Nearly 50 faculty and staff traveled to the historic St. Viator Church in Chicago—which the Viatorians founded in 1888—to witness the ordination of their colleague, Fr. Daniel Lydon, C.S.V.
Bishop Christopher Glancy, C.S.V., the Viatorians’ only active bishop, came from Belize to preside at the ordination. Bishop George Rassas, an auxiliary bishop with the Archdiocese of Chicago, was also on hand for the Mass.
Two former presidents of Saint Viator High School, Fr. Charles Bolser, C.S.V., and Fr. Thomas von Behren, C.S.V., concelebrated the ordination Mass.
“We gather today in great joy,” Bishop Glancy said to those in attendance. “This is just what Pope Francis said about consecrated life: It is a joyful moment.”
Fr. Lydon first met the Viatorians when he attended Saint Viator High School, after graduating from Queen of the Rosary School in Elk Grove Village. He graduated in 1973 and later returned in 1994, when he was hired to teach Spanish. Fr. Lydon ultimately served as assistant principal.
One of Fr. Lydon’s former students recognized many of the saints featured in the Litany of Saints to be the same ones he highlighted in his ethics classes at Saint Viator.
In thanking everyone afterwards, Fr. Lydon described the day as a “celebration of community” and a reminder for those on hand to listen to their own calls—and to act on them.
“Sometimes we never know about these turn of events,” Fr. Lydon said. “If Fr. Bolser hadn’t hired me in 1994, you just never know what would have happened.”
Fr. Lydon celebrated his first Mass of thanksgiving one day later at St. Viator Parish, where Fr. Thomas Kass, C.S.V., offered the homily. In it, he pointed to Fr. Lydon’s ordination as a sign of hope in a world surrounded by violence and conflict.
“Let your priestly heart be grounded in mercy, in hope and in love and in the activity of prayer,” Fr. Kass said.
This fall, Fr. Lydon will return to Saint Viator High School, to teach in the religion department and help develop a new faith program for adults offered by Campus Ministry.