Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Month: October 2017 (Page 1 of 2)

Food for the Journey: Sunday, October 29

Pray SV (2017-2018)
#8 – October 29 
This week Fr. John Milton, C.S.V. shares his reflections on the readings for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Matthew 22: 34 – 40

The “law,” the sum total of all the ways in which we are to relate to God and to one another, is condensed into two grammatically simple, but very demanding, expressions. “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Two examples from the book of Exodus precede these words from Matthew’s Gospel. These examples tell us that neighbor-love relates to our treatment of the least among us. Among these least, Exodus identifies aliens, uncared-for widows, and orphans. How do we, as individuals and ln the social and economic setting of our own time, put flesh on the “neighbor” we are told to love? (To love as ourselves! Imagine!) How does acting justly in the economic order put restraints on what we can do for economic gain, for the accumulation of wealth?

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

Numbers Up at Saint Viator Open House

IMG_9535“The positive energy was palpable.”

That’s how Saint Viator High School President Brian Liedlich described the two open house presentations that took place Oct. 21 and 22.

“The feedback we received from attendees at the event and afterward has been overwhelmingly positive,” Mr. Liedlich said.

With more than 350 families attending over the course of the two days, nearly every measure was up, including the number of prospective seventh and eighth graders who attended.

IMG_9505Families enjoyed learning about Saint Viator’s iPad curriculum and recognition as an Apple School of Distinction, as well as meeting with department heads and touring the school’s campus. Besides the student tour guides themselves, a special highlight was meeting with all the student ambassadors afterward and hearing about the many clubs and teams that await prospective students.

“From our student and parent ambassadors to our faculty and staff, coaches and administrators, as well as the video presentation and our beautiful facilities, it was a proud two days for Saint Viator,” Mr. Liedlich added.

IMG_9461For Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, a former president of the school now serving as chaplain, it was his first open house since he left the school in 1999, and he enjoyed it.

“The atmosphere was great,” Fr. Bosler said, “but what I enjoyed most was seeing so many alumni back bring their children to see the school. That’s always a good barometer.”

Signs of the successful open house still resonate out in the community, with youngsters continuing to wear their white Saint Viator sweatshirts that they received at the event, proclaiming them, “A Lion for Life.”

Encounter the World of Alice in Wonderland in Fall Play

IMG_014Wildly fanciful characters from “Alice in Wonderland” come to life this weekend on stage at Saint Viator High School. From Humpty Dumpty and the Mad Hatter to the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, they all weave in and out of the spotlight teaching Alice about life and growing up in the dangerous world of Victorian England.

“I grew up with this story, but now, experiencing it as a teenager I’m seeing its relevancy even to today,” says senior Emily Bremner, who shares the title role with sophomore Michelle Cecchin. “It’s a story about self-discovery and what makes me who I am. It’s just told in this wacky manner.”

IMG_316Junior James McManus shares the role of Humpty Dumpty with junior Robby Baxendale. They wear one of the more elaborate costumes on stage created by professional special effects and costume designer, Kathy Johnson, and had to research their unique voice.

“I’m trying to imitate the voice of W. C. Fields, who played Humpty Dumpty in the 1933 film,” McManus says. “It’s a New York accent that’s getting better over time. I’m still trying to add more sass.”

Senior Laura Kuper has played many of the romantic leads in the musicals during her time at Saint Viator, but in this production, she shares the role of the Duchess with junior Bridget Dillon.

“I think children will love all the colorful and eccentric characters,” Kuper says, “and adults will love figuring out all of the underlying messages.”

IMG_205Nearly 70 students are involved in the production through its two separate casts, with another dozen working behind the scenes on its technical aspects, with three students sharing the load on the light board.

“The show relies heavily on the lights,” says senior Anne Haubenreiser. “Without much of a set, we have to make the effects all on our own.”

Right from the start, the light crew projects swirling effects on the backdrop to evoke Alice falling down the rabbit hole, and later characters appear and disappear into Alice’s consciousness.

Directed by Kate Costello and her assistants, Tony Calzaretta and Mary Schafer, made a conscious decision to concentrate their efforts on creating larger than life characters through vivid costumes, lighting, and authentic accents and minimize the set design.

