Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Category: Faith Formation (Page 1 of 7)

Saint Viator Mourns the Loss of Rev. James E. Michaletz, CSV

rev-james-michaletz-csv-arlington-heights-il-obituaryFr. James E. Michaletz, CSV, 87, a Viatorian for 67 years, was born August 9, 1931 in Chicago to Ernest and Philomena (nee Schafer) Michaletz and passed away April 10, 2019. Fr. Michaletz is survived by his sisters Geraldine (August) Roller of Mt. Prospect (Gerry was a longtime registrar at Saint Viator) and Roberta Michaletz of Chicago, along with many nieces and nephews.

He graduated in 1949 from St. Mel Catholic High School in Chicago and attended Northwestern University before pronouncing his first vows as a Viatorian on Sept. 8, 1952 in Arlington Heights. He entered the Viatorian Seminary in 1956, in Evanston and was ordained a priest in 1960. Fr. Michaletz earned a B.A. degree in chemistry from St. Ambrose College, along with an M.S. degree in organic chemistry and a Ph.D. degree in education, administration and supervision curriculum from Loyola University in Chicago.

Fr. Michaletz was one of the founding faculty members of Saint Viator High School, serving as a chemistry teacher (1961-64), assistant principal (1964-68) and principal (1968-72). From 1972 to 1975, he was superintendent of Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Rolling Meadows, before serving as Assistant Superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago (1973-75). He served as Co-Director of the Office of School Planning (1975-76) and Director of Planning (1976-77) for the Archdiocesan school system. Fr Michaletz served as Director of Education and Director of Formation for the Viatorians before being named Director of Education for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois (1985-91). He also served as an Assistant Professor of Education at Dominican University in River Forest from 1991 until 1998 before being named Associate Pastor at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais. He retired to the Viatorian Province Center in Arlington Heights in 2011.

Visitation for Fr. Michaletz will be held on Friday, April 12 from 4-8 PM at the Viatorian Province Center, 1212 E. Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights.

A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, April 13 at 10:30 AM. at the Viatorian Province Center. Interment will be in Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.

Students Challenged to Overcome Perceptions on Urban Immersion Retreat

St. Viator @ St. JamesSaint Viator students, Katie Crawford ’21 and Nick McCaulley ’19, wanted to step out of their comfort zones when they signed up for the Urban Immersion retreat last weekend. What they got, was a glimpse into what it means to be homeless and the chance to see the face of God in those they encountered.

They were among nine students, freshmen through seniors, who traveled to Chicago’s Southside and the Br. David Darst Center for Justice, Peace, Spirituality and Education. This was the third year Saint Viator’s Campus Ministry Department offered the retreat.

“I’m still haunted by hearing the women’s stories, of how easy it is to lose everything and how hard it is to get back on your feet,” Katie said of hearing the personal testimonies of two formerly homeless women.

“The experience really opened my eyes as to how strong people can be when life throws everything at them,” Nick added. “I really saw the face of God in them.”

The center’s stated mission is to challenge perceptions, by providing an engaging, reflective and brave space where people can explore issues of social justice. Its immersion retreat serves as an experiential learning experience, they add, to explore injustices and the reality of oppression.

One of the most memorable parts of the retreat was hearing from two women, one in her 30s and one in her 40s, who had been homeless. One had become homeless after becoming ill and not being able to keep up with mounting medical bills. The other story hit home with the teens. She described being kicked out of her family’s home when she was 14 and pregnant.

They learned of her resourcefulness, of how she slept in abandoned apartment buildings with her baby, whom she kept warm by wrapping up in aluminum foil, and how she walked more than two miles to steal food from Jewel.

Both women eventually found help and now serve as advocates for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, speaking to groups and lobbying in Springfield on behalf of the homeless. The baby, the teen worked to save now has graduated from college.

Another activity had the teens break into groups of four, and shop and prepare a meal, using a regular allotment from SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which came out to $1.50 per teen or $6 for one night’s dinner.

