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Oh, the Places You’ll Go

May 12, 2020

Fr. John Peeters, CSV, is a faithful correspondent to his St. Patrick Church staff whenever Viatorian duties take him away from Kankakee. His accounts are filled with much detail, and are as entertaining as they are thorough.

In reflecting on his upcoming 60th anniversary as a religious, Fr. Peeters again put his thoughts in writing and there’s a certain syncopation to his stanzas as he expresses his wonder — and gratitude — for where his Viatorian journey has taken him.

“Who could have ever imagined the adventures that awaited John Norbert Peeters when, freshly graduated from Saint Patrick High School in Chicago, he and a dozen other young “postulants” appeared at the Viatorian Novitiate in Arlington Heights in August of 1959?

Could anyone have dreamt that, after completing his B.A. studies in Latin at Chicago’s Loyola University and his M.A. studies in French at Quebec City’s Laval University and then spending some time as the administrative assistant to the Viatorian Provincial in the U.S.A., he would be moving to Rome in December, 1972, to spend the next seven years as a secretary and translator at the Viatorian General Direction?

Could anyone have ventured to predict that, after returning to the USA in 1979 to study theology at CTU and being ordained a priest in 1983 and fulfilling his first parochial assignment at Saint Joseph Parish in Springfield, he would find himself enrolled in the Institute of Religious Formation in Saint Louis to prepare himself to be the Novice Director in Bogotá, Colombia, from 1988 to 1994?

Who could have guessed that, after spending eight years at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais, he would once again be heading south – this time to Corozal Town, Belize – to serve at Saint Francis Xavier Parish from 2002 to 2007?

Who could have predicted that, after becoming pastor of Saint Patrick Parish in Kankakee in 2007, he would still be serving there in that same capacity 13 lucky years later?

Fr. John Peeters celebrated 25 years as a priest in 2008.

Yes, owing to Divine Providence and to a familiarity with the English, French and Spanish languages, John Norbert Peeters has been able to serve the Viatorian Community, as well as the Universal Church, in a wide variety of ways and of places. And for that, as he prepares to celebrate his 60th anniversary of religious profession, he gives great glory and praise to the Lord!”