October 03, 2011
What do you give a person who’s just celebrated his 100th
birthday? When Rev. Peter G. Goldbach, C.M. reached that special
milestone at St. John’s University in August, the answer was
In honor of this esteemed Vincentian turning 100, St.
John’s established the Rev. Peter G. Goldbach Endowed Scholarship
to recognize his commitment to the University and its Vincentian
mission. The initial principal amount of $50,000 will be invested
as part of St. John’s overall endowment pool, and the
interest generated will be used to award scholarships in Fr.
Goldbach’s name to students who demonstrate academic achievement
and financial need.
“I’m very honored and very grateful to God and to the University
for establishing this scholarship,” said Fr. Goldbach. “ Not only
will helping deserving students get a
St. John’s education prepare them for success in this world,
it will also give them the foundation to help make their ultimate
journey to God a little easier. When I think about that, it makes
me feel very blessed.”
Ordained into the Vincentian community in 1944, Fr. Goldbach
joined the St. John’s family in 1955 as a gifted and dynamic
professor of Theology and Philosophy. Although he left the
classroom to become a member of the University administration in
1980, he still considers working with students to be one of his
most important tasks.
“As a priest, the spiritual part of my life was always the most
important, but teaching came in a very close second,” he remarked..
”By teaching Theology I was fortunate to be able to blend both of
them in a very real way. I have to tell you that sharing God with
our students in the classroom was truly exhilarating. I like to
think that my scholarship will help to accomplish the same thing in
years to come.”
Today this energetic centenarian continues his priestly duties
by saying daily Mass, joining his confreres in hearing confessions,
reaching out to students in his frequent walks around campus and
participating in many University events, including the annual
Blessing of the Couples. His enduring popularity is evidenced by
the many students who still remain in contact with him long after
their days on campus have ended.
Fr. Goldbach received another birthday gift at the Opening
School Mass in September, when St. John’s University President Rev.
Donald J. Harrington, C.M. presented him with the Gold Medal, the
highest award given by the University to a non-alumnus.
Should anyone wish to join in honoring Fr. Goldbach in this way,
click here to make a gift to the Rev. Peter G. Goldbach Endowed