Katie and Nick’s small group made an omelette with brown rice and bananas. After eating the meal for dinner, they all agreed that it offered some sustenance, but they couldn’t envision living on it for long.

“It’s so disheartening that fresh produce and the healthy stuff is so expensive,” Nick said. “It just goes against what you inherently believe, that you should be able to afford food that is good for you.”

The next day, the teens worked at the food pantry at St. James Parish, located near Guaranteed Rate Field. All morning, they unloaded crates of food, bundled food packages and helped people pick up food. In all, they served 250 families or a total of 500 people.

“Typically, when you think of the food pantry, you think of dropping off food,” Katie said, “but here we got meet the people who are getting the food. We really felt like we were helping.”

Both teens described the retreat as “powerful” and one that motivated them to do more. For starters, Katie and Nick pledged to go back to help at the food pantry for the next food distribution — and bring friends with them.

Br. John Eustice, CSV, vice president of Viatorian identity and mission, brought the first group of Saint Viator students on the retreat three years ago. He continues to see its value, of giving students an in-depth look at poverty and then analyzing a response within the context of Catholic social teaching.

“As Viatorians, this is part of our mission,” Br. John says, “to help young people reach out to ‘those accounted of little importance.’ “

Our goal is to invite a genuine conversation about the world around us, raising awareness, challenging perceptions, and encouraging behavioral change that reflects the Christian social teachings of peace, justice, and appreciation of the dignity of every person and value of the earth.

Saint Viator Students Demonstrate ‘Faith in Action’

Golden Rose Award recipients with Bishop Hicks and Rev. Jerry Jacob (photo by Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women).

Golden Rose Award recipients with Bishop Hicks and Rev. Jerry Jacob (photo by Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women).

Four Saint Viator students were recognized last month by members of the Chicago Archdiocese Council of Catholic Women when they received the group’s Golden Rose Award.

The award is bestowed annually to young women who demonstrate leadership and spirituality in their parishes, as well as service to the community.

Recipients included:

  • Emily Goebel ’19 is a member of St. Emily Parish in Mount Prospect. She has served as a cantor, member of the youth and adult choirs, religious education catechist, Vacation Bible School teacher and in liturgical ministry.
  • Maura Hogaboom ’19 is a member of St. James Parish in Arlington Heights. She has served as a retreat leader at Quest and Kairos, Catholic Heart Work Camp, urban immersion, Habitat for Humanity and Vacation Bible School at St. James.
  • Elizabeth Miller ’20 is a member of St. Mary Church in Buffalo Grove. She served as a program leader for confirmation retreats, as well as a peer minister and Catholic youth role model.
  • Kathryn Williams ’19 is a member of St. Alphonsus Ligouri Parish in Prospect Heights. She serves as a Eucharist minister, altar server, youth ministry leader, and parish high school retreat leader.

In reflecting about the award, Emily said she became more active in her parish after joining the children’s choir in sixth grade.

“Someone noticed me and asked me to cantor when I was in eighth grade,” Emily says. “I was really surprised. I had never taken lessons or sung a solo before. I felt really good about that.”

She wound up joining the adult choir and has continued singing and becoming more active in parish ministries ever since. Her parish involvement led to Emily becoming active at Saint Viator, including singing in Music Ministry at school liturgies, participating in choir and in Campus Ministry, as well as performing in the musicals and plays.

“As a cantor, I try to involve people more in the Mass,” Emily says. “I know my involvement in the choir and as a cantor has deepened my faith life.”

Which is exactly why women with the Council of Catholic Women thought it was important to start the Golden Rose Awards.

“In our society, high school women already receive recognition for their academics, sports, and in the arts,” said Evelyn Getty, president. “We felt in today’s world, the importance of recognizing their faith and how that impacts their parish.”

The Council established the award in 2015 and had four girls nominated by their parishes. This year, they had 25 Golden Rose recipients, and of those four attend Saint Viator.

