January 25, 2009
“The inspirations of God are gentle and
peaceful, inclining us lovingly toward the good.”
– St. Vincent de Paul
St. John’s University will celebrate its 15th annual Founder’s
Week on January 25-31, 2009. Themed “Vincentian Transformation:
Changing Hearts; Creating Peace,” this year’s celebration
encourages us to follow in the footsteps of St. Vincent de Paul
(1581-1660), allowing God’s love to transform us, living lives of
virtue, working zealously to heal hearts, and working towards
The seven-day fete will take place at all five St. John’s
campuses: Queens; Staten Island; Manhattan; Oakdale; Rome, Italy;
as well as the newly affiliated Paris, France site. Each
campus will celebrate with a mass commemorating the anniversary of
St. Vincent’s founding of the Congregation of the Mission in
On the Queens campus, that mass will be celebrated by Very Rev.
Michael J. Carroll, C.M., Superior of the Congregation’s Eastern
Province, at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, January 26 in St. Thomas More
Church. During mass, Fr. Carroll will recognize students nominated
by the University community as transformers who embodied service,
respect and compassion during the past year. This year, 240
nominated students will receive a special blessing by University
President Donald J. Harrington, C.M. and a recognition
On Staten Island, Rev. Patrick Griffin, C.M., Executive Vice
President for Mission and Branch Campuses, will celebrate the
annual Founder’s Week liturgy on Thursday, January 29 at 12:15 p.m.
in the Campus Center. The Vincentian Transformation Awards ceremony
recognizing the community members who embrace Vincentian values,
charity and peace will follow at 1 p.m.
Patricia de Nava, past president of the Ladies of
Charity/International Association of Charity, Liaison to the
Vincentian Family and a member of the Vincentian Commission for
Promoting Systemic Change, will give the Vincentian Chair of Social
Justice Lecture, “Vincentian Tradition and Systemic Change,” on
Thursday, January 29 in the Belson Moot Courtroom
Both the Queens and Staten Island campuses will feature invited
guest and keynote speaker Maj.
Gen. Joseph A. McNeil, L.L.D. Hon., one of “Greensboro
Four,” who will offer his view of “Transformation: Vision and
Values,” will take place on Monday, January 26, at 4:30 p.m. at The
Little Theatre in Carnesecca Arena in Queens and on Tuesday,
January 27 at 11:00 a.m. in the Kelleher Center on Staten
Major McNeil will reflect on the historic inauguration of the
first African-American President of the United States and his own
role as catalyst in the American civil rights movement. In February
1, 1960 in Greensboro, NC, McNeil and three other students staged a
non-violent sit-in at the F.W. Woolworth’s “whites-only” lunch
counter in protest of segregation throughout the south. The
documentary film February
One that recounts that historical event and its repercussions
will be available for viewing throughout Founder’s Week; for
scheduled dates and times click here.
Invited faculty will congregate at a Research Luncheon at which
Vincentian Research Fellows will present their research on issues
of poverty and social justice on Tuesday, January 27 at 1 p.m. in
Bent Hall, 277A&B
On Wednesday, January 28, Mary Halpin, president of World Youth Alliance,
will discuss her work in human rights and suggest ways in which
youth can be involved in shaping the future in “Acting Locally and
Festivities are also occurring at the new Rome campus and the
Paris site. Rome will host a tour of the Chapel of the
Holy Trinity and the Vincentian Archives on Tuesday, January 27, at
the Collegio Leoniano, Via Pompeo Magno 21. The Paris site will
feature a movie and tour of the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, on
Monday, January 26 at 140 Rue de Bac, 7e.
A Plethora of Student Events and Activities
Selected young people will have the opportunity to discuss their
experiences at last year’s World Youth Day in Australia during the
“World Youth Day 2008- Student Transformation” mass and reflection
on January 25 at 5:30 p.m. in St. Thomas More Church.
Students can interact at “Transforming You—Decepticons vs.
Autobots” on Tuesday, January 27, at 8 p.m. in Hollis Hall, where
they will be encouraged to change themselves in order to change the
world through concurrent sessions in career development, student
involvement, health and wellness, service and counseling.
Faculty, graduate students, and alumni will also gather on
Tuesday, January 27, for roundtable discussions on “Sustainable
Transformation,” and their personal research projects on that
All are invited to join in “Transforming Hearts: Love Your
Neighbor Day,” on Wednesday, January 28. This special day is
centered on the Vincentian message to promote random acts of
kindness within the community.
On Friday, January 30, a panel of
Ozanam Scholars will discuss their 2008-09 research and service
projects. That evening, the Voices of the World: A Concert for
Peace will unite the global community through music presented by
student performers from all continents at the Little Theatre on the
Three Cups of Tea, a novel that depicts one man’s mission to
change the face of Third World poverty one school at a time, will
be the subject of discussion on both the Queens and Staten Island
campuses: on Thursday, January 29 at 12:10 pm on the Queens campus
and on Friday, January 30, at 1:15 p.m. on Staten Island campus.
Lunch will be served and reservations are required via email at: email@example.com.
Many other activities are offered throughout Founder’s Week. For
a more complete calendar of events on all St. John’s campuses, go