Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, gave his last speech at the Provincial Assembly, but it wasn’t
about community business.
Instead, he thanked members of the Viatorian Community for supporting him as provincial over the last 12 years and he asked for their prayers as he begins a new ministry as president of Cristo Rey St. Viator Las Vegas.
“This call, to lead this congregation has been the singular most important thing in my life,” Fr. von Behren said.
In reflecting back, he cited the treasured moments of being with fellow Viatorians during their last days, as well as accepting vows of young novices and commitments of new associates.
Over the course of his three terms as provincial, the Viatorian Community created a new parish in Bogotá and opened a new school in Tunja that is flourishing. Both reflect the continued growth of the Viatorians in Colombia.
The retirement wing at the Province Center has grown to include CNAs and a hospice room, while welcoming more and more retired Viatorians to come home.
One of the newest ministries to develop has been the Viator House of Hospitality, which accompanies undocumented young immigrant men, seeking asylum.
The newest ministry, of opening Cristo Rey St. Viator Las Vegas, will draw on Fr. von Behren’s experience as a teacher and administrator, as well as the Viatorians’ commitment to educating the young, especially those of limited means.
“I have been blessed,” Fr. von Behren said. “I can’t imagine being anywhere else than with the Viatorians in a new ministry.”