In a moment packed with emotion, nostalgia and grace, Fr. John Eustice, CSV, returned to his home parish of St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, for his ordination to the priesthood. This sacrament of Holy Orders took place June 8 and a whole host of Viatorian associates, brothers and priests attended, as well as priests and deacons from the Archdiocese of Las Vegas, Fr. John’s family and parishioners from St. Thomas More.

Fr. John, foreground, snaps a selfie.

Right before the candidate and the many Viatorians who were going to be concelebrating started to process into church, Fr. John paused to take a selfie. “I’m grateful for the support and example of these men for my vocation.”

Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, presided over the ordination, which included the laying-on of hands and anointing Fr. John’s hands with sacred chrism, after he had laid prostrate on the floor while the crowd sang to the Litany of Saints for intercession.

Joining Bishop Glancy around the altar were Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, Superior General; Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, Provincial, Fr. Tom von Behren, CSV, Provincial Treasurer; as well as Fr. Tom Long, CSV, founding pastor of St. Thomas More; Fr. Edgar Suarez, CSV, incoming Pastor of nearby St. Viator Catholic Community and the Viatorians who had served with him over the last four years in Bourbonnais, including: Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV; Fr. Moses Mesh, CSV; Fr. Jason Nesbit, CSV, and Fr. Patrick Render, CSV.

In writing a note of thanksgiving, Fr. John described some of his history with the parish — and the Viatorians: “St. Thomas More has been the spiritual home of my family since 1990. Fathers Tom Long, Jim Crilly, Dan Nolan, Ken Morris, and Bob Bolser are among the first Viatorians I met.”

Bishop Christopher Glancy anoints thee hands of Fr. John.

He went on to describe how in 1994 he received the sacrament of Confirmation at the parish, how he had learned to be a Eucharistic minister from Fr. Mike Keliher, CSV, and it was from St. Thomas More that the parish community had sent him to begin his life as a Viatorian brother.

“There is a sacredness attached to this space,” Fr. John said.

Fr. Dan Belanger, CSV, served as the master of ceremonies at the ordination. He was the last Viatorian to be ordained at St. Thomas More, 17 years ago, and he was thrilled to return and support his confrere. Likewise, Fr. Jason Nesbit professed perpetual vows with Fr. John, in 2008.

“It was a joy-filled celebration,” Fr. Jason said, “and I was fortunate to be able to be there.”

Fr. Dan Belanger, foreground, captures the joy of the many Viatorian associates and professed who were there.

In closing, Fr. John credited his family as his first educators of the faith, as well as the many places where he has ministered — his baptismal parish of St. Patrick in La Salle, IL, St. Thomas More, the Las Vegas Catholic Worker, Saint
Viator High School in Arlington Heights, St. Francis Xavier Parish in Belize, and the Viatorian parishes in Kankakee County in Illinois, especially Maternity BVM — for bringing him to this place.

“I am forever grateful to the Viatorian Community of lay associates, brothers and priests, under the leadership of Fr. Mark Francis, who call and inspire me to live out my vocation daily,” Fr. John said. “May this day be a reminder for us, in the words of the Venerable Louis Querbes, founder of the Viatorians, to, ‘Strive to do everything well, so that, through us, Jesus may be adored and loved.’ ”