Welcome Home, Br. John Eustice, CSV

EusticeFr. Dan Hall, CSV and the Provincial Council of the Clerics of St. Viator have announced that Br. John Eustice, CSV will be returning to Saint Viator High School beginning next semester.

He will be moving into the position of Vice President of Mission and Viatorian Identity. Br. John has been working in Bourbonnais, Illinois, with youth ministry and young adult ministry. He will continue to fill the role of Director of Vocations for the Province of Chicago.

Br. John will fill the role vacated by Fr. Fall on his election as Provincial of the Chicago Province.

Welcome home, Br. John.

Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, Called to Lead Viatorian Community

Fr. Dan Hall, C.S.V. next to the Fr. Louis Querbes bust in the Alumni Memorial Chapel. Fr. Querbes founded the Clerics of St. Viator.

Fr. Dan Hall, C.S.V. next to the Fr. Louis Querbes bust in the Alumni Memorial Chapel. Fr. Querbes founded the Clerics of St. Viator.

After serving Saint Viator High School for a combined 19 years, Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, has been called back to his community to lead the Viatorians as Provincial Superior.

His election came Friday, when Viatorians in this country and in Colombia voted Fr. Hall as their “first pastor.” While he had been serving as acting Provincial over the last four months, succeeding Fr. Robert. M. Egan, CSV, when he was elected Superior General in July, he now will devote himself fully to the Viatorian Community and advancing its spiritual mission.

In speaking to his confreres at a Mass after the election, Fr. Hall pointed to his predecessors as his role models, including Fr. Kenneth Morris, Fr. Patrick Render, Fr. Charles Bolser, Fr. Egan and Fr. Thomas von Behren.

“Forty years ago, when I entered the community, I had absolutely no idea that I would ever be asked to serve in this role,” Fr. Hall said. “I am truly humbled to follow these men.”

At the same time, Viatorians elected Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, ‘74 and Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, ‘71 to serve with Fr. Hall on his Provincial Council. Br. Gosch formerly taught English at Saint Viator High School and now co-directs the Viator House of Hospitality with Fr. Corey Brost, CSV.

Fr. Francis served the Viatorians as Superior General, from 2000 – 2012. He currently leads Catholic Theological Union in Chicago as president. It is one of the largest graduate schools of theology in the country.

Fr. Dan Lydon, CSV, ’73, and Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, were appointed to fill out the four-man Provincial Council. Both formerly taught at Saint Viator. Fr. Lydon left last year to serve as associate pastor at Maternity BVM in Bourbonnais, while Br. Robertson serves in Campus Ministry at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.

Fr. Hall and his new Provincial Council members will be formally installed during a Mass at the Viatorian Province Center on Dec. 16.

For the last year and a half, Fr. Hall has served as Vice President of Viatorian Identity and Mission at Saint Viator. Along with serving as an assistant football and wrestling coach, and teaching social studies courses, Fr. Hall oversaw aspects of Campus Ministry, the Religion Department and outreach initiatives, to make sure they reflected the Viatorian mission.

 

In his new role as Provincial Superior and chair of the Board of Governors of Saint Viator High School, Fr. Hall will continue to remain involved with Saint Viator and its mission of providing religious formation and academic excellence for young people.

 

“At the end of the day, we hope students leave here with the idea of a life of service,” Fr. Hall said. “That’s the Viatorian understanding of living a Christian life.”

Students and Grandparents Celebrate Feast of St. Viator

DSC_0008Grandparents’ Day held special meaning on Friday at Saint Viator High School. Not only did students get to show off their school, but they celebrated together at Mass, on the feast of St. Viator. The timing was deliberate as it underscored the school’s patron saint, whose life back in 4th century France was dedicated to educating young people in the faith.

The Mass drew students, parents, and grandparents to gather together in the Cahill Gymnasium for the celebration. The liturgy opened with a procession of Viatorian associates, pre-associates, brothers, and priests, including many who were alumni of Saint Viator High School.

