Associate John Paulik passed away April 9, 2020 after a one-year battle with cancer. He was 61.
When Paulik joined the staff at Saint Viator High School in 2006, he found a home. He already had taught theology at two different Catholic high schools, after earning his degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1980.
But working alongside of Viatorians and joining them as an associate in 2018, meant the world to him, family members say, and he expressed his gratitude often to his colleagues.
“John was a man entirely dedicated to the Eucharist,” said Br. John Eustice, CSV, who visited him often at his home. “How fitting that he returned to God on Holy Thursday.”
Among the classes Mr. Paulik taught were Catholic Exploration of the Bible to sophomores and Fundamentals of a Catholic Faith to freshmen, a topic he surely modeled.
“He enjoyed teaching freshmen. He liked their enthusiasm and helping them focus on what was essential in our faith,” says Associate Barbara D’Urso, former theology department chair. “Students recognized his deep faith and love for the church and his commitment to social justice, especially in the areas of the environment and the problem of hunger in the world.”
Outside of his classroom, he helped to lead Quest retreats for freshmen students and participated in Kairos in 2018, for upperclassmen. Mr. Paulik returned each summer to serve as an adult leader with the Service & Song Camp, accompanying students learning about service.
Early in his career he coached football and cross country and he prided himself on staying fit. He even challenged students to match his push-ups in class. One of his most distinctive features was his love of classical music. Every day, after the last period and students left, he played music that resonated through the second-floor hallway while he corrected papers.
Fittingly, in 2016, his colleagues on the faculty voted him to receive the school’s most prestigious honor, its Fr. Louis Querbes Award, for the person who best exemplifies the spirit and mission of the Saint Viator Community.
Adapted from an article in the Spring 2020 quarterly newsletter.