August 21, 2009
an opportunity that most Catholics will never experience, and
certainly not as young adults. But St. John’s University students
Elsen and Susan Jacob recently had the rare opportunity to mingle
with the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations,
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, and other U.N. diplomats and senior
officials and, at the same time, rub elbows with 48 other students
from more than a dozen Catholic universities across the United
The Jacob’s were nominated by University Provost Julia
A. Upton, RSM, Ph.D. to be St. John’s representatives at the
Annual Catholic Social Teaching Seminar sponsored by the Holy See’s
to Peace Foundation. They were recommended to Dr. Upton by Dean
A. Mangione, Ed.D., R.Ph., of the
College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions, where both
are enrolled in the Doctor of Pharmacy program.
According to the Foundation, the intent of the weeklong event was
to expose the 50 college students to “the social and moral
teachings of the Catholic Church in order to contribute solid
values and convictions to the formation of their minds and
During the week they attended meetings at the United
Nations and lectures at the Holy See Mission which
covered a wide variety of topics including poverty and social
development, climate change, world peace and security, Millennium
Development Goals, global impact and human rights, and the impact
of the Catholic Social Doctrine on UN Activities.
The student group was also treated to a United Nations Tour,
special lunchtime lectures with sitting ambassadors, a New York
City tour that included a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. They
were also given opportunities to attend Mass and participate
in community prayer, informal group discussions and a group
community service project.
“Susan and I had a wonderful time at the Path to Peace UN summit,”
Elsen reported after the event. “We heard from various amazing
speakers about Catholic Social Teaching, and the role of the Holy
See at the United Nations. We also saw some of the great work that
the Catholic Church is doing around the world!”
Elsen and Susan, identical twins who were both members of the
University’s prestigious President’s Society as undergraduates ,
will enter their fifth year in the Pharm.D. program this fall.
During the seminar, which was entitled “Till It and Keep It: Being
Stewards for a Just World,” they were invited by to represent the
Catholic Social Teaching program at the Path to Peace Foundation
Gala, which honors various people for their work around the
“At the gala, Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, of Mosul, Iraq was
honored posthumously with the 2009 Path to Peace Award. Also, Judge
Andrew Napolitano, Bob & Suzanne Wright (co-Founders of Autism
Speaks), and Father John P. Foley, S.J. (co-Founder of Cristo Rey
Network) received the Servitor Pacis Award for their contribution
to the common good,” Elsen recalls.
The two future pharmacists expressed their gratitude to Dr.
Mangione for his nomination and Dr. Upton for selecting them for
the seminar. “It was a true honor and privilege to represent St.
John's University at such a wonderful program for young