Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: December 2014

Saint Viator’s Season of Sharing Helps Nearly 100 Chicago Area Families

Color Crest

A holiday tradition continues to grow.
For nearly 20 years, Saint Viator families have worked together to spread
Christmas cheer to families on Chicago’s North Side through the Season of Sharing
This year was no different.
“Thank you for opening your hearts and wallets to help those in need,” Betsy
Fons, director of Christian Service and Outreach, said. “The generosity of the Saint
Viator families came through again. We were overwhelmed with the response.”
Season of Sharing ends Wednesday, Dec. 17 when Ms. Fons expects to receive the
last of the gift cards. In the past, gift cards have added up to more than $2,000 worth of
groceries and services.
Once again, Saint Viator students reached out to families served by the Howard
Area Community Center in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. whose mission is to
empower families and individuals.
By its own description, the Community Center’s mission is to empower families
and individuals in one of the most racially, ethnically and economically integrated
communities in Chicago. Its families are often under-employed, underserved medically
and confronted by gang violence, daily.
For those facing those challenges, Saint Viator students and families aimed to
make the holidays a little merrier. In all, they purchased gifts for 249 children from 97
different families, or 20 more families than last year.
Gifts fulfilled wishes from the families, which included winter coats, clothes,
boots and gloves, as well as games and gift cards.
The remaining gift cards will go to people at the Community Center who signed
up for the program at the last minute, or who came to the community center for
emergency help during the holiday season.
“The staff at the HACC was very appreciative of the generosity,” Fons added.
“Thank you for making this a blessed Christmas for so many people in need.”

Fr. Perham, Nina Byskosh

Fr. Arnold Perham Named a Hearts of Gold Winner by Village of Arlington Heights

Fr. Perham, Nina Byskosh

Fr. Arnold Perham, CSV, has taught mathematics to Saint Viator High School students for more than 45 years, and even after retiring in 2001, he continues to meet with young mathematicians every morning, helping them with everything from homework to preparing for the state contest.

He enjoys working behind the scenes, but recently his tutoring drew prominent attention.

Fr. Perham was named a Heart of Gold winner by officials with the Village of Arlington Heights. Specifically, he was named the 2015 Mentor of the Year, for his work with math students at Saint Viator. He will be among 10 Hearts of Gold winners honored at a formal dinner on Feb. 21, hosted by members of the village’s Special Events Commission.

“I’m totally surprised,” Fr. Perham said, who last year celebrated 65 years of religious life as a Viatorian. “I had no idea this was coming.”

He was nominated by Saint Viator Principal Eileen Manno, who credited Fr. Perham with helping students in the Math Club, on the Math Team, in the Querbes Scholars program and in the school’s math lab.

“Fr. Perham has mentored every teacher in the department through the years,” Mrs. Manno said. “His enthusiasm for mathematics and his dedication to all students continues to make him one of the finest educators ever in our building.

“At 85 years old, his very presence in the building challenges all of us to be better educators and learners.”

President Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V. added his praise as well, recognizing Fr. Perham not only as a mentor to students, but to himself as well, as a Viatorian.

“I can’t think of anyone who deserves this recognition more,” Fr. Corey said. “You won’t find a kinder, wiser, more intelligent person in this building. He shines God’s bright light, daily.”


Viator Voice Editors Spend Day at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism

Members of the editorial board of the Viator Voice spent a day last month at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism for its annual High School Journalism Day.

They were among teen editors from a dozen city and suburban high schools who attended journalism workshops — ranging from web design to op/ed writing and video documentaries — all taught by Medill professors.


Viator Voice editors attended High School Journalism Day at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism last month.

“It was exciting to be there,” said senior Bri Pulver, one of two opinion editors for the Voice. “Just to be taught by the professors there, was amazing.”

She and opinion co-editor, senior Mia Mastandrea, both gained lots of good ideas during the workshop on web designing, which included information about managing a WordPress site.

“We found new ideas for layout design and how to grab the reader,” Mia said. “They just used a lot of graphics and eye-popping art.”

Former Sun Times editorial board member and adjunct journalism professor at Medill, Deborah Douglas, served as keynote speaker for the event. She described her career in journalism, including her multiple positions with the Chicago Sun Times as well as her contributions to the Huffington Post and blogging for

Junior Liam Warner, one of two world editors for the Voice, found Douglas’ presentation to be the highlight of the day, as well as the student panel, made up of editors and reporters for the Daily Northwestern.

“There was no sense of Armageddon or head-banging over the future of newspapers,” Liam said. “Which was refreshing.

“The main take away I got from it was that journalism now calls for more well-rounded people,” Liam added. “You have to be grounded in multiple disciplines — both digital and print — because the more you’re able to do, the better journalist you’ll be.”

Editorial members reflected on their experience during one of the recent layout days, when they worked to design this month’s 22-page newspaper.

Mr. Chris Paolelli, who advises the newspaper staff and is a Northwestern graduate, said he continues to bring students back to Medill each year for a number of reasons.

“It exposes them to college-level instruction from the best journalism school in the country,” Mr. Paolelli said. “And it also gives them a chance to take a break from the day-to-day rush of creating the paper and ask big questions about how they do their jobs, and how to do them better.”

Here We Go a Caroling!

Saint Viator choral ensembles are gearing for another busy holiday season as they prepare for a series of gigs at private parties, schools, an outdoor shopping center and even a fancy candlelight dinner at a country club.

“It’s a busy performance season for our choral students,” Mrs. Kristina Sandrock, choral director, said. “But they love it.”

Choral students will spend the next few weeks spreading holiday cheer at events throughout the northwest suburbs.

