St. Viator grad finds religious calling on the football field
Brother Peter Lamick gets asked the same question all the time: When did you hear a calling to religious life? His answer might surprise you.
Lamick, a native of Arlington Heights and graduate of St. James School, made his final vows earlier this month as a Viatorian brother. It took place in the chapel where he attended high school, St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights.
Nearly every seat was filled as family members, Viatorians and his classmates all were on hand for the occasion.
In professing his vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, he committed himself for life to the religious community that had educated him, and in turn the Clerics of St. Viator made the same promise to him.
"Peter, we promise to walk with you on this journey," said the Rev. Daniel Hall, provincial, who officiated at the ceremony, "as you become a deeper member of the Viatorian community."
During his homily, Hall acknowledged the challenges facing those in religious life in today's society.
"As religious leaders, we must find new ways to be relevant, new ways to present the mission of Jesus," Hall said, "and be open to welcoming young people to join us."
He closed by echoing the words of Pope Francis, telling Lamick: "Peter, make it your focus to wake up the world."
Ironically, it was Hall who had played a key role in Lamick's vocation. Back in high school, Hall coached Lamick for two years on the football team and he made a lasting impact.
"He was, and still is, an important role model for me," Lamick says of Hall, a veteran and chaplain who served in Desert Storm. "He showed me how faith is a central part of being a man.
"As I discerned a calling to religious life," he added, "I couldn't imagine not being a part of a community he was in."
Consequently, it was football -- at practices, with his teammates, during games -- where Lamick says he first thought of religious life.
"It feels odd to say that a sport played such a critical role, but God finds a way to reach us no matter where we are," Lamick says. "In football, I discovered I loved being part of a community with a common mission, and when you add Christ in, in many ways, this resembles religious life."
If his calling began on the gridiron, it grew in his ethics class during his senior year, he says.
"I had to write a letter to my future self in 10 years," Lamick recalls. "I was not sure of what to write and I just stared at the page for a while. Then I experienced this overwhelming feeling with the thought that I was meant to give my entire life to helping others."
It would be another eight years -- after he earned a degree in history and played football at Benedictine University in Lisle -- before Lamick would enter the Viatorian novitiate and begin carrying out his dream of serving others.
He has worked at Viatorian parishes in Bourbonnais and Kankakee, as well as in the Las Vegas area. Lamick also helped in Campus Ministry at St. Viator while working on peace and justice initiatives at St. Viator Parish in Chicago and at Viator House of Hospitality.
Last year, Lamick returned full time to St. Viator High School after obtaining his master's degree in education from DePaul University. He now works in its Scanlan Center, supporting students needing help with college prep academics.
Not surprisingly, he also serves as head freshman football coach and as an assistant basketball coach, reflecting his own experience -- and calling -- at St. Viator.