to the Midwest and eventually worldwide.
Skrivin worked with Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, Provincial and Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, to create the timeline. They finished just in time to share the timeline before the feast of St. Viator, on Oct. 21.
The timeline divides Viatorian history into four sections, with illustrations and headlines for each entry:
- Beginnings in France (1793-1859)
- To Illinois (1865-1943)
- Going Places (1948-1965)
- Changes (1984-2003)
- Looking Forward (2004-present)
Skirvin took over as Viatorian archivist last year. One of her predecessors, Associate Joan Sweeney, had created a physical timeline for student delegates to the Viatorian Youth Congress, the Provincial Assembly and for display at the Province Center. Now in its digital form, the timeline not only is preserved but can be accessed by Viatorian parishes and schools around the world.
For Skirvin, outlining Viatorian history gave her a deeper sense of the community and its roots. She brought her experience in archival reference and research to the project. Before starting last year with the Viatorians, Skirvin formerly worked as Coordinator of Archives and Special Collections at North Central College, as archivist for the Sisters of the Living Word congregation, and working with manuscripts at Stanford University.
To pique interest, Skirvin throws out these questions: How long did Viatorians work in South Dakota? When did Haiti become a Viatorian foundation? The answers to these and many more questions about Viatorian history can be found in this well-documented timeline, when you click on any one of the four sections. Find it, here.