Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Band and Choral Students Hit All the Right Notes in NYC

D2nrZaDWkAAC-qRSaint Viator band and choral students took New York City by storm over spring break, singing and playing their way through some of the Big Apple’s most celebrated landmarks.

“I’m so glad our students got to experience New York with our musical family,” said Mrs. Joleen Kragt, choral director.

Their whirlwind, four-day tour was packed with educational and performance opportunities, from the choir performing at St. John the Divine Cathedral, the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, to the band performing on the U.S.S Intrepid, a World War II aircraft carrier docked on the Hudson River, to a song and dance workshop with the Broadway cast of “Jersey Boys.”

D2rTza1WoAEjt_n“The trip was a fantastic experience,” said Mr. Vince Genualdi, band director. “Not only did our students have the opportunity to perform multiple times, but they also had the opportunity to engage with professional musicians, both in a performance and educational environment.”

In fact, the band sat in on a Broadway instrumental workshop at Carroll Music Studios, located in the heart of Manhattan, with Broadway actor, Sean Montgomery.

In between their gigs, students and their chaperones toured Carnegie Hall, the Rockefeller Center — where choral students broke into an impromptu performance — and the National Sept. 11th Memorial and Museum, where among its victims they paid tribute to Mary Lenz Weiman, 1976 alumna of Sacred Heart of Mary High School.

D2sIdxPWsAALz1JTheir trip started and ended on a high note. The first night, the group broke up to attend two Broadway shows, “Jersey Boys” and “Come From Away.” On their last day, they took in a performance at New York’s famed Lincoln Center.

“As a music educator, it was rewarding to have our students see that what we are teaching them was confirmed by the Broadway coaches, Carnegie Hall staff and in our actual performances in these amazing venues,” Mrs. Kragt added. “Most importantly, they brought their ‘A’ game to the performance table, which was one of our main reasons for going on a New York performance tour.”


Spring Fling 2019: Photos


Guests enjoyed a fun evening out at Arlington Ale House – on an otherwise cold night last Wednesday – attending the second annual Spring Fling hosted by Patrons of the Arts (POTA). Guests took in three premier bands, enjoyed food and drinks, and vied for two over-the-top raffle baskets.

POTA’s intent for the evening was to host an event that the Saint Viator community would really get behind, while highlighting music and entertainment, which is what Fine Arts is all about.

“We are grateful to our donors and we definitely achieved our goals both socially and philanthropically. We hope to have an even more successful Spring Fling next year,” said Suzy Daugherty, president of POTA.

Patrons of the Arts will use the proceeds of the event to support ongoing improvements for Fine Arts at Saint Viator High School.


spring fling



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Saint Viator Mourns the Loss of Rev. James E. Michaletz, CSV

rev-james-michaletz-csv-arlington-heights-il-obituaryFr. James E. Michaletz, CSV, 87, a Viatorian for 67 years, was born August 9, 1931 in Chicago to Ernest and Philomena (nee Schafer) Michaletz and passed away April 10, 2019. Fr. Michaletz is survived by his sisters Geraldine (August) Roller of Mt. Prospect (Gerry was a longtime registrar at Saint Viator) and Roberta Michaletz of Chicago, along with many nieces and nephews.

He graduated in 1949 from St. Mel Catholic High School in Chicago and attended Northwestern University before pronouncing his first vows as a Viatorian on Sept. 8, 1952 in Arlington Heights. He entered the Viatorian Seminary in 1956, in Evanston and was ordained a priest in 1960. Fr. Michaletz earned a B.A. degree in chemistry from St. Ambrose College, along with an M.S. degree in organic chemistry and a Ph.D. degree in education, administration and supervision curriculum from Loyola University in Chicago.

Fr. Michaletz was one of the founding faculty members of Saint Viator High School, serving as a chemistry teacher (1961-64), assistant principal (1964-68) and principal (1968-72). From 1972 to 1975, he was superintendent of Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Rolling Meadows, before serving as Assistant Superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago (1973-75). He served as Co-Director of the Office of School Planning (1975-76) and Director of Planning (1976-77) for the Archdiocesan school system. Fr Michaletz served as Director of Education and Director of Formation for the Viatorians before being named Director of Education for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois (1985-91). He also served as an Assistant Professor of Education at Dominican University in River Forest from 1991 until 1998 before being named Associate Pastor at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais. He retired to the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights in 2011.

Visitation for Fr. Michaletz will be held on Friday, April 12 from 4-8 PM at the Viatorian Province Center, 1212 E. Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights.

