Viatorian Associates David and Susan Surprenant welcomed their first grandchild on Nov. 25, but that’s just part of the story.

David, Brendan and Margaret Rhea Surprenant

Their son, Brendan, and daughter-in-law, Sarah, welcomed Margaret Rhea to the world amid great excitement. Her birth has inspired them all to find new meaning in Advent, seeing their newest family member as “God’s creation at His greatest.”

“I look upon this child as an Advent miracle, where God’s love and grace has shown through the love of two people,” David Surprenant says. “The love they now show to their child is another continuation of His love for all of us. It’s no different than God sending His only Son to us. What a wonderful Advent gift!”

Associate Susan Surprenant with her granddaughter

Both Surprenants are active members of St. George Parish in Bourbonnais. David is a lector and catechist, preparing RCIA candidates for full communion into the church, while Susan sings in the choir, serves on multiple committees and is the parish bookkeeper. In 2015, the couple made their definitive commitments as associates to the Viatorian Community.

All this, and they farm more than 400 acres in Manteno, IL. David is a second generation farmer in the area and his son, Brendan, helps him with his crops, as well as his father-in-law, who farms more than 3,000 acres of corn and soybeans.

Margaret Rhea Surprenant

Sarah, too, works in farming. She is a crop specialist for Heritage Farm Service, a locally owned agricultural cooperative serving producers in Iroquois and Kankakee counties.

“Hopefully,” David Surprenant adds, “little Margaret Rhea will continue on with the job of feeding the world!”

Indeed, she has some good teachers.