Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: March 2017

Food for the Journey: Sunday, March 26


In today’s gospel passage about the blind man, the evangelist underscores the chaos his cure caused. In the story, there are those who vigorously attempt to shield society from Jesus’ “life changing” authenticity, lest their own authenticity becomes challenged. They go on the attack. Everyone connected with the event, even remotely, becomes a target: Jesus, the blind man, and his parents. They challenge Jesus’ credentials, the blind man’s lack of respect for religious leaders, and the credibility of his parents. The man’s steadfast witness to Jesus’ authenticity brings him a discouraging consequence – he is thrown out of the synagogue. He must have known that the strength of his convictions would force him to the edge of society.

Insert yourself into the story. How close are you standing to the blind man? Why?

–Fr. Arnie Perham, C.S.V. has served at Saint Viator High School for more than 50 years. Fr. Arnie continues to tutor Math and assists the Math Team and Math Club.

Food for the Journey: Sunday, March 19


In today’s Gospel, we have an unexpected, sudden meeting between Jesus and one who was considered by many folks to be an outsider, a stranger, and undesirable. She was a woman who thirsted for attention and love. Without knowing it, she stumbled into an ocean of both love and attention, these from an unassuming man from a tribe who had traditionally rejected her. I am sure she and Jesus were startled when they first met. However, in a few moments time, and after a small, but life-saving discussion, her life was eternally different. She was smothered with God’s unconditional non-judgmental love. She met love itself. Richard Rohr, a spiritual leader, tells us that God loves us, not because of anything we do that is good, God loves us because God is Good.  Have a wonderful Lent.

–Fr. Bob Bolser, C.S.V. served in Campus Ministry at Saint Viator High School during the 1980’s.

Junior and Senior Querbes Scholars Take a Different Look at Hamlet

IMG_3306As one of the many enrichment opportunities for Querbes Scholars, junior and senior members traveled last month to see the Tony Award-winning comedy, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” at the Metropolis Performing Arts Center in Arlington Heights.

Although Tom Stoddard’s comedy is somewhat little known to modern audiences, it debuted on Broadway 50 years ago and one year later, in 1968, won the Tony Award for best play.

Essentially, the play reinterprets Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” from the point of view of two minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who find themselves suddenly thrust into the limelight.

The play has been compared to Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” with its two central characters questioning and waiting for something, in this case, the chance to play central figures in “Hamlet.”

IMG_3308Its witty wordplay is so fast moving and the underlying themes so rich, that Querbes Scholars attended a workshop led by Mr. Chris Paolelli, AP Language, and Composition teacher.

Combine the theater trip with an opening dinner at Armand’s Pizzeria in Arlington Heights, and it made for a satisfying evening for students and their moderators, Mrs. Cate Majka, Mrs. Julie Reedy, Mr. Patrick Neville—all moderators of the Querbes Scholars Program—and Mr. Paolelli.

“It was an excellent opportunity to witness a fast-paced, witty and thought-provoking play,” said Patrick Harris ’17, “that proved to be not only entertaining but applicable to our course work.”

His classmate, Stephen Hannon, agreed, though he admitted he had no idea what to expect, knowing it was meant to be an absurdist play.

IMG_3316 (1)“I enjoyed how carefully it was written,” Stephen said. “It seamlessly blended Shakespearean wordplay with modern references and vernacular.”

The Fr. Louis Querbes Scholars’ Program debuted in 2010 and was designed to challenge and enlighten highly motivated students. The program combines rigorous curriculum opportunities with activities that go beyond the classroom walls and are intended to foster personal growth, intellectual independence, and faith enrichment.

Service Snapshot: Holly Westerkamp ’17

Holly Westerkamp '17.

Holly Westerkamp ’17.

As a setter on the girls’ volleyball team, Holly Westerkamp ’17 helped the team advance to their second consecutive regional title last fall and ultimately to the sectional semifinals.

But what really drives Holly is volunteering, and specifically at the Society for the Preservation of Human Dignity, or PHD, in Palatine. The nearly 50-year old agency helps women facing the issues of pregnancy and parenting.

“Our vision is to be a compassionate community,” its mission statement reads, “where dignity is preserved, hope is restored, and lives are empowered and protected — one woman, one child, one family at a time.”

Holly has volunteered there for the last four years, but over the last two, she has found her niche serving in the Baby Closet. There, she works directly with families, supplying them with everything from diapers and clothes to baby food.

“My passion is to serve people one-on-one and face-to-face,” Holly says. “I enjoy seeing the immediate effects of service and I love to interact and smile with those I help each week.”

Holly is just one example of how Saint Viator helps develop students into people of compassion and knowledge, who are committed to justice and called by God to serve others.

“What I find rewarding are the little things that occur each week,” Holly says. “Whether it is getting to know a co-worker better, educating a mother on the necessity of certain baby foods, or laughing at a small child’s giggle. I always leave PHD with my heart feeling a little warmer.”