Choral students will spend the next few weeks spreading holiday cheer at events throughout the northwest suburbs.

They open Saturday, Dec. 6, when the Chamber Singers perform at a holiday party thrown by the Mount Prospect Lions Club for local seniors.

Just one day later, all of the choral ensembles will be featured during the Winter Arts Festival, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7 in the Jeuck Auditorium at Saint Viator.

Then, it’s back on the road for these performers. On Tuesday, Dec. 9, the freshmen and sophomore girls in the Treble Choir head to St. Joseph’s Home in Palatine to sing for residents and bring holiday cheer.

That same week, a combined ensemble made up of Concert Choir members and the Chamber Singers will sing for junior high students at some of our feeder schools, including St. Philip’s in Addison and St. James School in Arlington Heights.

The Chamber Singers return to Deer Park Town Center on Saturday, Dec. 13, where they will be featured near the rotunda of the outdoor shopping center, and perform for the bustling shoppers from 1-2 p.m.

Their season winds up Wednesday, Dec. 17, when both the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers have been invited for a return engagement at Rolling Green Country Club to provide songs of the season at the club’s elegant candlelight dinner.

Saint Viator Offers New Joys for Christmas


Like last year, Saint Viator’s Chamber Singers will sing Christmas carols from all over the world at Sunday’s Winter Arts Festival.


The festival is not all song and dance. Guests may also take in the unique art offerings designed by students in various visual arts classes, including both traditional and digital sections.

Looking for a dose of holiday cheer?

Saint Viator High School has just the ticket: “New Joys,” its Winter Arts Festival, which offers a modern celebration of Christmas traditions, filled with art, dance and music.

Their annual fine arts festival opens at 2 p.m. Sunday, with an afternoon filled with seasonal carols, modern interpretations of songs by Josh Grobin and the Beatles, as well as international selections, including the Catalan Christmas carol, “Fum, Fum, Fum.”

“Our theme this year, New Joys, is really accurate since we are looking at some traditional Christmas elements — in new ways,” William Faltinoski, fine arts department chairman, said.

The festival includes performances by Orchesis dancers who will perform lyrical dances to “Let it Be,” as recorded by the cast of “Glee,” as well as another lyrical number set to the modern classic, “O, Holy Night,” by Josh Grobin.

The combined concert and symphonic bands are directed by Vince Genualdi and will perform traditional English carols. They include “The Sussex Mummers Christmas Carol” and “The Night Before Christmas,” while the Saint Viator Jazz Band will present its own jazz rendition of the season, with tunes like “Work Song,” “Doxy,” and “The Chicken.”

Kristina Sandrock directs Saint Viator’s multiple choral ensembles, including the Trebel, Concert and Symphonic choirs, as well as the Chamber Singers.

Freshmen and sophomore girls make up the new Treble Choir. They will perform “Breath of Heaven,” while the Concert Choir will present the old English classic, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and the combined choirs will preform the traditional favorite, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Saint Viator’s Chamber Singers will offer up a dose of international flavor, with the historic Spanish carol, “Fum, Fum, Fum.”

During intermission, guests may peruse the unique art offerings designed by students in a variety of visual arts classes, including both traditional and digital sections.

“This year every student enrolled in an art class is represented in our display,” Faltinoski added. “Part of creating art is having others see it and appreciate it.”

For starters, students in the Introduction to Adobe Photoshop class created ornaments for the pyramid trees on display, while those students in Introduction to Visual Art created window ornaments.

Students in iPad Media Arts created a cut paper, stop motion, animation of the classic “The Night Before Christmas” poem, while those in 3-D Art & Design created eye-popping ornaments.

Finally, upperclassmen members of the National Art Honor Society created the tree toppers for the pyramid trees.

A Tradition Continues: Building Bridges with Inner City Teens from Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep

For the ninth straight year, students from Saint Viator High School and Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep attended the Bridges Retreat this fall.

For the ninth straight year, students from Saint Viator High School and Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep attended the Bridges Retreat this fall.

A retreat that was adapted more than 20 years ago by Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, to ease racial tensions at a Springfield parish still finds relevance with today’s suburban teens.

The Bridges Retreat brought students together from Saint Viator High School and Waukegan’s Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep for the ninth straight year. They returned for the second year to Villa Desiderata, a retreat center in Woodstock run by Br. Pat Drohan, CSV.

“It was a great opportunity to bring together young people from two different communities to discuss issues that cause division in our world — prejudice, discrimination and other types of injustice,” Jim Dippold, campus minister at St. Martin’s, said.

Looking out over scenic Pistakee Bay, students spent two days together in prayer, small group sessions and worship services, and even helped with outdoor maintenance around the center.

“We had the chance to reflect and pray about our own shortcomings,” Mr. Dippold added, “as well as to think about how we can commit ourselves more deeply to building up the world that God desires for us, and think about how we are called to neighbor to one another.”

Since designing the retreat, Fr. Brost has brought it to Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, as well as St. Martin’s and Saint Viator, where he now serves as president.

Many other Viatorians have helped moderate the retreat over the years, including: Brothers Dan Lydon, Dan Tripamer, John Eustice, Pat Drohan and Michael Gosch, as well as Pre-Novice Peter Lamick.

Br. Gosch, a former English teacher at Saint Viator and social worker at Cristo Rey St. Martin’s, said the retreat goes a long way in breaking down barriers and furthering relationships.

“During the closing prayer service, a number of students from both schools speak about the importance of not judging others,” he said. “They also speak about how important it is to spend time getting to know someone regardless of a person’s background — as a way of breaking down stereotypes and building bridges.”

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