A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, April 13 at 10:30 AM. at the Viatorian Province Center. Interment will be in Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.

Students Challenged to Overcome Perceptions on Urban Immersion Retreat

St. Viator @ St. JamesSaint Viator students, Katie Crawford ’21 and Nick McCaulley ’19, wanted to step out of their comfort zones when they signed up for the Urban Immersion retreat last weekend. What they got, was a glimpse into what it means to be homeless and the chance to see the face of God in those they encountered.

They were among nine students, freshmen through seniors, who traveled to Chicago’s Southside and the Br. David Darst Center for Justice, Peace, Spirituality and Education. This was the third year Saint Viator’s Campus Ministry Department offered the retreat.

“I’m still haunted by hearing the women’s stories, of how easy it is to lose everything and how hard it is to get back on your feet,” Katie said of hearing the personal testimonies of two formerly homeless women.

“The experience really opened my eyes as to how strong people can be when life throws everything at them,” Nick added. “I really saw the face of God in them.”

The center’s stated mission is to challenge perceptions, by providing an engaging, reflective and brave space where people can explore issues of social justice. Its immersion retreat serves as an experiential learning experience, they add, to explore injustices and the reality of oppression.

One of the most memorable parts of the retreat was hearing from two women, one in her 30s and one in her 40s, who had been homeless. One had become homeless after becoming ill and not being able to keep up with mounting medical bills. The other story hit home with the teens. She described being kicked out of her family’s home when she was 14 and pregnant.

They learned of her resourcefulness, of how she slept in abandoned apartment buildings with her baby, whom she kept warm by wrapping up in aluminum foil, and how she walked more than two miles to steal food from Jewel.

Both women eventually found help and now serve as advocates for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, speaking to groups and lobbying in Springfield on behalf of the homeless. The baby, the teen worked to save now has graduated from college.

Another activity had the teens break into groups of four, and shop and prepare a meal, using a regular allotment from SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which came out to $1.50 per teen or $6 for one night’s dinner.

Katie and Nick’s small group made an omelette with brown rice and bananas. After eating the meal for dinner, they all agreed that it offered some sustenance, but they couldn’t envision living on it for long.

“It’s so disheartening that fresh produce and the healthy stuff is so expensive,” Nick said. “It just goes against what you inherently believe, that you should be able to afford food that is good for you.”

The next day, the teens worked at the food pantry at St. James Parish, located near Guaranteed Rate Field. All morning, they unloaded crates of food, bundled food packages and helped people pick up food. In all, they served 250 families or a total of 500 people.

“Typically, when you think of the food pantry, you think of dropping off food,” Katie said, “but here we got meet the people who are getting the food. We really felt like we were helping.”

Both teens described the retreat as “powerful” and one that motivated them to do more. For starters, Katie and Nick pledged to go back to help at the food pantry for the next food distribution — and bring friends with them.

Br. John Eustice, CSV, vice president of Viatorian identity and mission, brought the first group of Saint Viator students on the retreat three years ago. He continues to see its value, of giving students an in-depth look at poverty and then analyzing a response within the context of Catholic social teaching.

“As Viatorians, this is part of our mission,” Br. John says, “to help young people reach out to ‘those accounted of little importance.’ “

Our goal is to invite a genuine conversation about the world around us, raising awareness, challenging perceptions, and encouraging behavioral change that reflects the Christian social teachings of peace, justice, and appreciation of the dignity of every person and value of the earth.

Math Team Wins Big at ICTM Contest

Congratulations to our Math Team for the following wins at The Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Regional Contest last weekend:

Geometry Team: 1st Place
Algebra 2 Team: 2nd Place
Junior/Senior 8-Person Team: 2nd Place
Calculator Team: 1st Place
Junior/Senior 2-Person Team: 1st Place
Oral Team: 1st Place

Alice Cao ’20: 1st Place in Geometry
May Liu ’21: 2nd Place in Geometry
Eric Ryu ’20: 1st Place in Algebra 2
Marcus Lannie ’19: 1st Place in Precalculus

The Viatorian Community Mourns the Loss of Br. Dale A. Barth, C.S.V.

