The Viatorian Community is mourning the loss of Fr. Rafael Sanabria, CSV. He passed away June 26 after battling COVID-19 for more than one month. Fr. Rafael was 59.

Fr. Rafael Sanabria stands in front of Colegio San Viator, where he served as chaplain.

Viatorians across Colombia and the Province of Chicago are mourning his passing. His confreres in Tunja celebrated his life at a memorial Mass on June 27 and the entire Viatorian Community in Colombia will gather for his funeral Mass on July 7, including Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, Provincial.

This summer, Fr. Rafael, would have celebrated his 25th jubilee as a priest. During his years serving in Colombia, he advanced the Viatorian mission in many ways. At the time of his passing, he served as vocations director and pre-novice director, leading a thriving program that produced several new religious brothers over the last few years.

Fr. Rafael also served as chaplain to Colegio San Viator, the Viatorians’ award winning school in Bogotá, where he was popular with students and faculty alike.

“With great sadness we say goodbye to our chaplain, Fr. Rafael Sanabria, CSV, whom our Lord called from this world to accompany him in paradise,” the school wrote on its Facebook page. “He was an excellent person who dedicated his life to the service of others. R.I.P. and we will always remember him with love.”