Embracing the spirit of Pope Benedict XVI’s first New Year’s
message, Catholics worldwide must strive to promote “an
effective culture of peace,” Archbishop Celestino Migliore,
Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the
United Nations, said at St. John’s University’s annual Vincentian
Convocation on Thursday, January 26.
"To make war obsolete” is a goal that all Catholics share,
Archbishop Migliore said as he delivered this year’s Vincentian
Chair of Social Justice Lecture at St. Thomas More Church, on the
Queens campus. During the Convocation, Archbishop Migliore also
received the honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
The Vincentian Convocation is the highlight of St. John’s annual
Founder’s Week celebration. Founder’s Week features workshops,
presentations, book discussions, films and service opportunities
that reflect upon the legacy of St. Vincent de Paul, founder of the
Vincentian Community. The Vincentians established St. John’s
University in 1870.
A Positive Impact on Others
Explaining the Convocation’s significance, Rev. Donald J.
Harrington, C.M., President of St. John’s, shared an experience he
had at the University’s recent “Insurance Leader of the Year” Award
As Fr. Harrington sat at his table, a woman working at the
dinner asked him if he was a “priest of St. Vincent.” When he said
he was, the woman told him that her daughter had attended St.
“She told me she knew the Vincentians help the poor,” said Fr.
Harrington. “And then she said that if it weren’t for St. John’s,
her daughter would have been unable” to have attended college.
“That is the message we proclaim this evening,” said Fr.
Harrington. “It appears that some of the things we do here have a
ripple effect, a positive impact on those around us.” That, Fr.
Harrington declared, is what it means to be “a people of St.
Honored for Service
During the convocation, St. John’s honored six members of the
University and local community who embody the Vincentian principles
of excellence and service:
- Sharon Lynch Norton, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of
Criminal Justice and Legal Studies at St. John’s, received the
Vincentian Mission Award;
- Gladys and Bruce Brown, civic leaders in South Jamaica, Queens,
received the Caritas Medal;
- Marilyn A. Martone, Associate Professor of Theology and
Religious Studies at St. John’s, received the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal;
- Robert A. Mangione, Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at St. John’s, received the St. Vincent de Paul Medal;
- Sr. Madeline Kavanagh, D.C., of St. John’s the Baptist R.C.
Parish in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, received the President’s Medal.
The Vincentian Convocation is one of the highlights of the
academic year at St. John’s University. We invite you to relive
this meaningful event by viewing our Photo
Gallery. We also invite you to learn more about this year’s Founder's
Week events at St. John’s.