January 29, 2010
“Live the Gospel by words and works;
that is the most perfect way.”—St. Vincent de Paul
Despite the damp weather and cold temperatures, rain-drenched
members of the University community filled the pews at St. Thomas
More Church on January 25, the feast of the founding of the
Congregation of the Mission, for the annual Founder’s Week Mass and
Student Recognition Awards ceremony.
The theme of this 16th Annual Founder’s Week, “Vincentian Legacy
and Destiny: Changing the World with Charity and Justice,” was
chosen this year to empower youth and others to change the world in
the same way that St. Vincent de Paul did through his compassion
and concern for those in need more than 350 years ago.
Rev. Patrick J. Griffin, C.M., Executive Vice President for Mission
and Branch Campuses, presided at the mass celebrating the legacy of
St. Vincent de Paul, Founder of both the Vincentian order of
priests and brothers and the Daughters of Charity. In his
homily, Rev.Griffin asked attendees to reflect on the day’s
feast—the Conversion of St. Paul—and its impact on St. Vincent and
The Legacy Lives within
During the mass, a group of 215 St. John’s students were recognized
for their steadfast commitment to the University’s Vincentian
mission. Each was nominated by a peer, an administrator, or faculty
member for their commitment—like Vincent’s—to service to the most
needy. Through a host of programs offered at St. John’s, these
students engaged in volunteer work in soup kitchens and nursing
homes as well as in a variety of campus ministry activities.
Marcel Glover, a Government and Politics major, has volunteered in
soup kitchens and nursing homes and says he is grateful for the
“It’s great to be recognized for your work,” he says, “but it’s the
work itself that is truly important. I am honored to have been
nominated by my peers and will continue to serve the community and
A member of Campus Ministry for the past three years, Senior
Juliann Ulrich was nominated by the Vincentian Initiative to
Advance Leadership (V.I.T.A.L) for her leadership and her strong
commitment to Vincentian values.
“I appreciate the honor bestowed on me by the University. There is
so much satisfaction in helping the less fortunate, it’s something
I will continue to be involved in, even after graduating from St.
Victoria Sorbes, a freshman at the University, reflects on her role
as a V.I.T.A.L member.
“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to help others through
the leadership program but it’s a greater reward to know that I’ve
helped to make a positive impact on the lives of people in
need. It’s just very gratifying.”
Students received a certificate acknowledging their many different
contributions to others. Immediately following the mass,
award recipients attended an informal luncheon at the University’s
new D’Angelo Academic Center, accompanied by family and members of