One of the core missions of Viatorians worldwide is supporting young people in their faith journey. That was clearly evident last week in Las Vegas, when Viatorians not only accompanied Cristo Rey St. Viator students on retreats, but they opened up their retirement house for the leaders to stay, pray and relax together.

A group of seven leaders and two supervisors from NET, or National Evangelization Teams, led retreats for freshman, sophomore and juniors. NET, which is based in West St. Paul, MN, challenges young Catholics, through relational ministry, to follow Christ and embrace a life of community in the church. The retreats took place at nearby St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas.

Fr. William Haesaert, CSV, opened the retirement house in Las Vegas to the group, where he invited them to stay while they led the different class retreats over three days.

“Fr. Bill joined them each day for dinner and prayer,” say Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, President of Cristo Rey St. Viator. “It was a wonderful sign of Viatorian Hospitality and welcome.”

Fr. von Behren and Br. Carlos Florez, CSV, also joined the group for two evenings, taking care of the dinner meal on Friday and joining the group for conversation and laughter.

Fr. Thomas von Behren celebrates Mass for retreatants.

Each retreat focused on a different theme. Freshmen reflected on the theme of “Choosing Joy,” which focused on how they can only find true joy in Jesus Christ. For sophomores, “Love one Another” was the theme, which focused on friendships with Christ and other people, while juniors focused on the theme of “More than Conquerors,” or suffering.

“Trials are inevitable, but when we encounter them, do we allow Christ to be a part of them,” explains Mrs. Lucy Peña, Director of Campus Ministry.

Seniors at Cristo Rey St. Viator will hold their special retreat in the spring, but in the meantime Fr. von Behren was pleased with these class retreats.

“They were a great success,” Fr. von Behren says, “and a wonderful story of collaboration, hospitality and Viatorian witness to young adult ministry that the NET team offers throughout the country.”