Saint Viator News

Delivering the latest news from Saint Viator High School.

Category: Faith Formation (Page 1 of 7)

Saint Viator Students Help Lead 10th Annual Viatorian Youth Congress

IMG_0604The Viatorian Youth Congress wrapped up Thursday and it was a milestone. This year’s congress marked its 10th anniversary, and Saint Viator High School students and alumni played key roles.

For starters, Mrs. Cathy Abrahamian, a Viatorian associate, brought a delegation of seven current students and another six alumni served as leaders. Br. John Eustice, CSV, and Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, were among the adults involved, while Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, said daily Masses, and he and Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, Provincial, made presentations to the group.

In all, 70 teen delegates and college-aged leaders convened at the Cabrini Retreat Center in Des Plaines. They represented parishes and schools in Arlington Heights, Bourbonnais, Chicago, Kankakee, Las Vegas and Bogotá, Colombia.

Jason Wilhite ’15, served as one of two coordinators, helping to guide leaders and delegates through the prayer sessions, group discussions and other activities that make up the four-day congress.

IMG_0597He attended the youth congress in 2013 and 2014, and he returned last year to address delegates about social justice. He credits his faith-based activism, in part, to his experiences at VYC. Next month, he returns to Saint Viator to serve as a campus minister.

“We hope to challenge delegates,” Jason said at the outset, “to be more engaged in their faith — and to work for a better world.”

The Viatorian Youth Congress originally was conceived to bring together teens from different schools and parishes run by Viatorians, as a way to advance the Viatorian charism.

Now in its 10th year, organizers see the benefits of its faith and leadership development. Its daily activities include keynote presentations, prayer workshops, opportunities to assist in leading liturgy, and small and large group discussions. There’s also a talent show, a Taizé prayer service and confessions.

A highlight takes place on the second day when delegates and their leaders visit the Viatorian Province Center. They break up into groups of three to interview and then present to the crowd a Viatorian associate, brother or priest.

“The VYC helps our young faith leaders realize that they are part of a worldwide family,” Fr. Corey says, “that is changing the world.”

Service & Song Unique Among Summer Camps

Image-1A spirited game of “rock, paper, scissors” opened the 8th annual Service & Song Camp this week at Saint Viator High School, and as advertised it broke down barriers between the nearly 90 students on hand, who ranged from 6th graders through high school students.

Teens divide up into groups and spread out each afternoon to serve at social service agencies across the Northwest suburbs. Each afternoon starts with a reflection on their service and people they impact, as well as a song led by student musicians and choral members.

“Dear God, help us to serve and grow together, meet new people, make new friends and do what you want us to do,” said Matt Goss ’20, who is serving as co-emcee with Faith Kuper ’20.

DSC_0047For the first time, Br. Peter Lamick, CSV, is directing the camp. Though he has participated as an adult leader — he credits his vocation, in part, to the hands-on service experienced at the camp — this is the first year he trained its leaders and organized the camp.

“This week, we’re going to build community by responding and reaching out to people in need in a lot of different ways,” Br. Lamick said at the outset.

First timers at the camp were more than just junior high students. Athan Huelscamp ’20, told his group that this was his first year and he was excited to participate.

“I transferred here after sophomore year,” he told them, “and last year I wasn’t able to do it. I was looking for ways to get involved in more service.”

Image-1 (1)After the opening prayer, Br. Lamick asked each student to reflect on what injustice in the world bothers them the most. They then proceeded to write out those injustices on sheets of paper hanging on the back wall of Querbes Hall. Their answers ranged from hunger, homelessness and poverty, to gun violence and human trafficking.

“The most prevalent answer among all your responses was hunger,” Br. Lamick told the crowd, “and this week we will be doing many things to respond.”

Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, a former teacher and president of Saint Viator, organized the camp, in part to directly involve incoming students into service, and give current students a chance to serve as leaders.

Image-1 (2)Over the course of five afternoons, groups will sort food at area food pantries, collect canned goods in surrounding neighborhoods, make hospice blankets, do light maintenance and yard work at the homes of senior citizens, help at resource centers for the homeless and at another for victims of domestic violence, as well as work in two local gardens — including the Viatorian Community Garden — that raise fresh vegetables for hungry families.

“That’s why so many of you come back each year,” Br. Lamick said to the 90 teens assembled, “you’re living the vision — and putting faith into action.”

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.

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