Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: September 2017

Feeding the Hungry, One Sandwich at a Time

NM3This month in religion classes, students are learning about teens experiencing homelessness. Statistics report that about 25,000 youth in Illinois experience homelessness each year and nearly 10,000 in Chicago.

At the first all-school Mass this month, the Saint Viator community prayed for these teens experiencing homelessness and a collection was taken up to support a Chicago agency that reaches out to them: The Night Ministry.

Taking it one step further, students were invited to serve The Night Ministry though packing sack lunches and bringing these lunches to teens experiencing homelessness in Chicago. In all, they prepared 150 lunches and some students went on to join campus ministers on a service outing to provide street outreach to teens struggling with poverty and homelessness that night.

NM1It’s all part of a new model for the monthly Loaves & Fishes collection, organized by Campus Ministry, says Ms. Emily Egan, one of the campus ministers.

“We are now inviting the school community to give on a monthly basis within the context of education, service, and prayer,” Ms. Egan says. “Campus Ministry will continue this same model moving forward on a monthly basis.”

At nearly the same time, the faculty members are doing the same thing, making sandwiches. Led by Fr. Dan Lydon, CSV, and Mrs. Rita King, faculty members picked up where they left off last year by packing lunches once a month for Catholic Charities Northwest, located in Des Plaines.

It was the first service project of the year for faculty members and they packed about 80 lunches which were intended for clients that attended the soup kitchen at Catholic Charities that very evening.

“As they leave, each client receives a lunch to take home for tomorrow,” Mrs. King says. “My favorite part of the day was when students came over to see what we were doing and decided to join in!”


Querbes Scholars Soak Up Chicago Architecture on Cruise

querbesboatAn architectural cruise along the Chicago River drew all four levels of the Querbes Scholars program to see the city’s skyline from a whole new perspective: on the water.

“The city looks so different when you’re on the water,” said Patrick Burns ’21. “You can really see how the buildings are connected.”

Ritarose Battin ’19, added: “I thought I knew the city so well, but I had never seen it from this view.”

Students and faculty members traveled by bus to Navy Pier, where they boarded a boat operated by Shoreline Cruises and managed by alumni parent, Larry Van der Bosch.

querbes3Their tour guide pointed out historical and architectural landmarks throughout Chicago. Students heard the story of the Great Fire of 1871, which ultimately led to the rebuilding of the city and eventually establishing Chicago as home of the skyscraper.

During the 75-minute tour, students also learned the history behind some of the city’s most prominent buildings, including those designed by famous architects like Helmut Jahn, Mies van der Rohe, and the firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

“It was fascinating to learn about the different designs of the buildings and how they reflect the many time periods of Chicago,” said Sara Hankinson ’19.

querbesboat2Freshman Keely McClellan added that she especially enjoyed learning more about the Great Chicago Fire.

“I was intrigued with the story about the Chicago fire and the rebuilding of the city,” Keely said. “It was great to see where it actually took place.”

The cruise was the first trip of the year for these Querbes Scholars. As part of the academic and enrichment program, scholars leave Saint Viator at least one time each semester for extended learning outside the classroom walls.

These trips, combined with invited speakers and challenging coursework fulfill the program’s mission, which is to foster personal growth, intellectual independence and faith enrichment.

Food for the Journey: Sunday, September 24

Pray SV (2017-2018)
#3 – September 24 

This week Fr. Dan Hall, C.S.V. shares his reflections on the readings for the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time.


Matt. 29: 1-16a

Once again Jesus speaks to us in parables, so we know that we are dealing with a story on several layers. First is the story itself. Jesus tells the story of an employer who needs workers for his vineyard. He goes into the marketplace looking for unemployed men waiting to be hired. He finds some early. They agree on a wage and begin to work. He does the same two more times. At the end of the day, the owner pays them all the same wage. Those who were hired first are angry that they did not get more. The owner explains that he did not cheat them, but paid them the agreed upon wage.

On another level, Matthew is the most Jewish of all of the gospels we have had handed down to us. The early Christian community was changing. At first, it began as a sect of Judaism, later it became a group of former Jews and those who had converted to Christianity. As more and more non-Jews were becoming believers in Christ, the Jews began to feel superior to these new converts and thought that they deserved places of honor and privilege because they had been part of the day’s toil since the beginning. It was the owner’s generosity to the last hired rather than show favor to the first hired that caused the problem. We are reminded that as believers in Christ we are all equal. It does not matter if you have been a life-long believer or a recent convert. In God’s eyes, we are all the same and God’s generosity to one should be a cause of celebration for all and never a source of division.