IMG_297“The show is too episodic to have a complicated set,” says Costello, who adapted the play herself from the original production. “I wanted it to move quickly and let the projections and costumes provide the colorful effects.”

Math teacher, Mrs. Julie Reedy, created the overall costume design of the show, with help from Johnson and longtime costumer, Mary Woods.

“The costumes are extremely important to the show,” Calzaretta says. “We literally wanted them to pop on stage and jump out into the audience.”

Viator Voice Editors Attend Newspaper Workshop at Northwestern

IMG_8946Less than two years ago, Maeve Schumacher ’18, co-sports editor with the Viator Voice, won an award from the Scholastic Press Association of Chicago for her feature, “Young Athletes Incorporate Faith into Sports.”

This year, at the High School Journalism Day, sponsored by Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, she made an impact with other high school sports editors when she talked about her idea of introducing more “evergreen” stories into the sports section.

“I try to bring a unique perspective to the section,” said Maeve, who shares the role of sports editor with Michael Fitzpatrick ’18. “We try and make it more interesting than just reporting about a team’s overall season.”

IMG_8948In all, 10 editors spent the day at Northwestern, visiting three different academic building on campus to sit in on sessions led by Medill professors. Topics ranged from layout design, photojournalism and interviewing, to sports, social media and various high-tech tools for futuristic journalism.

Thomas Stanila ’18, world editor for the Voice, sat in on the session presented by the Medill Justice Project, the school’s investigative journalism center that examines potentially wrongful convictions.

“I thought it was fascinating,” Thomas said. “It’s another way to see how journalism can be relevant to current events and actually advance change.”

Mary Peterson ’18, co-editor in chief with Nicole Marcinkus ’18, found the photojournalism session to be enlightening.

“It’s all about telling a story with pictures, but there are so many things that go into it,” said Mary, who last year served as graphics editor. “You need to find the sweet spot of the photo and have the right lighting, and yet still capture that personal element, that people will connect with.”

IMG_8945Mr. Chris Paolelli, newspaper advisor, accompanied the editors back to his alma mater. Both he and his staff said they enjoyed talking to their journalism peers about their shared experiences, problems, solutions and opportunities.

“There were some common themes,” Mr. Paolelli said, “including how gratifying it is, especially in a digital age, for students to still receive a paper copy of a newspaper produced by their peers.”

The day ended with a panel featuring professionals in the business, including Chris Herring of ESPN, Lauren Victory of CBS 2, and Will Jones of ABC 7.  All of them were Medill alums and they fielded nearly an hour of questions from the student editors.

“It was inspiring just to be around so many other kids who are passionate about journalism,” Maeve said. “I loved hearing all their questions. It made me want to be a better journalist.”

National Merit Commended Students Announced

NMSFive more Saint Viator High School seniors received good news this month from the National Merit Corporation. Michael Fitzpatrick, Arthur Gasey, John Leininger, Bennett Rizner and William Sheriff all learned they were named commended scholars in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.

As National Merit commended scholars, they placed among the top scorers of the more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2018 competition when they took the PSAT as sophomores in 2016, or the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

“Our National Merit Scholarship commended students have demonstrated remarkable academic potential and we are proud of their accomplishments,” says Principal Karen Love. “Their futures are very bright with a strong foundation of a Saint Viator education.”

This brings to 10 the number of Saint Viator students recognized this year by the National Merit Corporation. In September, seniors Kevin Joyce, Nicole Marcinkus, Thomas Stanila, Jeremy Yoder and Matthew Zawilenski all learned they had been named as National Merit semi-finalists.

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 semi-finalists now have advanced to the finalist level, and are continuing in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit scholarships, worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.

While commended scholars do not qualify to continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, they bring this added distinction to their college applications.

“We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities,” a spokesperson for the National Merit Scholarship Program said, “and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic excellence.”

Food for the Journey: Sunday, October 22

Pray SV (2017-2018)
#7 – October 22 

This week Fr. John Van Wiel, C.S.V. shares his reflections on the readings for the Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time.


