“I feel blessed to be among the youth, among the vibrancy and activity,” Father Viviano explained. He is dressed in the regular garb of a priest: full black with a pristine white collar. This is a look the Father may not be fully accustomed to. Father Viviano is a part of a growing number of men who heard their call to the priesthood at a later age.
To the surprise of many, Father Viviano is fifty-one years old. His journey of the priesthood began two years ago. This came as an unexpected turn of events from his previous career as owner and operator of a St. Louis-based fruit and produce business. Even more of a surprise was being assigned to Helias after one year of priesthood. A vast feeling of being overwhelmed swept over Viviano. As always though, God knew what He was doing.
During his brief time at Helias, Father Viviano has made a lasting impression. He carries a certain confident, welcoming vibe wherever he goes. Maybe it’s the Italian blood? Maybe it’s natural charisma? Either way he has made a deep connection with the students and faculty.
Father Viviano’s eminent voice can be heard throughout the hollow halls of Helias. He has showcased his voice at masses and assemblies, receiving rave support and love from students and faculty. Father Viviano gives all credit for his miraculous voice to his father who shares the gift. Father Viviano’s gifts expanded past the microphone to the batting cages. Father Viviano played baseball throughout his high school and college years. It’s safe to say the man has some skills. Skills he has eagerly given to the Helias baseball team as assistant coach. Senior player, Hayden Lee, describes Father Viviano’s coaching as “very laid back”. “He (Father Viviano) joins in with the players playing catch and warming up. It shows to me that he cares about making the team better and making our unity stronger.” Lee winks as he adds, “Father makes funnies too.”
Father Viviano’s familiarity with students has contributed to an increased number of students visiting Father to discuss various aspects of the Church. Father Viviano encourages students to “embrace and investigate the faith. To know why we believe what we believe.” Freshman Maura Shimmens admires the Father’s dedication to intensely explain the complete meaning of a church teaching.
If one is ever on the lookout for the Father, his office is located by the commons across from the campus ministry room.
The Crusader Raid, Vol. 6, Num. 4.
The Spring/Summer Issue
Written by Mary Kate Hafner