 Fr. Dan Hall, C.S.V. has served as coach and Social Studies teacher at Saint Viator High School for 16 years. Presently, besides teaching and coaching, Fr. Hall serves as Vice-President for Viatorian Identity and Mission.

Services for Coach Joe Ryback

Dear Lions,

2012 baseball regionalI am sad to report the death of Saint Viator Head Sophomore and Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach Joe Ryback, who passed away unexpectedly last weekend. Coach Ryback served as an Assistant Freshman Football coach in 2010 and 2011. He played an important role in the Saint Viator Baseball program since 2011.  Please keep the Ryback family in your prayers.

ryback stateMemorial visitation will be held on Friday, September 22 from 3-9 pm at Glueckert Funeral Home, 1520 North Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights.  A funeral Mass will be offered at 10:00 am, Saturday, September 23 in Cahill Gymnasium. For additional information, please contact Glueckert Funeral Home.

 May Joe rest in peace, bathed in Divine Light.

Thank you for your prayers.


Brian Liedlich

Food for the Journey: Sunday, September 17

Pray SV (2017-2018)
#2 – September 17 

This week Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V. shares his reflections on the readings for the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.


Sirach 27: 30-28:7
Romans 14: 7-9
Matthew 18: 21-35

Holding wrath and anger tight, like a warm blanket.

Unfortunately, I know that all too well.

As humans, we are fragile – especially on the inside. We naturally hunger for intimacy and acceptance from those about whom we care. So the pain runs deep when we experience rejection and or betrayal.

And unfortunately that pain – with the anger it spawns – can become a comrade that is hard to let go.

This week’s scripture readings warn us about holding tight to pain and anger. They can destroy us from within and, as in the Gospel reading, destroy our relationships on the outside.

The scripture offers us ancient wisdom that reminds us that God wants us to forgive – not just for the benefit of our fellow humans who are going to hurt us because of their imperfect selves – but also because we cannot find “life to the fullest” unless we learn that skill.

In my life, I’ve learned a few important things about forgiveness.

First, I can’t do it. I just can’t. It seems that I have a gene that compels me to stew over hurts and insure that all my “debtors” have paid back every last penny. That has been helpful for me to admit. For when I give up trying to forgive, I can turn to a power much greater than me. That leads to my second point.

God can teach me and strengthen me to forgive. I’ve learned to admit my powerlessness when it comes to forgiving and seek God’s strength. It almost seems at times that anger and hurt can be like a 50-pound weight someone has tied to my back. I need someone else to lift that weight. And that leads to my third point.

A Viatorian once offered me wonderful – freeing – advice. He told me to pray intensely for those who have hurt me. Prayer, he advised, would help me see them through God’s eyes and, thus, help me see there is much more to them than what has hurt me. It would help me see their strengths, their humanity, and stop me from reducing them to nothing more than the grievance I have against them. It also would then relieve some of the anger I feel toward them.

It works.

A word of warning. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. You can forgive someone and take guard against them hurting you again. In addition, forgiveness is a process that can require a lot of prayer over a lot of time – sometimes even months or years. Nonetheless, I can testify that the process does lead to freedom from the type of anger or distrust that eats us up or separates us from those who care.

So as your week progresses, own your hurts, admit your powerlessness and turn to God for help in forgiving. Let the source of our scripture’s ancient wisdom free you and make you like the master in the Gospel who shows others how it is possible to forgive.


Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V. served at Saint Viator High School for over ten years as a teacher, Vice President of Mission Effectiveness, and most recently as President.

National Merit Semifinalists Announced

Clockwise: Thomas Stanila, Jeremy Yoder, Nicole M, Joyce, Matt

Clockwise: Thomas Stanila, Jeremy Yoder, Nicole Marcinkus, Kevin Joyce, and Matthew Zawilenski.

Saint Viator High School learned Wednesday that five seniors had been named semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Program. That’s the most Saint Viator has had since 2014, when they also had five semi-finalists.

Seniors Kevin Joyce, Nicole Marcinkus, Thomas Stanila, Jeremy Yoder and Matthew Zawilenski joined this elite group based on their preliminary SAT scores taken when they were juniors, in 2015.

