Querbes Day took on added meaning this year, when members of the Viatorian Community in France gathered at the gravesite of Fr. Querbes in Vourles. It was the first time they had gathered since the start of the pandemic and the feeling was one of joy and thanksgiving.

Amid a blue sky and clear weather, they began with an ancient text chosen by Br. Jean-Yves Defélix. Thinking of the last days of Saint Viator and Bishop Just in the land of Egypt, they listened to a text attributed to a 4th century monk, entitled “Through prayer, keep watch while waiting for God.”

Led by Fr. Andre Crozier, the group listened to passages from the collection, “The Living Spirit of Fr. Querbes,” on the virtues of providence, trust, tenacity, charity and the spirit of faith and prayer.

They closed with Psalm 27, which begins with light and salvation driving out fears — and ends with finding hope in God.

Afterward, the group gathered on the lawn of the Querbes Center for a time of fellowship around a buffet prepared by the Maison Saint-Viateur community.

“All the Viatorians were happy because it was the first time we were all together since the beginning of the health crisis,” Fr. Crozier said, “and we were in no hurry to return to our homes.”