As for any advice, she would offer to students looking for service opportunities: “Love what you do. Volunteering can sometimes seem like just another requirement, but in reality, it can be one of the greatest opportunities ever.”

Saint Viator High School Names New Principal

Brian Liedlich, Saint Viator President, Karen Love, and Rev. Dan Hall, CSV, Vice President for Viatorian Identity and Mission.

Saint Viator President Brian Liedlich, the newly appointed principal, effective July 1, Karen Love, and Rev. Dan Hall, CSV, Vice President for Viatorian Identity and Mission.

A career educator, who has spent nearly 20 years in Catholic education, including the last five years as assistant principal for instruction at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, was named the new principal of Saint Viator High School.

Saint Viator President Brian Liedlich introduced Mrs. Karen Love to faculty and staff members during a meeting on Tuesday, and afterward, they lined up to meet her.

“I was encouraged by our Board of Governors and Board of Trustees to look for candidates who could bring strong leadership skills and new perspectives to this role,” Liedlich said, “and who could particularly help with the recommendations coming out of our strategic planning process.

“I believe we have found a candidate,” he added, “that more than checks all these boxes.”

Before serving at Loyola Academy, Love spent 14 years at Jesuit High School in Portland, OR, where she began as a math teacher but moved into administration, serving as director of adult spiritual formation and later as director of professional development.

In addressing the faculty, Love said she was “humbled to serve” and she looked forward to joining the Saint Viator community.

“During the interview process, I was impressed with Saint Viator’s focus on academic excellence, your scholars’ program and the number of international students, as well as the leverage of technology in the classroom as an Apple Distinguished School,” Love said. “And I learned of Saint Viator’s strong reputation in the community.”

Liedlich led a nine-member search committee who extended their search nationally for a new principal. The group included Mrs. Eileen Manno, who announced her retirement this year after a 35-year career at Saint Viator, including the last 13 as principal.

Committee members said they sought an experienced educator and administrator, who was faith-filled and would be a strong partner in creating and articulating the vision of Saint Viator High School.

“She encourages new ideas and thought,” Liedlich said, “and has demonstrated strong skills in planning and implementing new initiatives—that will serve us well going forward.”

Alumni Ambassador Q&A: John Kenney ’83

John is class of 1983. His daughter is Caitlin Kenney class of 2018, Son William Kenney, wife Danielle.

John Kenney ’83 with his son, William, daughter, Caitlin ’18, and wife, Danielle.

What are you doing professionally?
I am the Vice President of Design and Construction for a real estate firm. My territory includes Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Did Saint Viator/Sacred Heart have any impact on your career choice or success you have had?
Not really, though the skills and reinforcement of independence clearly contributed to my success.

What are some of your favorite memories from high school?
Father Perham, Brother (Father now) Hall, and hanging out with friends for a lifetime.

Did any teachers have a positive influence on your life?
Yes, all of them in their different ways. Rita King challenged my view on religion while others pushed their core areas of study. Constant through all was the need for hard work.

Have you stayed close to any friends from high school?
Yes, many.

What advice would you give to current students?
Try to concentrate on the positives and ignore the negatives. You can always find fault with something, but if you find the good in something you will be more apt to enjoy it and want to be a part of it.

What would you say to parents who are considering sending the children to Saint Viator?
Saint Viator is an investment in not only education but life skills that will stay with your child far past college.

What team, group, club or organization was important to you in high school?
Football, swimming, and basketball (though I didn’t play basketball).

Why have you decided to take on the role of Alumni Ambassador?
My hope is to give back, even if it is a small contribution, I hope it helps the greater picture.

Food for the Journey: Sunday, March 12


“Abram went as the Lord directed him.” Abram became Abraham – more than a name change, a change in his life journey. He went because he trusted. I am a child of Abraham. How do I discover the path the Lord is opening before me?

–Fr. John Milton, C.S.V. served as Physics instructor at Saint Viator High School for more than 20 years.

Food for the Journey: Sunday, March 5


The Readings for the first Sunday of Lent speak to us of Creation: Human consciousness and the ability to know right from wrong – to understand that we are given the ability to choose life or death. These readings also remind us that every choice that we make affects others – all actions have repercussions – they affect others; we are connected. We also learn that we are tempted to power, greed, arrogance and to self-absorption.

These readings speak to us, reminding us that we are part of the ongoing creation, along with all other men and women, connected in time and in space. We are part of the fabric of life and what we choose brings life or death. We are called to bring life and to understand that that Divine Spirit that was alive in Jesus, lives in us – calling us forward into the fullness of life. We are reminded finally that Jesus shows us that the way to life is by choosing to become a servant – by giving one’s life as a light to the world.

–Fr. Charlie Bolser, C.S.V served as president of Saint Viator High School from 1988-1999. He continues to assist in the Advancement Office and in Adult and Family Faith Formation.

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