SJU is now Fr. Charlie’s new home

There’s a new face within Campus Ministry, adding to the number of people on campus available to help the students.

Fr. Charlie Plock began his work at St. John’s this year, although he became a full-time employee in the Residence Village fairly recently.

“I’m the new guy on the block,” Plock said. “I got here in September and actually have begun full-time work only since the beginning of the spring semester in January.”

Before joining the St. John’s University community, Plock spent time working in Brooklyn and before that he worked in Latin America.

“I spent a long time in St. John’s Parish in Brooklyn,” said Plock. “I also spent 10 years in Latin America in the Republic of Panama.”

While working in Brooklyn, Plock made the decision to come to work at St. John’s after realizing he needed to do something since he had suffered three major heart attacks in a short amount of time. When the opportunity came for him to work for the University, he took it.

“I had spent a number of years in Brooklyn and I just knew there was need to make a change. I had a very difficult year my last year in Brooklyn,” Plock said. “I knew I had to remove myself from that situation to begin to get a better perspective on my own health and emotional well-being. I had done lots of work with young people, and they offered me this position here at the University and I said yes.”

When Plock originally started working on campus, he went wherever he was needed but has now settled down in the Residence Village in O’Connor Hall.

“I think it’s great being here in the residence halls,” he said. “People just feel free to come in and sit down and we talk.”

For Plock, being in the Residence Village allows him to be there for the students who need someone to talk to.

“How we view the work is really like a work of presence: of being willing to listen to people, to go out and meet with people, to talk to people,” Plock said.

Along with his duties in the Residence Village, Plock also helps with the on-campus masses and may teach theology classes next semester.

While he is at St. John’s, Plock hopes that he will be able to be a strong presence and that students will seek him out when they need someone to talk to.

“Some of the things I certainly would want to do is to be there for people both when they want to laugh as well as when they want to cry so that we can share both of those kinds of moments together,” he said.

Another thing that Plock would like to see happen while he is at St. John’s involves the Vincentian mission that the University follows.

“My hope would also be to make people more and more conscious of that mission, no matter what they decide to do after they decide to leave this University, that they would be aware of that need to bring the outcasts and the poor into the mainstream and always have that before their eyes,” Plock said.

“If we’re ever going to become a more just society or just world, it’s going to be because students from this University take that mission that we have here and continue that through their lives.”