Cardinal Visits St. Viator

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Byline: Steve Zalusky szalusky@dailyherald.com

Sunday was a day of firsts for St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights.

It was the first day of the school's 50-year anniversary celebration, it was the first day of Catholic Schools Week, and it was the first time Francis Cardinal George visited the school.

School president Rev. Robert Egan said the cardinal's visit almost didn't happen because he originally had a meeting scheduled in Rome.

Fortunately for the school, the meeting was canceled and the Cardinal showed up to deliver the homily and shake hands with guests after a special Mass in the gymnasium Sunday.

"It sets the tone for a great year of celebration," Egan said.

After the Mass, the cardinalpraised schools like St. Viator.

"I'm glad to be here instead of the meeting in Rome," he said. "We have very good schools in the archdiocese. Take a look at the statistics. (Nearly) everybody graduates. Of the high schools, 85 percent go on to college. I think the secondary schools are of particular importance, because that's such an important stage in young people's lives. And so the parents can count on the schools to support what they are trying to do with the family."

During his homily, Cardinal George said that what is distinctive about St. …