Letter from Brother John Eustice
It has been a blessing for me to be a minister with this parish for the past year and a half. Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a parish where I have witnessed the Gospel being lived and proclaimed well. I experience the Gospel through the people gathered for daily Masses, the wider community assembling for the weekend liturgies, the multitude of liturgical ministers and the Youth Liturgical Planning team. I also see the Gospel in action through our families, junior/senior high youth and the young adults both with roots here in Bourbonnais and those who attend Olivet Nazarene University.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is alive and well through the people, ministries, outreach efforts and parish staff that identify this faith community as home. Everyone I have met has warmly welcomed me into this community. With joy, I have been able to identify this as my home too. Though I feel I have just gotten my feet wet with youth and young adult ministry and plans are beginning to take shape, I will be passing the baton to those who will pick up the ministerial efforts.
The Viatorian Provincial Superior asked me to serve Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights as the Vice President for Mission and Viatorian Identity, the role he left after the provincial election. I told him I would. As a Viatorian brother I profess the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and will serve wherever the Clerics of St. Viator need me to be. This is the nature of vowed religious life. Fr. Querbes, our founder, in the 1800’s communicated to a Viatorian in a parish to be there “as though you were to remain there for a lifetime; and, at the same time, be ready to leave at any moment.” In all my assignments, I have tried to live this out and will continue to strive to do so. January 20 will be my last day of ministry. I leave Maternity BVM with mixed emotions. My heart has been lifted and warmed by so many parishioners. How does one move away from people who are good and life giving? Knowing that I am going back to a school community that is also good and life giving gives me assurance I will connect with the same Christian family I met here.
I promise not to be a stranger. I will continue to serve as the vocation director for the Viatorians and will periodically journey away from the suburbs and visit. There will always be a part of my heart with this community. Know I continue to hold you in prayer. Please pray for me. Saying goodbye or farewell is a bit too final for me. Instead I prefer to say, until we meet again let’s see one another in the Eucharist.
Adored and loved be Jesus!
Br. John Eustice, CSV