“We warmly welcome all the grandparents here,” said Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, vice president of Viatorian identity and mission. “For many of you, this is something like a homecoming, and we welcome you home.”

DSC_0021Students participated in many aspects of the Mass, from those in Music Ministry to Eucharistic ministers and cross-bearers. In addition, some 65 students were commissioned at the end of Mass as members of the Campus Ministry Team, charged with enhancing the spiritual life of the school.

In his homily, Fr. Hall described who St. Viator was and why Fr. Louis Querbes, founder of the Viatorians, chose this little-known saint to be the patron of his new religious congregation.

“Viator was a lector at the cathedral in Lyon,” Fr. Hall said. “As part of his role, Viator preached and expanded on the gospel, but most importantly he taught young children their faith.”

Many centuries later, Fr. Querbes, he added, founded the Clerics of St. Viator in the aftermath of the French Revolution, with a specific mission of service to the altar and the education of young people in the faith. For their motto, he chose: “Let the children come unto me.”

“You know, as we gather today—associates, brothers, priests, parents, grandparents and students—we all have the role of educating young people in the faith,” Fr. Hall said. “We not only help them find Jesus, we help them find Jesus present in their lives.”

For more photos from today’s Mass, click here.

Faculty Members Complete Service for the Marginalized

IMG_0542A quiet tradition played out earlier this month when faculty members gathered in Querbes Hall to pack sack lunches for the homeless, served by Catholic Charities.

Faculty and staff are committed to regularly completing some kind of hands-on service. Each month, they alternate between volunteering for Catholic Charities in Des Plaines and serving a hot meal to those served by Journeys from PADS to Hope in Arlington Heights.

As Catholic educators at Saint Viator, they are carrying out part of the Viatorian charism, which is to embrace “those accounted of little importance.”

IMG_0543“We are walking in the footsteps of Fr. Querbes,” says Mrs. Rita King, who coordinates the adult faith formation program with Mrs. Ann Perez, a fellow religion teacher and Viatorian associate.

For this month’s project, faculty members signed up in advance to contribute sandwiches, fruit, beverages, individually wrapped snacks or desserts. They then worked in assembly-line fashion to pack the lunches after school.

The lunches are meant to compliment Catholic Charities’ evening suppers, which feed an average of 100 every Tuesday and Thursday night. Since the center does not provide them with a dinner every day, they receive a sack lunch on their way out, so they have food the next day.

IMG_0540While faculty members are not required to participate, more than 40 percent do, Mrs. King reports. The monthly service projects are an extension of the wider faith formation program, which also offers regular prayer services, quarterly family Masses, more service opportunities and even a Lenten book club.

These experiences are provided in order to offer faculty members, as well as parents and alumni, ways to foster personal and spiritual growth as part of a wider faith community.

“As a Catholic Christian community,” Mrs. King adds, “Saint Viator is committed to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ through our words and our actions.”

History of the Saint Viator High School Crest

crestDepending on your age, you may have seen it thousands of times in print, at school events and even on clothing, but what do you really know about the school crest?

While many things have changed since the doors to Saint Viator opened over 50 years ago, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the crest, and more importantly, what it stands for.

According to our history, the school seal incorporates the red lion and white fleur-de-lis from the coat of arms of the city of Lyon where Fr. Louis Querbes began his work that led to the formation of the Viatorian community. Surrounding the letters IHS, is a crown of thorns. IHS or “In Hoc Signo” in Latin translates to “In this sign,” and the letters are centered on the cross, which is the seal of the Clerics of St. Viator. The three orbitals symbolize scientific learning. The torch behind the shield is a symbol of knowledge, truth and the Catholic faith.

That’s quite a message for a single seal, but one which clearly represents all that Saint Viator High School stands for.

Fr. Robert M. Egan ’69 Elected Superior General of Viatorians

SVHS_0030It’s official! Just five years after leaving Saint Viator High School as president, Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV ’69, has been elected Superior General of the worldwide Viatorian Community.

