Once a year, professed members of the Viatorians break away from their daily roles and set aside time for a retreat, to renew themselves both spiritually and emotionally. This week, they began their weeklong retreat at the Province Center in Arlington Heights. Each day begins with Mass before morning and afternoon sessions, and ending with an informal dinner reception.

Fr. John Van Wiel, foreground, Br. Peter Lamick and Br. Jhobany Orduz

This year’s retreat focuses on creation, as seen through the a Biblical lens. Viatorians are reflecting on how science and theology can serve as a foundation for a contemporary, integrative spirituality.

Leading them through their reflections is Sr. Laurie Brink, OP. She is a Professor of New Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union, who most recently taught Fr. John Eustice, CSV, during his seminary studies and Br. Jhobany Orduz, CSV.

“She taught a whole class about this at CTU,” Br. Jhobany said, “and I found it fascinating. I love how she includes science.”

But it is at Mass, in the confines of the Province Center Chapel and graced with its stained glass windows, that sets the stage each day for the retreat’s reflections.

The windows were commissioned in 1951 and created by former Vatican artist, Peter Recker. They reflect the creation of the world, as described in the Book of Genesis. Consequently, they go from showing light and darkness, swirling water, and the hand of God; to the sun, moon, stars and the planets; as well as birds and fish, and a lamb, symbolizing vegetation and animals.

Sun streaming through the creation windows

“(Sr. Laurie) referenced the creation windows right in the first session,” says Fr. Tom Long, CSV. “Her emphasis is on the beauty of creation and how humanity fits in with it. It’s challenging content, but she gives you plenty of time to reflect on it.”


Viatorians on hand include retired members, those actively serving in schools and parishes, as well as those involved in social justice and immigrant accompaniment.