St. John’s VMC Graduates and Ozanam Scholars Make the Vincentian Connection in Germantown, PA
November 1, 2011
Reconnecting with St. John’s Catholic heritage and Vincentian commitment to social justice, members of the Vincentian Mission Certificate (VMC) program recently participated in a service and heritage trip to Germantown, PA, with twenty six first-year students in the University’s Ozanam Scholars Program. The trip included service at four local organizations geared towards assisting the poor and disenfranchised (Face to Face, Inn Dwelling, My Place Germantown, and DePaul House), and a visit to the Miraculous Medal Shrine, a Catholic landmark and place of pilgrimage for thousands every year.
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Throughout the morning, the Ozanam scholars and members of the current VMC Cohort 5 volunteered at each of the four sites, assisting with landscaping, outdoor cleanup, and preparation of gift baskets for families in need in the Germantown area. Having previously visited the sites during their time in the VMC program, VMC alumni spent the morning with members of the larger Vincentian family, including Brother Alfred Smith, C.M. and Rev. Richard Rock, C.M., learning about recent renovations and updates to each site. Included among these renovations were the incorporation of new educational programs through Inn Dwelling; and the installation of new gymnasium windows, a washeteria, an art studio, a community garden, and an updated health center for clients of Face to Face. During lunch, representatives from each of the four organizations gratefully acknowledged both the volunteer commitment of the Ozanam Scholars and the previous financial donations from the VMC cohorts in assisting them with enhancing their programs and services for their clients. Rev. William Allegreto, C.M. concluded the program with a brief overview of the history of the Miraculous Medal Shrine, and a detailed tour of the historical landmark. During the visit, several members of the group participated in the daily mass at the Shrine, in addition to visiting former St. John’s University Vincentian priests at the adjacent St. Catherine’s Infirmary.
The Vincentian Mission Certificate (VMC) Program is a unique professional development and service opportunity that empowers St. John’s University staff, faculty and administrators to live the Vincentian Mission as Mission Leaders. This compelling program strengthens participants’ theoretical understanding of the University mission and its practical applications. Participants learn to better serve students, while acting as role models and inspiring others to follow the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul. The 16-month program embraces three major components: Education, Service and Reflection. Participants demonstrate their commitment by attending training sessions on Vincentian and Catholicidentity, monthly Vincentian reflections, a capstone retreat and fifty (50) hours of community service two-thirds of which involve direct contact with the poor.
For more information on the Vincentian Mission Certificate (VMC) program or other mission-related inquiries, please contact Lucy Pesce, Executive Director for Mission, at (718) 990-3004 or email@example.com.
Rooted in the themes of academic scholarship, Vincentian leadership and global citizenship, the Ozanam Scholars Program provides students with the opportunity to not only grow academically, but elevate their contribution to society through solutions-based research on poverty causation and cessation. Required course work, travel, community service and research are the foundation for their activities while developing the acumen to address issues of social injustice. As academic scholars, students develop the skills to analyze social issues and propose workable solutions. Ozanam Scholars minor in Social Justice and complete other program-specific classes that provide them with the tools needed to create these solutions. Through Vincentian service, Scholars spend their semesters at local clinical sites, often performing additional service at other locations across the globe. Scholars also have the opportunity to explore different cultures by participating in local, national and international excursions. As global citizens, students learn about the rights of all human beings and the factors which hinder human dignity.
For more information on the Ozanam Scholars program, please contact Charissa Townsend, Director of the Ozanam Scholars Program, at (718) 990-8320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.