He was elected Tuesday, during the congregation’s General Chapter meeting going on at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein. It is a six-year term and with it comes the primary responsibility of promoting the community’s religious and apostolic values.

Fr. Egan is the second Saint Viator High School graduate to assume the leadership position in recent years. Fr. Mark Francis ’71, led the community as superior general from 2000-2012. He was on hand as a delegate to the General Chapter, to congratulate his former classmate in person.

In fact, Saint Viator High School graduates are playing a big role at the Chapter meeting. Of the six delegates there representing Viatorians in North America, four are alumni: Fr. Egan, Fr. Francis, Fr. Dan Lydon ’73, and Br. Michael Gosch ’74.

Egan-Francis - CopyTwo more delegates—Fr. Thomas von Behren and Fr. Patrick Render—are former presidents of Saint Viator High School, while Fr. Dan Hall and Br. John Eustice, were elected as alternates but ended up not having to serve.

The vote came Tuesday, during the final week of the General Chapter, which takes in more than 40 delegates from Viatorians across the world, including Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Haiti, the Ivory Coast, Spain and the United States.

Fr. Egan takes over from Fr. Alain Ambeault, CSV, of Canada, who has led the congregation for the last six years.

Fr. Egan brings to the role his 48 years as a Viatorian, including 40 years as a priest. During those years, he has served as pastor of St. Viator Church in Chicago and of St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, before being elected Provincial Superior last year.

Service & Song Camp Draws Record Turnout

sns6A tradition of immersing incoming students into Saint Viator’s commitment to service continues this week at the sixth annual Service & Song Camp.

More than 150 students—a record turnout—gathered in Querbes Hall for the start of the five-day camp. They included 43 current Saint Viator students who signed up as leaders, as well as recent alumni and more than 100 incoming students.

“We’re here because there’s pain in the world,” said Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, former president of the high school who started the unique camp in 2013. “This week we’re going to feed the hungry and visit the lonely. We’ll be changing the lives of people by the work you do. You’ll be changing the world because you had the guts to come this week.”

sns2The camp has two tracks. While most of the students participate in service, another group develops their experience in liturgical music. Working with Mr. Dan Walls, choral director, they learn liturgical music that opens and closes each day’s sessions.

This year’s service destinations include: Community Threads, Sisters of the Living Word, SALUTE, Inc., WINGS, the Wheeling Township Food Pantry and the Viatorian Community Garden, all in Arlington Heights; Journey Care in Barrington; Catholic Charities in Des Plaines; St. Joseph Home for the Elderly and Journeys: The Road Home, both in Palatine; and Feed My Starving Children in Schaumburg.

Mr. Brian Liedlich, president of Saint Viator High School, greeted campers on the opening day. He thanked them for coming and for making a commitment to service.

sns“Carrying out service is consistent with the gospel values and with our mission as a school,” Mr. Liedlich said. “It is my hope that service impacts your life, not only in your years here but for the rest of your life.”

This year’s leaders exemplified how service had impacted their lives.

“I first came as an eighth grader and I wanted to meet new people before freshman year,” said Nicole Durso ’19. “Now, as a leader, I hope to instill the same passion for service that I have.”

J.C. Thomas ’20 has attended two Service & Song camps before this year, and through his involvement, he says it has opened his eyes to serving the marginalized. He returned as a leader this year and said he hoped to influence younger students.

“It’s important that they know that people are in need and that we can help,” he said.

sns4Before the campers departed for their first service trip, they reflected on the pain and suffering they see in the world. They each wrote one issue on a poster on that back wall, and their answers ran the gamut, from hunger, homelessness, and bullying, to human trafficking, deporting immigrants and gun violence.

While they may not be able to affect change in some of these areas, Fr. Corey said he wanted them to acknowledge the suffering they see in the world and that they can be agents of change.

“Our intention is to let students directly serve those most in need in the local community,” Fr. Corey said, “and learn why service is at the heart of a lived‐out Catholic faith.”

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