SJU President Blesses Student Leaders at Opening School Mass

Monday, September 23, 2013

Urging student leaders and the entire campus community to “go out and renew the world,” Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., President of St. John's, marked the start of the new academic year on September 19 by celebrating his first Mass of the Holy Spirit at the University.

In an annual St. John's tradition, students, faculty, administrators and staff filled St. Thomas More Church on the Queens, NY, campus to give thanks and pray for success in the coming year. They also joined Fr. Levesque, who served as Principal Celebrant, in asking God to bless the 90 student leaders who were honored at the Mass. The students received special pins symbolizing their commitment to the University's Vincentian mission of service.

The Staten Island, NY, campus opened the academic year with its own Mass of the Holy Spirit on Thursday, September 12. Rev. John Kettelberger, C.M., University Chaplain, and Rev. Peter Albano, C.M., Campus Chaplain, concelebrated the Mass, which recognized 30 student leaders.

At the Queens campus, Very Rev. Michael J. Carroll, C.M., Provincial Superior of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission, and Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, joined Fr. Levesque and 22 other priests in celebrating Mass.

“We are all individuals, yet we form one body,” Fr. Levesque noted in his homily. “To each of us, God has given special gifts through the Holy Spirit. All of the student leaders with us today have special gifts, which are evident as they assume their roles in the life of our University.”

With these gifts, he added, every member of the University community has the capacity “to renew the face of St. John's University, Queens, New York and the world.”