Every month, Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, fills the conference table at the Viatorian Province Center with nearly 20 women who want to dive deeper into the Bible, and ultimately enrich their own spirituality.
Fr. Robert Erickson, CSV, began the Bible study sessions approximately nine years ago, and when he passed away in 2016, Fr. Bolser took over, leading both a men’s and women’s groups — and their numbers keep growing.
“It feeds our soul,” said Marie Sierocki of the monthly gatherings.
“Our minds are expanded,” added Pat Bethel. “The discussion encourages us to think outside the box.”
Sitting across the table, Marilee Halpin agrees, adding: “He challenges our thinking.”
Diane Adam, who is active in her parish and regularly meets with a small faith group, says that the vibrancy of the monthly Bible study sessions with Fr. Bolser leave her thinking: “The discussions we have are wonderful.”
At their holiday gathering, the women began an exploration into the environment and climate change, using the Scriptures and writings of Pope Francis in his encyclical, Laudato si’, as a starting point. Most in attendance said they had not read the book but were excited to dive into it.
Over his more than 50 years as a Viatorian, Fr. Bolser has served as a pastor and high school administrator, having earned masters degrees in religious studies from the University of Notre Dame and in divinity from the Washington Theological Seminary in Washington DC, among others.
Yet, discerning the gospel messages and sharing rich liturgies continue to drive him in retirement. It reaffirms his vows as a Viatorian, which states in part: “We reaffirm our Gospel-inspired mission to be dedicated educators of faith and to raise up communities of believers who espouse the values of Jesus Christ in our life and work.”