Br Dale BarthWith regret and sadness, we wish to inform you of the death of Br. Dale A. Barth, C.S.V.  Br. Barth died at Northwest Community Hospital on February 21, 2019, in Arlington Heights, Illinois.  He was 75.
Br. Barth pronounced first vows on September 8, 1963, in Arlington Heights and was ordained a Permanent Deacon on September 13, 2003, by Bishop Joseph Imesch in Joliet, Illinois.
For 23 years he was assigned to Saint Viator High School, where he served as Director of Maintenance (1967-90). From 1990-98, he worked in the Provincial Treasurer’s Office at the Viatorian Province Center, Arlington Heights and from 1996-99, he was assigned as Business Manager at St. Viator Parish, Las Vegas. He served as Pastoral Minister at Maternity BVM Parish, Bourbonnais, Illinois, from 2000-03. He was then assigned as Assistant to the Novice Director at St. Patrick Parish in Kankakee, Illinois. He served as Pastoral Associate at St. Viator Parish in Chicago (2005-2008) before retiring to the Viatorian Province Center retirement residence in 2008.
His parents preceded him in death, along with his brother Jack Barth and his sisters Gail Barth and Cynthia (Barth) Montgomery. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Marilyn Barth, and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation for Br. Barth will be held at Lauterburg-Oehler Funeral Home 2000 E. Northwest Highway, Arlington Heights, Illinois, on Tuesday, February 26, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on February 27, 2019, 11:00 a.m., at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish, 434 W. Park St., Arlington Heights, Illinois. Interment will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. Please remember Br. Barth in your Masses and prayers.

Saint Viator’s Band Takes First in Class at State of the Art Catholic Band Competition

bandSaint Viator’s Symphonic Band has a long tradition of doing well at the annual State of the Art Catholic Band Festival, but this year, they nailed it.

This year’s festival drew nearly 20 Catholic high schools across Chicago and the suburbs to converge on Brother Rice High School for the 37th annual contest. When it was all said and done, Saint Viator placed 1st in Class AA and also earned “best brass” and “best woodwinds.”

Saint Viator’s band members also won the coveted “Jim Moore Esprit de Corps Award” — named for one of the founders of the contest and its longtime emcee — for their enthusiasm, professionalism and overall contribution to the contest.

At the end of the day, Saint Viator’s score for the day landed the band in 3rd place out of 18 overall, and ahead of one of the AAA bands.

In finishing in first place in class AA, Saint Viator set the bar for the other schools in the class, including St. Ignatius, Brother Rice, and Mother McAuley, Fenwick, Nazareth, Notre Dame/Resurrection, Providence Catholic, Marmion/Rosary and St. Rita.

“I am so proud of these students for their hard work,” said Mr. Vince Genualdi, director of bands. “Our program is about enjoying the journey to the performance and these kids rose to the challenge and had a phenomenal performance as a result of that.”

Members of the Knights of Columbus launched State of the Art in 1982 and they continue to be on hand to present trophies. They created the festival as a way to showcase band programs in Catholic schools — and encourage music education. Over the years, the festival has become quite competitive, with Marian Catholic, a nationally ranked band program, setting the bar for excellence.

Typically, the festival draws bands from Notre Dame, Resurrection, Nazareth, Fenwick, St. Patrick’s, Mount Carmel, De LaSalle, Brother Rice, Mother McAuley, St. Laurence and Queen of Peace high schools, as well as Bishop Noll Institute from Hammond, IN.


It’s Official: Another Perfect ACT Score

Fecko_Daniel PAsk Daniel Fecko ’20 what his favorite class is, and he has to think about it. And why not? He enjoys all of them, he says and, it turns out, he’s good in all of them, too.

Late last fall, Daniel joined an elite group. He learned in November that he had earned a perfect score on the ACT. He is the fourth Saint Viator student over the past year to have aced the test. Thomas Constertina ’19, Maura Hogaboom ’19 and Caroline Lavendar ’19 all earned perfect scores last year and now are contemplating their college choices for the fall.

“I was pretty sure I did well on it when I came out,” Daniel says with a smile. “It’s been a big goal of mine for a while. I started preparing over the summer and took a practice test almost every week.”

Academic challenges come naturally to this high achieving junior. He competes on Saint Viator’s math team, as well as the academic team, where he has earned individual medals in math and English.

Daniel also enjoys the fine arts. Last fall, he and Lavendar were selected to represent Saint Viator at the highly competitive Illinois Music Education Association District 7 Music Festival. When he’s not singing in the choir, Daniel plays trumpet in the band and is an active member of the Campus Ministry team.

In this weekend’s musical, the Wizard of Oz, Daniel is a featured dancer. And to round it all out, he plays soccer in the fall and volleyball in the spring.

“I know,” he says with a laugh. “It’s a lot to manage, but I like to push myself.”

