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Viatorians Ministering with Young People

April 12, 2017

Fr. Charles Bolser, CSV, retired in 2015 but he still remains committed to one of the Viatorians’ main tenets of “ministering to and with young people.”

That commitment was evident at one of the weekly Masses that Fr. Bolser celebrates for residents served by St. Coletta of Wisconsin. The organization dates back to 1904 in Jefferson, WI, but since 2001 it has served adults with developmental disabilities in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs, who live in their 10 group homes.

Fr. Charles Bolser, left, watches as Ted Behncke accepts a donation from the Saint Viator High School girls’ soccer team and Assistant Coach T.J. King

Fr. Bolser’s weekly Masses take place in one of the rooms in their resource center in Rolling Meadows and it always draws a crowd. At the most recent Mass, members of the Saint Viator High School girls’ soccer team attended and it was standing room only.

The players and their coaches presented Ted Behncke, president of St. Coletta of Wisconsin, with a check for $2,000.

They had earned the money threw their involvement with Buddy’s Helpers, the charity arm of the PepsiCo Showdown, the country’s largest high school soccer tournament. In trying to decide where to donate the money, they learned of Fr. Bolser and his celebration of Mass every week with St. Coletta clients and their families.

“We decided that St. Coletta would be a great organization to raise money for,” said Saint Viator Assistant Coach T. J. King ’04. “I’d also like to start a conversation about how my players and coaches can contribute some of their time to help serve the organization.”

St. Coletta takes its inspiration from the Franciscan mission of compassion, dignity and respect, in serving adults with developmental disabilities. Saint Viator students draw their inspiration from the Viatorians, who are called to serve those “accounted of little importance by some.”

Both missions came together on this one night, fittingly, during the celebration of the liturgy.