January 18, 2011
As each campus of St. John’s University plans a host of events
to commemorate its annual “Founder’s Week” celebration, the
University asks every member of the St. John’s community to
St. Vincent de Paul in a new way, to see the man behind the
accomplishments and learn what it truly means to “Be
Founder’s Week, which commemorates the establishment of
the Congregation of the Mission by St. Vincent de Paul on January
25, 1625, is an annual tradition across all St. John’s campuses,
bringing the University’s Vincentian
mission into sharper focus for all students, faculty and staff.
That mission sets St. John’s apart from other universities, and
Founder’s Week encourages all members of the community to reflect
upon its importance in their lives.
A host of events are designed to increase and encourage student
engagement, while ensuring all constituencies are equally served.
Mary Ann Dantuono, Associate Director for the Vincentian
Center for Church and Society, noted that student engagement is
a priority. For example, “That’s Vincentian” is a week-long program
in which teams of students fan out across campus highlighting
charitable works, and educating their fellow students about
Vincent. They will also distribute cards detailing Founder’s Week
events in which their fellow students might be interested.
A new documentary about Vincent and Louise de Marillac entitled,
“St. Vincent de Paul: Charity’s Saint,” will be screened in the
Little Theatre. Lectures will explore their lives and that of Frederic
Ozanam. During the Staff and Administrator Luncheon, Erin Von
Uffel and Lorraine Fusaro of the Sr. Marie de Mandat-Graney D.C.
Foundation, will discuss her cause for canonization which will be
opened on January 21.
There will be special presentations about the work of the Vincentian
Institute for Social Action (VISA), student-faculty engagement,
service opportunities and much more. A full schedule of events for
all campuses is available here.
Sister Margaret John Kelly, D.C., Executive Director of the
Vincentian Center, said that during this Founder’s Week “we want to
stress who Vincent de Paul was as a man, not just what he did,”
adding that this year’s goal is to peel back the layers that reveal
Vincent’s character and the virtues he demonstrated. The hope is to
see Vincent as a role model, she added.
“Our essence is composed of certain values and convictions that
express themselves in behavior,” Sr. Margaret observed. “It’s
who we are and how we and why we do things that makes us