Growing up in a rural, mountainside village in northern Colombia, Br. William Pardo, CSV, never dreamt he’d visit the United States.
But one year after professing his vows as a Viatorian brother, Br. William arrived at the Province Center in Arlington Heights for a yearlong study of English. During his stay, he visited places where the Viatorians minister, from downtown Chicago, to Bourbonnais and Kankakee, to Las Vegas.
As he prepared to return to his native country, Br. William reflected on his experience.
“I feel different from when I arrived,” he says. “I am more secure in my relationships (with my Viatorian confreres) and I have a new vision of religious life.”
When he returns to Bogota, Br. William will assume the directorship of the Diploma Program of the International Baccalaureate Program at Colegio San Viator. The Diploma Program is part of the IB’s continuum of international education and is seen as the pathway to a university education.
“It’s a new ministry for me and it came as a surprise,” says Br. William, who spent 10 years as a teacher, “but it’s a good opportunity and a big responsibility.”
During his U.S. stay, Br. William studied English at Dominican University, where he strengthened his command of the language in a conversation class every afternoon with students from Argentina, China, Japan, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Turkey and Russia.
The diversity of other cultures intrigued him, he says, but it also prepared him for his new responsibility, of developing students to live and work in a rapidly globalized world.