Matthew 22: 15-31

Today and next Sunday we read two of the three “test stories” in the 22nd chapter of Matthew’s gospel. In today’s story, Jesus is tested primarily by the Herodians, that is, by the officials of the civil government. They knew that if they could get Jesus to say that the Roman tax should be paid, they could claim him as being on their side, as one of their own. On the other hand, if he said the tax should not be paid, they could have him arrested for sedition. Jesus’ response is often misinterpreted.

According to Scripture scholars, on this occasion, Jesus really is not trying to justify obedience to legitimate civil authority, although being a good citizen is obviously a part of being a good Christian. What Jesus is really doing is denying the importance of the issue. In effect, he is saying, “Don’t bother me with such questions as the payment of taxes. I’m concerned with God’s love, about proclaiming the news of that love, and about your response to what I say. Compared to such an issue, the question of taxes is irrelevant.” Christ refused to be involved in academic nit-picking, in tricky questions and subtle controversies. He refused to get excited about issues that were trivial in comparison to what he was trying to accomplish. There was a central direction, a basic focus to his life, and he wouldn’t be moved away from it.

Ordinarily, we give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Our government makes certain that we do that. Do we also work as hard at giving to God what is God’s? Is that the primary focus of our lives?

Fr. John Van Wiel, C.S.V. served for many years as Chemistry teacher at Saint Viator High School. Presently, Fr. Van Wiel lives at the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights.

Saint Viator High School Named Apple School of Distinction

DSC_0009The journey continues. After five years of working to integrate technology into its curriculum, Saint Viator High School now has again been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2017 -2019.

The Apple Distinguished School recognition is reserved for schools that meet criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence and demonstrate a clear vision for exemplary learning environments.

“We are grateful to be named an Apple Distinguished School for the second time,” says Principal Karen Love. “It affirms the good work our faculty and students do on a daily basis to transform teaching and learning through creative and innovative outlets.”

“The formation of our students as digital citizens, learning transferable skills, will hopefully make the world a better place,” she adds. “That is what a Viatorian education is all about.”

DSC_0083This is the fifth year of the school’s 1:1 iPad program. As a result, everyone in the building utilizes iPad and 98 percent of all textbooks are available on iPad. Students use apps like iMovie to bring to life to what they have learned, Keynote to present main points of a novel, iStudiez Pro to organize and plan their schedules, to name just a few.

Overall, administrators believe the integration of iPad has proven highly successful with students and teachers alike, who continue to display a new excitement about learning.

Faculty members point to the advances made in their daily data collection as a result of iPad. Teachers can monitor student understanding through a variety of apps, including Examplify, Socrative, Kahoot! and Quizlet.

IMG_2873“These apps allow for quick results, so students and teachers can see strengths and weaknesses almost immediately, and whether students are mastering content and skills,” says Maggie Miskowicz, instructional technology coordinator.

Saint Viator’s commitment to technology permeates many aspects of the school’s environment. MacBook Airs are also used in the computer lab for coding and programming apps as well as AP Computer Science Principles, while iMacs recently were added to the Academic Commons in order to provide students access to Apple technology during their free periods.

Even athletics has embraced technology. Real-time communication apps compile stats and record game plays in baseball, basketball, and football, while the lacrosse team uses a drone during practice and game footage to get a different perspective on plays as well as player strengths.

A rigorous education has been the hallmark of a Saint Viator education, since its inception more than 50 years ago, but administrators continue to look into the future, as they advance the school’s innovative curriculum redesign, which leverages technology—with academics.

Cross Country Teams Support Marathon Runners

file-3For the seventh time, members of the boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams turned out to support runners in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and along the way, they learned some Marine Corps chants.

Once again, the Lions partnered with JROTC members at University of Illinois College Prep in Chicago. Together, they cheered on the 137 marathoners who ran to support Team Salute and its mission to help meet the financial, physical and emotional needs of returning military.

The Saint Viator XC teams showing support for Team Salute at the Chicago Marathon.

The Saint Viator XC teams showing support for Team Salute at the Chicago Marathon.

