Rev. Joseph G. Vien, CSV, died peacefully on August 4, 1941, after several months of hospitalization. All his life he suffered from various physical ailments, and frequently from several at a time. His life long suffering came to an end, at the age of 67.
Fr. Vien was born April 4, 1874 in Lauzon, Quebec, Canada and went through its school system, finishing in the renowned classical college of Notre-Dame-de-Lévis.
The deeply religious atmosphere of his home and school left a deep impression on Fr. Vien as a young man, and that faith and piety lasted all his life.
After his college days, he entered the “Grand Seminaire” and took up his studies in theology. In 1896, he entered the Novitiate of the Clerics of St. Viator in Joliette, Canada and professed his first vows on July 31, 1898.
His first assignment, where he spent several years, was teaching at St. Viator Parochial School in Joliette. He then requested a transfer to the Province of Chicago and arrived in August of 1903.
Fr. Vien continued his theological studies in the seminary department of St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, IL and on December 3, 1904, he was ordained to the priesthood.
For 37 years, Fr. Vien taught French at St. Viator College, along with other smaller assignments. He eventually served in Oregon, Florida, South Dakota and California.
Among the many characteristics of Fr. Vien’s ministry, three remain outstanding: his faith, his wit and his love of music. He was a man of deep religious conviction, richly endowed with a sense of humor and a quick wit, and a talent for instrumental music.
The last chapter of his life began three years prior to his death with infirmities that ultimately forced him to retire.
Fr. Vien was laid to rest in the Viatorian Community cemetery in Bourbonnais after funeral services which drew many friends, former students, clergy and confreres. Bishop Bernard J. Sheil officiated at the last absolution and Fr. John P. O’Mahoney, CSV, preached the funeral sermon.
Taken from the obituary in the 1941 Annuaire, a publication of the Viatorian General Direction