Gathered for Mass in the church where Fr. Querbes conceived his founding vision, Viatorians in France returned their community to the status of Province.

“This is an important moment in the life of the Viatorian Community in France,” said Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, Superior General. “Your return to the status of Province occurs on the 160th anniversary of the death of Fr. Querbes, and remembering his vision, you now commit yourselves to finding new ways to advance his mission.”

The celebration started with a joyful Mass at the parish church in Vourles, some 10 years after the Viatorian Community in France had petitioned to become a delegation.

(L-R) Fr. Robert M. Egan, Fr. André Crozier and Fr. Pierre Demierre

The gravesite of Fr. Louis Querbes, surrounded by flags of all the countries where Viatorians serve.

Fr. André Crozier, CSV, Secretary of the General Council and a French native, was the main celebrant, while Fr. Robert M. Egan, CSV, Superior General shared his thoughts in his homily.

“From this very place, Fr. Querbes sent catechists into France to renew the faith of the young, to recover the values of the gospel in places where faith struggled and even disappeared,” Fr. Egan said. “He recognized the value of educating the young and of humble service to the church.

“That discernment continues today — in different times and in emerging places — but nonetheless continuing to seek the ways in which we can bring Christ to those most in need,” he added. “It is in this context that the Province of France is re-established. It is in this moment that you embrace Jesus’ challenge to seek and find ways to continue the mission of Querbes. I am confident you will do so with humility, with boldness and with a deep commitment to discipleship in the Lord.”