The Viatorians’ involvement with Bishop McNamara Catholic High School dates back to 1931, when they took charge of the school and staffed it for more than 50 years.
When Fr. Daniel Belanger, CSV, joined the faculty part time in 2011 to help in Campus Ministry, it served as a return of the Viatorian presence in the school.
This summer, he and Viatorian Associates Ken and Michelle Barrie, David Surprenant and Pre-Associates Curtis and Kathleen Saindon, all were asked to join a team charged with reviewing the Campus Ministry offerings at the school, as part of its strategic plan.
Mr. Terry Granger serves as principal of Bishop Mac and of the school at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, another Viatorian parish. He valued the Viatorians’ input and their suggestions for revamping the program.
“Their input was critical to the improvement of our overall curriculum and programs,” Mr. Granger said. “The team did an outstanding job of reviewing what I felt were essential areas to be reviewed.”
Their action plan included stepping up student participation in liturgies and prayer services, increasing the commitment to Christian service and revamping all of the class retreats.
Key among their suggestions was to initiate a Kairos retreat to juniors. Viatorians have been leading students on Kairos retreats for nearly 25 years, since it was suggested by a Saint Viator High School student in 1991.
Viatorians have gone on to introduce Kairos retreats to Bishop Gorman Catholic High School in Las Vegas and at Maternity BVM Parish, as part of its youth ministry program.
“We are creating a sub-committee to focus solely on our Kairos retreat,” Mr. Granger adds.
Lastly, the review team recommended beefing up Bishop Mac’s outreach programs, helping not only its partner schools but the greater Kankakee community.