Catholic schools across the country launched Catholic Schools Week on Sunday, and for Viatorians and the schools where they serve, the week underscores their educational mission, of accompanying young people in their faith development.

Youngsters file in for Mass at St. Viator Parish in Las Vegas.

Once again, administrators at Viatorian schools readily embraced this year’s theme: “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” The theme captures Viatorians’ emphasis on faith formation, academic excellence and Christian service, which is carried out in all of their schools.

At St. Viator Parish School in Las Vegas, Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, Pastor, celebrated an all-school Mass on Wednesday. The liturgy ended with a particularly fitting — given COVID 19 — blessing of the throats in honor of the feast day of St. Blase on Feb. 3.

Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, President, celebrated Mass at Cristo Rey St. Viator, where he urged students to become more involved in their faith, possibly by becoming Eucharistic ministers.

Fr. Corey Brost processes into Mass at St. Raymond Church.

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, was asked to celebrate an all-school Mass at St. Raymond de Penafort School in suburban Mount Prospect. The school’s theme for the day was “celebrate our vocations” and in his homily Fr. Brost asked students to look at their fingers. Each person has a different fingerprint, he told them, that would lead to their own vocation in life.

Br. Carlos Florez blesses the throats of students at the end of a Mass celebrating Catholic Schools’ Week at CRSV.

In the Province of Chicago, Viatorians serve at multiple schools, including Bishop Gorman High School, Cristo Rey St. Viator and St. Viator Catholic School, all in Las Vegas, as well as Bishop McNamara Catholic School system in Kankakee, Cristo Rey St. Martin and Saint Viator High School in the Chicago area and Colegio San Viator in Bogotá and Colegio San Viator in Tunja, Colombia.

Fr. John Peeters, 3rd from left, and Fr. Moses Mesh, right, concelebrate Mass at Bishop McNamara Catholic School.

As a community, Viatorians are committed to raising up communities where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated — and not just in parishes but in schools as well. St. Viator Parish School in Las Vegas sums it up this way: “We are proud of our legacy of creating Christ-centered students, who are grounded in faith and willing to go out and make a positive difference in our world.”