Proud and excited to share with other students from across the country how the St. John’s community embodies the University’s Vincentian mission, three St. John’s students who are members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society attended the organization’s National Assembly from September 1 through 4 in Baltimore, MD.
“We took a deeper dive into the issues facing our generation today and discussed ways we can strengthen our student chapter on campus by talking with student representatives from other colleges and universities,” said senior Hailey Pomara, a Sport Management major in The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies. “We explained what goes on during our general body meetings and provided more details about service opportunities we have here on campus so they learned how we live out the Vincentian mission of helping those in need.”
The students have since networked with many of the assembly attendees to brainstorm ideas. “This conference was very beneficial and we plan to apply the ideas and knowledge we gained and apply it to our society on the Queens, NY, campus,” Hailey explained.
“Representing the St. Vincent de Paul Society at the National Assembly was a huge honor,” shared Lucia Moron, a sophomore majoring in Biology in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “It allowed me to make strong connections with people nationwide, and I was proud to share what St. John’s does as a society and how we help our community through our belief in the Vincentian mission.”
Lucia said other chapters were interested in learning more about and how they are organized at the University by Campus Ministry. Over the years, Midnight Runs have been one of the most popular service activities at St. John’s; before the pandemic, hundreds of students, faculty, administrators, and staff participated in the initiative, setting out in University vans in the evening to distribute sandwiches, soup, coffee, toiletries, and clothing to homeless people throughout Manhattan.
“Speaking up about this great initiative inspired a lot of people to begin this service opportunity in their home cities, and I felt blessed to have helped in this regard,” Lucia said.
“I found the conference to be a great opportunity to connect with people from other conferences and share experiences within the society,” added senior CJ Keilly, a Computer Science major in the Collins College of Professional Studies. “Seeing so many devoted members of the society has inspired us to continue to serve with greater fervor.”