St. Viator Day falls on Oct. 21, but Viatorians in the Arlington Heights/Chicago Region observed the feast day on Oct. 18, by extending the Viatorian mission in a vibrant way: welcoming more lay associates.
“Today, the circle of those dedicated to and sharing in the Viatorian charism in a formal way is expanding,” said Br. John Eustice, CSV, one of several professed Viatorians on hand for the liturgy.
A group of about 35 people — all wearing masks and sitting socially distanced — gathered in the Alumni Memorial Chapel at Saint Viator High School. Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, Provincial, led the Mass, which also was shared via Zoom for those unable to attend in person.
New Viatorian associates who made their first, two-year commitments, included four current members of the Saint Viator High School community: Mrs. Brigette Brankin from the math department, Mr. Brian Hansen ’11 from the theology department, Mr. Kurt Paprocki ‘00 from the modern world languages department, and Saint Viator President, Mr. Brian Liedlich. Their commitment ceremony came after a two-year discernment process during which they reflected on their calling and commitment to the Viatorian mission, of “proclaiming Jesus Christ and the gospel and raising up communities where faith is lived deepened and celebrated.”
“My personal relationship with many professed Viatorians, seeing their example and call to be of service to ‘those accounted of little importance’ led to my discernment and commitment as an associate,” Liedlich said, echoing the thoughts of others on hand.
Joining them, were four associates renewing their commitments for another three years, including: Barbara D’Urso, retired religion teacher from Saint Viator, as well as Chris Guckwa, an active parishioner at St. Viator Parish in Chicago, Ann Perez, a current theology teacher at Saint Viator, and her husband, Christopher, director of curriculum and international studies at St. Patrick’s High School in Chicago.
Fr. Hall paused and asked for prayers for those Viatorians who had passed away since the community last gathered, including: Fr. George Auger, Fr. Simon Lefebvre, Fr. James Fanale, Associate Michael Bourgeouis and Associate John Paulik. He also said a special blessing over Jason Kuffel and Jason Wilhite — both working at Saint Viator — who are starting their two year pre-associate formation.
“It was wonderful to gather together,” Br. John added, “and celebrate who we are.”