Associate Clairmarie Slaveck passed away Feb. 11, 2021 after a long illness. She was 83.
Born on Aug. 28, 1937 in Chicago, Clairmarie was a graduate of MacCormac Commercial College. She worked as a legal secretary and at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. A native of Chicago, she and her husband, Richard, and their four daughters moved to Henderson, NV in 1978. She started working for the Viatorians that same year.
“Clairmarie was fiercely loyal to the Viatorians,” says Fr. Mick Egan, CSV, who worked with Clairmarie during his years as pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson. “Her great love for individual Viatorians and her deep commitment to sharing ministry with us was really a grace for our community.”
That commitment was evident at Guardian Angel Cathedral, which Viatorians first opened in 1963 as a chapel for workers on the Las Vegas strip. By the mid-1980s, when Clairmarie arrived from St. Viator Parish, the cathedral had grown to serve beyond seasonal employees to area residents and thousands of tourists each year.
Through its growth, Clairmarie kept the church running smoothly. As business manager, she paid the bills, ordered supplies, managed the gift shop, supervised staff, coordinated the counting of the weekly collection, and assisted in liturgical life of the parish.
Clairmarie employed many young people over the years at the cathedral, especially to help with counting the Sunday collections. To a person, they all had a fond nickname for her: the Colonel.
“She was a terrific mentor of young people,” says Associate Connie Gerber, whose two older children worked for Clairmarie.
Over the years, different Viatorians served as rectors of the cathedral, and they all described her as indispensable.
“Her knowledge and commitment — and spirit of collaboration — made her an invaluable asset for all of us who served with her,” said Fr. Lawrence Lentz, CSV, former rector and current associate pastor of St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas.
“Clairmarie was a no- nonsense person,” Fr. Lentz added, “a loyal employee and friend.”
Clairmarie officially joined the Viatorians in 2009, when she made her first commitment as an associate. Ten years later, she made that commitment definitive. Over the years, she gathered with other Viatorians in the Las Vegas region for regular prayer services and social gatherings, and she always supported Viatorian ministries, whether in parishes, schools or in advancing social justice.
Adapted from article in the Spring 2021 quarterly newsletter.