Five years ago, Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, made his first vows as a Viatorian. Accompanying him through his year of preparation as a novice was his novice master — and former high school chemistry teacher — Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV.

Novice Peter Lamick and his novice master, Fr. John Van Wiel, CSV

That same relationship started again this month, as Br. Ryan McMahon began his year immersed in pastoral, spiritual and academic studies, under the guidance of his novice master, Fr. Patrick Render, CSV. The bond between them promises to deepen during this pivotal year, as Br. Peter and Fr. Van Wiel recently acknowledged.

Now, rooted into a high school teaching career of his own, Br. Peter — and Fr. Van Wiel — remember fondly that journey they made together in the novitiate. During a recent encounter at the Viatorian Province Center, as Fr. Van Wiel shared some of his latest watercolor paintings with staff members, they caught the eye of Br. Peter.

“I can see your spirituality in your art work,” Br. Peter said, “how you capture God’s creation in your paintings.”

Fr. Van Wiel encouraged Br. Peter to pick some out.

Br. Ryan McMahon with Fr. Dan Hall, Provincial, and Fr. Patrick Render, his novice master.

“I want you to have them,” Fr. Van Wiel said. “After all, we spent some very important time together in your spiritual life, during your novitiate year. It would mean a lot to me.”

Br. Peter chose a painting of a lighthouse and another more abstract one of a mountainside. He said he would hang both in his classroom, where this year he will be teaching ethics to upperclassmen and underclassman at Saint Viator High School.

Br. Ryan’s novice year is only just beginning, while he walks with the Viatorians and the Viatorians walk with him, but already he and the community are uplifted.

“Welcoming a novice into the Congregation and into the Viatorian Community brings forth a lot of good will and hope among our members,” Fr. Render says. “It is a reassuring sign that God is still calling people into our way of being and of serving the people of the world.”