In the span of one day, the Viatorian Community expanded to include two new priests, with the ordination of Fr. Gustavo López, CSV, and Fr. Edwin Ruiz, CSV.
Both are natives of Colombia and they are the latest vocations to come out of the Foundation of Colombia, which Viatorians first established in 1961.
“In this time when many religious communities are experiencing declining vocations and few ordinations, this is a hopeful sign,” said Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial, “that the Viatorian Community had ordained three new members in our province in the last year.”
Last June, the Viatorian Community also welcomed Fr. Daniel Lydon, CSV, who was ordained in Chicago.
Fr. López is one of the first vocations to come out of Libano — where Viatorians spent six years as missionaries reaching out beyond Bogotá — located in near the center of Colombia and its coffee region.
Prior to his ordination, Fr. López served in campus ministry and taught at another school in Bogotá. He has been invited to say Mass and help with sacramental responsibilities at Parroquia San Juan Víanney, a Viatorian parish, and he also will serve as director of associates for the Foundation of Colombia.
Fr. Ruiz worked with students with special learning needs at Colegio San Viator prior to his ordination. He also has been invited to say Mass and help with the sacraments at Parroquia Santa Ines de Guaymaral, another Viatorian parish also in Bogotá, as well as serve as director of postulants for the foundation. Currently, there are four in the formation process.
Their ordination took place at San Juan María Vianney, which was filled with members of the Viatorian Community and parishioners, including Fr. von Behren, Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, and Br. Carlos Ernesto Flórez.CSV. Bishop Héctor Pizarro, apostolic vicar of the Archdiocese of Trinidad in Colombia, presided.
“Personally, it was satisfying for me to return to the place of my formation,” said Br. Carlos, a native of Colombia, “and see the continued growth of the foundation.”