September 28, 2006
His Eminence Franc Cardinal Rode, C.M., Prefect of the
Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the
Societies of Apostolic Life, served as celebrant for St. John’s
University’s Opening School Mass today before a standing room only
crowd at St. Thomas More Church on the Queens campus.
The celebration was held on the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul.
St. John’s University President Rev.
Donald J. Harrington, C.M. spoke during his homily of St.
Vincent de Paul’s impact on today’s society nearly 350 years after
“I believe the reason St. Vincent de Paul’s name lives on is
because of his love for God resulting in the wonderful works he
performed, but more than that was the conviction in his heart to
proclaim the good news of God that mattered most,” said Rev.
Pope Benedict XVI created Rode a cardinal in the consistory of
March 24, 2006, making him the Cardinal Deacon of the deaconry. He
traveled from the Vatican City in Rome to New York this week and
Rev. Harrington noted that the Cardinal was poised to celebrate the
Eucharist in English for the first time ever in front of the St.
Cardinal Rode was also joined by The Most Rev. Alfonso Cabezas
Aristizabal, C.M., retired Bishop to the See of Villavicencio,
Columbia, and member of the Eastern Province of the Vincentian
Community at the Opening School Mass.
Rev. Harrington opened the mass by thanking Cardinal Rode on
behalf of St. John’s University for his visit which included a stop
at Niagara University’s 150th Anniversary Celebration on September
27. Rode, a Vincentian (member of the Congregation of Priests
of the Mission) traveled with Rev. Harrington to Niagara (the first
Vincentian University ever established in the United States) to
commemorate the historic occasion. St. John’s University celebrated
its 136th year as a Vincentian University in 2006.
An overflow crowd of more than 500 St. John’s University
students, faculty, administrators and several athletic teams turned
out for the Opening School Mass which concluded with a blessing of
campus student leaders who have been commissioned to begin a new
academic year of service to the University.
For more information contact, Dominic Scianna, Director of Media
Relations at St. John’s University by calling (718) 990-6185 or
e-mail inquiries to email@example.com.