Alumnus and Trustee installed as President-Rector of Christ the King Seminary
For St. John’s University alumnus and Trustee Rev. Kevin G. Creagh, C.M., Ed.D. ’91SVC, ’04PD, the road to his religious vocation was a circuitous one, but it is a spiritual journey that aptly prepared him for his new role as President-Rector of Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, NY. Fr. Creagh was recently installed as the 27th President-Rector of Christ the King, a 162-year-old seminary charged with theological education and spiritual formation in the Diocese of Buffalo, NY.
“In a profound way, St. John’s University has formed me to have an ever-deepening sense of God and to serve others, especially the poor. My Vincentian formation has prepared me to be of service to Christ the King Seminary as its new president-rector, in which my chief responsibility is to form candidates for the priesthood, diaconate, and lay ecclesial ministry,” observed Fr. Creagh in a recent interview.
Growing up in a large, Irish-Catholic family in Whitestone, Queens, Fr. Creagh and his family were active parishioners of St. Luke’s parish. Fr. Creagh enrolled as a St. John’s student after serving four years in the United States Marine Corps. As an undergraduate, he was part of the Vincentian College Seminary formation program that, at the time, had seminarians completing classes at the Queens, NY, campus while living in a formation house off campus.
Fr. Creagh majored in Criminal Justice largely so that he would have a degree to fall back on in the event that his dream of the priesthood was not realized. However, the pull of religious vocation manifested in him at an early age endures today.
“I first met the Vincentian fathers and brothers at St. John’s and immediately experienced their hospitality, prayerfulness, and passion for serving the University community,” recalled Fr. Creagh.
“I knew instantly that I wanted to be a Vincentian in service of others, especially the poor.”
Brian Browne, Executive Director of University Relations and Assistant Vice President of Government Relations, was a college classmate of Fr. Creagh and remembers him as a focused leader who was always fun to be around.
“Even as an undergraduate, Kevin’s leadership was evident,” Browne observed. “Maybe it was his time in the Marines that shaped him, but in college, Kevin was more mature than most and always willing to mentor younger classmates. I am proud to call him a friend.”
Fr. Creagh earned a bachelor of science degree from St. John’s University in 1991 and two master’s degrees from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception. He also earned a Professional Diploma in Administration and Instructional Leadership from St. John’s. He later earned a Doctorate in the Executive Doctorate program in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in Philadelphia, PA.
After ordination in 1996, Fr. Creagh was assigned to Niagara University and then spent time in Taiwan as a missionary before returning to Queens when he was assigned to St. John’s as a campus minister, administrator, and lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. For the next 12 years, Fr. Creagh served and mentored students at St. John’s; this assignment helped to develop his skills as an administrator in higher education. “I was able to work with incredibly talented and committed colleagues, and to be inspired by the success and generosity of St. John’s alumni.”
Fr. Creagh returned to Niagara University in 2011, where he was responsible for the Office of University Mission and Campus Ministry, and later the Office of International Relations, which saw him traveling the globe in an effort to recruit international students. While stationed at Niagara, he was elected to the Board of Trustees at St. John’s, maintaining close ties to his alma mater. In addition, he served as Superior of the local Vincentian community, served on the Board of Directors of Christ the King Seminary, and even taught a leadership course at the seminary that he now leads.
“All of my professional training has been in higher education,” he said. “I am grateful that my experience and service at Vincentian universities has provided me with both an excellent education and a Vincentian spirit to be successful in my studies, campus activities, and vocation in life.”