They stood along the marathon’s Charity Cheer Block, strategically located just past the halfway mark, near mile 14. In the end, Salute runners combined to raise more than $200,000 in support of Salute’s emergency financial assistance program.

Salute is an official charity of the Chicago Marathon, and this year, the Chicago Blackhawks sponsored the team, resulting in their largest fundraising effort to date.

Mrs. Mary Beth Beiersdorf, co-founder and executive director of Salute as well as the parent of three Saint Viator High School graduates and a board of trustee member, credits boys’ cross-country coach, Wayne Edelman, with involving Saint Viator students in the marathon.

“Saint Viator students are actively ‘honoring the service and remembering the sacrifice of our military families’ “ she says. “This year was our biggest team for Salute, the best weather and we drew the most kids from both schools—Saint Viator and UIC—to cheer on our runners.”


Girls XC and Coach Curtain waiting to see Coach Wosick run by.

Coach Edeleman says involving students in the marathon makes an impact and it comes at a good time. Less than one week later, Saint Viator cross country teams competed in the ESCC championships, where the boys’ varsity team placed second and girls’ team finished in fourth place, and this week head into IHSA regionals.

“Working the marathon gives the kids a chance to see all kinds of runners, from the Kenyans, to the recreational runners and those in costume,” Coach Edelman said. “They really see the perseverance it takes and the dedication.

Girls XC setting up for the Chicago Marathon.

Girls XC setting up for the Chicago Marathon.

“The kids get service hours for doing it, but they enjoy it,” he added. “We all work together and it really forms lasting bonds on the team.”

Food for the Journey: Sunday, October 15

Pray SV (2017-2018)
#6 – October 15 
This week Fr. Arnie Perham, C.S.V. shares his reflections on the readings for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Matthew 22: 1 – 14

For today’s gospel passage, we read a parable from Matthew’s gospel. Some might be horrified by the actions of the host who had a man physically thrown out of a wedding banquet for not dressing appropriately.

Before judging too harshly, it’s helpful to know a few things about Matthew and his Jewish Christian community. When Matthew wrote his gospel, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in Antioch, Turkey, toward the end of the first century, it was a time of great chaos for Jewish Christians. About 20 years before, the Roman army had destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple – the heart of Jewish identity. Many of the Christian Jews who survived the onslaught walked 500 miles straight north along the road that hugged the Mediterranean ocean. They traveled through Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and crossed the border into Turkey, where they found a welcoming Jewish Christian community founded decades before.

In Matthew’s time, the Jewish Christians of Antioch felt they were more Jewish than any other group of Jews, since they faithfully accepted Jesus as the Messiah announced in the Hebrew scripture. The leaders of the local synagogues had another view, they looked upon the Jewish Christians as heretics and expelled them from the synagogues. Until that point, the Jewish Christians, besides sharing Eucharist in their homes, worshipped in the synagogues with their non-Christian brothers and sisters – all of that changed. The tension that existed between Matthew’s community and the leaders of the synagogues is seen in today’s parable addressed to “the chief priests and elders of the people.” Matthew used the man thrown out of the wedding feast as a symbol for all those who purposely reject God’s good news so they can follow their own wisdom.

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, October 8

Pray SV (2017-2018)
#5 – October 8 

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

Isaiah 5: 1-7
Psalm 80:12-16, 19-20
Philippians 4: 6-9
Gospel: Matthew 21: 33-43
The events of the past few weeks in our nation and in our world reveal to us just how broken our world is. We are tempted to blame gun owners, mentally ill people, our secular culture, or even God for our problems. Our faith tells us that our world is a world of grace. It is a vineyard, a beautiful garden. When we hear of the outpouring of love and concern for those in need right now in Las Vegas, we begin to see again what a beautiful world it really is. Our readings for this week might be providing us with a surprising message. (After all, isn’t that what parables are supposed to do?)

Hold off on the blaming of others for a while. Look into the vineyard of your own soul. Are you walking the walk with Jesus? Am I? Really, am I?

Heal my broken places, restore my soul, fill me with gratitude and make me an instrument of Your peace. Amen.

Fr. Dan Lydon, C.S.V. has served as teacher and administrator at Saint Viator High School for 15 years.

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