Lions link together against division


Photo by Bernadette Mercurio

“The cheers ring out one mighty shout, For Viator’s varsity.”
A school population of 1,021 students and staff, and with “one mighty shout” we’re all in this together. While this clichéd phrase of togetherness has surely become a major turnoff after the last three years of pain-staking restriction, its truthfulness cannot be denied, especially for Saint Viator.
When comparing the experiences of a member of the Viatorian community to that of someone from just about any other school, there is a stark contrast. It is probable that someone has asked you where you go to school, and when you responded, “Saint Viator,” you were most likely embraced with the wonderful reaction of “Saint Viator, I know someone who goes there….or was there….or is planning to go there.” There really aren’t many people who can say they go to “that” school where everybody knows somebody. We happily welcome students from around the globe with our international schooling campaign, we value and volunteer for underprivileged residents throughout Chicagoland, we connect with local war veterans and write books on them, and we travel throughout the U.S. and abroad for language immersion trips and athletic tournaments—no wonder everyone seems to recognize our name. And we have the Viatorian call to faith, participation, and service to thank for that.
Once a month, a stressed-out senior will be trudging into AP Physics while a happy-go-lucky sophomore will be strolling into civics and a Spanish teacher will be setting up their tightly bound Lion Day agenda. About an hour later, they will be sitting together, praying as one, and celebrating the communion of God’s love in Cahill Gym. The faith life of Saint Viator is probably the most definitive call to togetherness for the community, and the greatest part is that we don’t have to think about it—we just embrace it unconditionally. We all may get a little tired of prayers to start off class, but afterwards, we are for sure much more relaxed than we were raving around the hallways during passing periods. Service hours seem to burden our schedules when the minimum hours are due halfway through the year, but once we get those hours in, we can’t help feeling good about ourselves and for all those we have supported. And through every spirit week, pep rally, and big game–regardless of how many excuses we may make to skip them—we can find unbounded pride for our roaring influence on each other. Simply living in the moment, purchasing that limited edition McKenna Marketplace sweater, taking a selfie with a random new group of friends at a hockey game, or whatever random, spur-of-the-moment excitement we seek, lets us find our Viatorian identity.
When Mr. Burks’ funeral procession passed through the front lot, we all stood in solemn, prayerful, beautiful silence. All of this buildup of school tradition and community-wide servitude has guided us to purely care for each other, to find a righteous responsibility for our actions, and to enliven the dignity of our school. We may be wildly hyper-active in our daily lives, but in our hearts, we are living out the Viator Way. So when it comes to honoring our community, especially for the legacy of a Viator hero, we may not notice our peace intentionally, but we treasure its serenity and we embrace its all-encompassing love.
So many of us favor fine arts. So many of us live for sports. So many of us are in that Kai-high, Campus Ministry state of mind. Many of us are collaborative advocates in extracurriculars. Some of us lead others in our path. And some of us proudly go our own way. But there is one thing we all share and will never lose. We will forever be there for each other—we are Lions for life.