In a historic first, three Viatorian associates — all women — were elected to lead the Viatorian Community Council, including Mary Finks from the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region, Rosy Hartz from the Las Vegas region and Joan Sweeney from the Arlington Heights/Chicago region.

Associate Mary Finks

Associate Rosy Hartz

Associate Joan Sweeney






“We are all excited for this opportunity,” Rosy said, “and are looking forward to being creative with planning, prayer and helping to shape our Viatorian Community.”

The VCC is the primary leadership group for the Viatorian Community. It is composed of an equal number of associates and professed — typically six and six — in order to model the mutuality and interdependence of the two groups. Through this unique model of collaboration, it gives both groups equal voice in shaping the life and direction of the Viatorian Community.

Executive Committee members met virtually for the first time

In the past, a member of the professed has led the council, combining with two associates to form its executive committee. At their meeting this month, Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, who has led the council since its inception, encouraged members to elect an associate as chair, and they did, choosing Associate Mary Finks.

“The fact that all three are women is a bonus,” says Fr. Render, Pastor of St. Viator Church in Chicago. “Three cheers for the Viatorian Community modeling an egalitarian leadership in the Catholic Church!”

The VCC formed in 2010 to advise the Provincial Council on matters of community life. Its members meet as a group twice a year and address everything from formation, vocations and community life, to broader issues such as mission, spirituality and ministry.