They emerged from a pool of 1.6 million juniors from 22,000 high schools who took the PSAT that year, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

Officials with the National Merit Scholarship Program said this year’s semi-finalist pool represents the highest scoring entrants in each state or less than one percent of high school seniors.

“These five students represent academic leadership in our school but also in music and theater and athletics,” says Principal Karen Love. “They are well-rounded representatives of a Saint Viator education that promotes excellence in all that they do.”

These students now will have a chance to advance to the finalist level, and continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

National Merit Scholarship officials say 90 percent of semifinalists advance to become finalists. They must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Last year, Saint Viator’s three national merit semifinalists all were named finalists and each won a merit scholarship. Zac Jones went on to attend Yale University, while Grace Nessen-Gilligan went to Fordham University and Katilyn Solarz attends the University of Notre Dame.

Children of Abraham Coalition Potluck Dinner for Peace Draws Record Crowd

9:11A movement is growing of people wishing to learn more about other faith traditions and Saint Viator students have been part of the change.

The sixth annual “9/11 Potluck for Peace” dinner on Wednesday drew more than 200 guests, up by more than 50 from the year before, and nearly filled Querbes Hall with people of all ages and faith traditions.

“I’m thrilled to see so many people here,” said Devon Sheehan ’18, who is a member of the Children of Abraham Coalition, which hosted the event. “It gives me hope that we can be agents of change in some small way.”

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, helped to form the Children of Abraham Coalition in 2011 as a way to confront religious-based hatred. Its signature potluck dinner is designed to draw families to come together and share food from different cultures while hearing from young people from Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faith traditions.

The dinner always takes place near the anniversary of 9/11 and offers guests a positive way to fight religious-based hatred.

Abbey Finn, a sophomore at Buffalo Grove High School who is Jewish, was one of three young speakers. She described visiting the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York, on the exact day as the events that took place in Charlottesville, VA.

“Now more than ever we need to come together,” Abbey said. “We, the next generation need to create peace.”

Sara Ahmed, 17, of Barrington told of attending the funeral of Muhammad Ali last year, of how he was an agent of peace working to bring people together.

“Tonight gives me great hope,” Sara said, “when I see how many people want to learn about different faith traditions and work toward interfaith dialogue.”

Students who attended included members of Saint Viator’s Justice League, who look for ways to advance positive social change.

Mary Peterson ’18 said she has attended the potluck dinner all of her four years and she enjoys the great variety of foods displayed, but she also found the event’s mission inspiring. Mary joined the Justice League freshman year and this year she is one of its core leaders.

“I just find the whole aspect of coming together, as one community, really powerful,” Mary said.

The dinner drew Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes as well as Mr. Brian Liedlich, president. Both addressed the crowd before dinner.

Mr. Liedlich described how Saint Viator is rooted in the Viatorian mission of “raising up communities where faith is lived, deepened and celebrated,” and he commended the group for its mission of encouraging–especially students–to look for ways to learn from one another.

In closing, he drew on the words of Fr. Louis Querbes, founder of the Viatorians: “People are bolder when they dream they are doing God’s work.”

Food for the Journey: Sunday, September 10

PRAY SV (2017-2018)

#1 – September 10

After our August hiatus, PRAY SV: Food for the Journey begins again. This week Fr. Bob Bolser, C.S.V. shares his reflections on the readings for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Matthew 18: 15-20

In a Paiute Indian village, there was a very old Indian, whom all of the people called ‘Grand Father.’ One day a six-year-old, Two Feathers, sat next to Grand Father and asked him for a story. Grand Father responded,

“There lives in all human beings, two wolves. One lives on love, compassion, and dignity. He is nonjudgmental and accepts…accepts all creatures, two-legged, winged, swimming, and crawling on the earth as gifts from the Great Spirit.  This wolf is always with his brother wolf, whose heart is rooted in hate, bigotry, greed, and prejudice…. who is always on the hunt for a kill… just to kill. The battle is fierce and happens daily.”

Blue Feather asks, “Which one wins, Grand Father?”
Grand Father looks with admiration and hope at the little one and says,

“The one we feed, Blue Feather, the one we feed.

Consider the teachings of “Grand Father,” in whose heart Jesus is alive.

A lesson for our world!

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

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