Nearly 60 years after they met at the former Spalding Institute in Peoria, a grateful student continues to stay in touch with the Viatorian brother who taught him.

On a cold and snowy afternoon, Br. Don Houde warms up with a Valentine sent to him by a former student.

Br. Donald Houde, CSV, started his teaching career at the former Spalding Institute, a Catholic high school in Peoria. It was the beginning of a 40-year career in education, that included serving as principal of Saint Viator High School and ultimately as curriculum director for the Office of Schools within the Archdiocese of Chicago.

His former student went on to establish a successful career in manufacturing, making concrete railroad ties, that would take him to Chicago’s Northwest suburbs and closer to Br. Houde. Ironically, his own children would attend Saint Viator High School, and be educated by Viatorians, though after Br. Houde had left for the Archdiocese.

Over the years, they have stayed in touch. And on this Valentine’s Day, less than three months after Br. Houde turned 90 and now in his 68th year of religious life, he took delight in receiving a card from a former student.

“My list of Valentines is getting shorter, with so many of my friends gone,” Br. Houde quips.

But this long ago friend remembered. Have you thanked a former teacher lately, or a consecrated religious, who made an impact on your life? If you do, it would make their day.