The Viatorian Community welcomed its newest novice, Br. Ryan McMahon, on Sunday at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais, in a service steeped in tradition. Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, Provincial, led members of the Viatorian Community in welcoming Br. Ryan into his novitiate year.

Fr. Dan Hall asks Br. Ryan if he is willing to commit himself fully to his novitiate year.

“We surround him today with our support, our prayers and our hopes for his personal and spiritual growth,” Fr. Hall said, “in understanding and in discernment of the call which God may be offering him.”

Br. Ryan sat with his parents, Jim and Diane, and siblings during the service.

Ironically, the prayer service took place one day before the 139th anniversary of Viatorians founding the Province of Chicago and starting the first novitiate, both at Maternity BVM Parish, on Aug. 2, 1882.

Fr. Hall described the ceremony as uplifting and positive for the entire Viatorian Community.

“It’s a sign of growth,” he said. “We’re walking with him and he’s walking with us during this novitiate year.”

The prayer service drew Br. Ryan’s parents, Jim and Diane, as well as his siblings and Viatorian professed and associates from the Bourbonnais/Kankakee region.

Fr. Dan Hall, left, and Fr. Patrick Render, right, will support Br. Ryan during his discernment year.

At the conclusion of the service, Br. Ryan signed the novitiate contract, agreeing to dedicate the next year to immersing himself in community life, by living out the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Fr. Patrick Render, CSV, will serve as his novice master, overseeing Br. Ryan’s studies in pastoral, spiritual and academic areas.

Br. Ryan is a 2016 graduate of Saint Viator High School and a recent graduate of the University of Michigan. He has remained in touch with the Viatorians since high school, attending the Viatorian Youth Congress and participating on the Young Adult Advisory Board, among some of his experiences.

“Overall, I am feeling very excited, hopeful and optimistic about this coming year,” Br. Ryan said last year when entering the pre-novitiate program.. “The Viatorians always had a special place in my mind and heart due to the fantastic academic and spiritual education I received at Saint Viator High School.”