August 07, 2013
"I am Joseph—your brother."
With those words,
Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., the
new Interim President of St. John's University, introduced
himself to more than 600 members of the campus
community during a special Mass of welcome on August 1. He
served as principal celebrant and homilist.
Very Rev. Michael J. Carroll, C.M., Vice Chair of the St.
John's University Board of Trustees and Provincial Superior,
Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission, and
Rev. Patrick Griffin, C.M., Director General of the Daughters
of Charity—both former St. John’s administrators—joined
Fr. Levesque in concelebrating the Mass along with 16 other
priests. Also on hand to welcome the new interim
president were Chair of the Board of Trustees Peter
D'Angelo '78MBA, '06HON and his wife Margaret '70Ed.
View the photo gallery from Fr.
Levesque’s welcome Mass.
"I'm very happy to be with all of you," Fr. Levesque told the
congregation. "I begin my presidency at St. John's
University today and can think of no better way to start than to
gather together and pray." He added, "My prayer is that we
will all serve St. John's well in the positions that we hold—that
we carry on the very important business of the University with the
focus on our students—as we maintain the Catholic and Vincentian spirit
of St. John's."
The Mass, held at St.
Thomas More Church, was followed by a welcome
luncheon and reception in the D'Angelo
Center. There Fr. Levesque mingled
with students, faculty, administrators and
staff, who greeted him enthusiastically. He
proudly displayed a St. John’s sweatshirt presented to him by
Student Government President Elizabeth Sheehan ’14C, Vice President
Mark Benavides ’14C, Treasurer Emily Bargabos ’14C and Junior
Senator Jenny Rankin ’15C.
“We are truly blessed to have Fr. Levesque as our interim
president,” said Robert
A. Mangione, Ed.D., R.Ph., Provost. “His great dedication to
academic excellence and extraordinary accomplishments as president,
dean, professor and scholar are inspiring. I am privileged to serve
as provost under Fr. Levesque’s leadership. I know that I speak for
the entire faculty when I state that we are committed to working
together with him to provide current and future St. John’s students
with a truly outstanding academic experience. Fr. Levesque will
make our great University even greater.”
Shea-Byrnes, D.Min. ’86SVC, ’90G, Vice President
for University Ministry and University Events, observed, "Fr.
Levesque’s warmth and kindness were so evident to all of us
today. Beginning his time with us at the Eucharist was a
beautiful way of bringing us together, and reminding us of
our foundation as a community. I am excited to begin
this new semester and look forward to our students coming to
During his homily, Fr. Levesque assured the
congregation that his office door is always open.
“Together, let us move forward in our Vincentian spirit,” he
said. “Faithfulness to our mission will transform Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, Oakdale and all
of St. John's."
He concluded his remarks with a
heartfelt request: "This is a new venture—to come to such
a large and wonderful University. It's a time of transition. Please
pray for me so that I can be successful in my new position with all
of you here at St. John's."
Read Fr. Levesque’s Message to the