This week is St. John’s 15th annual Founder’s Week, an event that honors the legacy of St. Vincent de Paul, a man whose vision and mission has touched the lives of millions.
Although his teachings are promoted throughout the year, students and faculty members take time out to honor who St. Vincent de Paul was, what it means to be a Vincentian University and what St. John’s does as a college to continue the Vincentian mission. Additionally, Founder’s Week also recognizes those who stand out in the Vincentian community.
Vincent de Paul, founder of the Congregation of the Mission, spent a great deal of his life enriching the lives of the disadvantaged.
His ability to join the poor with those willing to help has trickled down hundreds of years generating organizations that focus on giving back to the less fortunate. His mission and his teachings gave birth to countless facilities that would help the world as a whole prosper. Even in death, his mission lives on throughout the world. Here at St. John’s, students and faculty take pride in going to a Vincentian University. At a time where giving may seem difficult, this University strives.
Campus Ministry’s service programs always have students and faculty members at St. John’s busy.
From filling the stomachs of the less fortunate with their weekly midnight runs, to helping rebuild lives after tragedies as they do in the PLUNGE service project, St. John’s paints a vivid picture of what a true Vincentian University means. Students here are so eager to help, it’s no surprise that many of their service projects fill fast.
“We have waiting lists,” said Abby Furness, campus minister for Vincentian Service and Justice in regards to their service projects.
“The midnight runs that we run every Wednesday have a waiting list by October.” Many students feel that it is wonderful thing to give back to the community.
“I think it’s excellent that St. John’s does volunteer trips such as PLUNGE and trips to the soup kitchen. It achieves the Vincentian mission.
I also think by students taking part in these activities helps build their character, makes them feel grateful for what they have and allows them to grant those same gifts to those less fortunate than them,” said Giselle Castro, a senior at Queens campus.
Teachers consider working at a Vincentian University as not only rewarding but as also a necessity to promote well-roundedness in students. Countless professors and faculty members at the University have gone above and beyond when it comes to following the Vincentian Mission, including Dr. Larry Boone, associate professor of Management.
His involvement with the mission has been a great one and his dedication to continue the path of Vincent de Paul has proven successful.
He is a teacher of leadership in Ministry at Rockville Centre diocese’s Immaculate Conception seminary.
Also, as director of the Executive-in-Residence Program at the Tobin College of Business, he has dedicated students involved in projects with local not-for-profit organizations such as Covenant House, Goodwill Industries, Momma’s House, along with others.
His efforts as a follower of St. Vincent de Paul have awarded him recognition during Founder’s Week.
“I am very proud and privileged to receive this year’s Vincentian Mission Award,” said Boone.
“I know that many community service-minded St. John’s personnel have received this award in the past. I’m very happy to be recognized as part of this group,”said Boone.
As Founder’s Week comes and goes, everyone at St John’s has a chance to partake in events that help celebrate the legacy of St. Vincent de Paul and the Vincentian Mission. It is a time to reflect about the man who created such a lasting impression.
“It’s really nice to be teaching in a setting where the larger goal of the University is also oriented towards serving our fellow human beings,” said Professor Susan Kuhn.
“I think the act of teaching itself is one of service. I applaud it and appreciate it.”
It is evident that the mission and way of life of St. Vincent de Paul is alive and well at St. John’s University, through the actions of students, faculty and the Vincentian community.