Daniel credits his rigorous course work at Saint Viator, and at St. Colette Catholic School in Rolling Meadows, with giving him the tools he needed to excel on the test.

“Mr. Paolelli’s grammar unit helped a lot,” Daniel said. “And so did my seventh grade English class. I still remember all of that.”

Daniel is the third of four children of Mike and Lucy Fecko. While his older siblings, Sara ’13 and Matthew ’17 are pursuing the fine arts in college and graduate school, and younger sister, Margaret, will be a freshman in the fall, Daniel thinks he may like to explore engineering.

“I’m not sure,” he says with a laugh. “I’m interested in so many things.”


Saint Viator Boys and Girls Basketball Teams Reach New Heights

BB7F2256-4C7F-479E-9B33-0988236DA61BBoth the boys and girls basketball teams are having a great winning season. The boys basketball team battled for first place in the ESCC on Feb. 15, a game that was also televised on the UTOO network as the game of the week. The Saint Viator community of current and future students, alumni, parents, grandparents and friends packed the gym to witness a decisive victory over Marian Catholic, ranked #7.

This win comes after the boys team received the #1 seed in the Grayslake Central Sectional. Next, the boys will play for the Conference Championship on Feb. 20, and Saint Viator will be hosting the Regional Championship during the week of Feb. 25.

Saint Viator High School also hosted the girls 3A Regional, in which the girls basketball team won their fourth consecutive regional title. The girls team now moves on to play in the Carmel Sectional Semi-final on Monday, February 18, at 6:00 p.m. vs. #4 seed Johnsburg.

If the girls win against Johnsburg, they will play the winner of #5 seed Carmel vs. #2 seed Marengo on Thursday, Feb. 21, for the Sectional Championship. Athletic Director Jason Kuffel attributes recent successes to the dedication of both the coaching staff to their students, and the student athletes to their craft.

“This is a great time in Saint Viator Athletics,” said Kuffel. “This is the first time in school history that both our boys and girls basketball teams have been awarded the #1 overall seed in their respective sectional in the same year.”

Cole Kmet ’17: From ND to Cooperstown

Cole Kmet '18.

Cole Kmet ’17.

Cole Kmet ’17 holds a rare distinction among student-athletes at the University of Notre Dame. Not only is he a dual-sport athlete, but he is the first dual-sport athlete to have been the starting pitcher in a baseball game since 2010.

That uniqueness was not lost on officials during last season’s Shamrock Series football game, played at Yankee Stadium, when the Fighting Irish faced the Orange from Syracuse. Turns out Kmet was the only player who also plays baseball to appear in the game.

For the record, he caught one 17-yard pass during the game and came in multiple times on special teams and as a blocking tight end.

Sports writers found it ironic that this left-handed pitcher was wearing pinstripes at Yankee Stadium, to play football.

Now, that moment will live on in history. Last month, officials with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Coopersburg announced they had requested and received Kmet’s helmet be added to their collection.

Photo courtesy of Katie Meyers/Fighting Irish Media.

Photo courtesy of Katie Meyers/Fighting Irish Media.

It is the only football helmet to be acquired by the Hall of Fame, though there are other pieces of football history preserved in Cooperstown, officials said.

Jon Shestakofsky, vice president of communications & education at the museum said that while the majority of their collection comes from the baseball diamond, they also collect other pieces that tell the story of baseball’s connections off the field.

“We were particularly interested in collecting the helmet used by Cole,” Shestakofsky said, “a two-sport athlete who also stars on Notre Dame’s baseball team, as he clearly has a love for baseball.”

The acquisition had to be approved by the NCAA compliance department, and Kmet, himself, but that was an easy call.

“It’s obviously very cool and a tremendous honor to have something of mine in the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Kmet said. “It’s cool to know that when I go there someday I can see my helmet in the hall.”

He also liked the uniqueness of the acquisition.

“How cool to have a piece of football memorabilia make its way all the way to the Baseball Hall of fame,” Kmet added.

Kmet learned of the honor in late December, during a football practice in preparation for the team’s Cotton Bowl appearance as part of college football’s Bowl Championship Series semi-finals.

“We were able to have our head baseball coach, Mik Aoki, come out to a football practice to surprise Cole that the Hall of Fame wanted his helmet,” said Michael Scholl, assistant director of athletics communications. “So that was a special moment and made it even more unique.”

No doubt, Kmet and his family will make a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. After all, they are a baseball family, with Casey Kmet ‘19 committing to play baseball this fall at Notre Dame, and learning this month that he is a pre-season All-American.

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