An intimate group of McCallen Society members and their guests
participated in a special “Day of Reflection” held at St. John’s
University’s Oakdale campus on Thursday, May 8. The day
included breakfast, opportunities to ponder personal spirituality
and a tour of the scenic Oakdale campus.
Rev. Kevin G. Creagh C.M. ’91SVC, ’04PD, Assistant Vice
President, Branch Campuses, Assistant to the Vice President,
Institutional Advancement and Alumni Chaplin was present to speak
about spirituality. “Spirituality is a thing of desire and
yearning. It’s something that we all have,” he shared in a
discussion at the beginning of the day’s events.
Fr. Creagh also discussed the correlation between the changes
St. Vincent de Paul underwent as he tapped into his spiritual
destiny and our own desires to “have it all” in today’s
world. “We are driven people always on a quest to have more,
and as a result we’ve become disintegrated (or destructive to our
spirits),” explained Fr. Creagh. “The question to ask oneself
is, if you have it all you may be happy but will you be peaceful?
Going through life without asking the question is not fully human,
but we must know that God is the answer.” Fr. Creagh recommended
that attendees use the day as an opportunity to slow down and take
in the things of beauty around them.
After the discussion on spirituality, the group attended mass
and enjoyed singing the hymn “Amazing Grace,” led by McCallen
Society member, Evelyn Paola ’57Ed, ’59GEd. They then had a
leisurely lunch in the sun room of the Bourne Mansion.
Jay Connolly, Vice President of the Oakdale campus gave
attendees a detailed history of the campus before taking them on a
guided tour of the mansion. The group concluded the event
with more discussion and reflection. The day was successful
and McCallen Society members were grateful for an opportunity to
reflect and escape from the mundane details of everyday life.
Edward DiDonato ’62CBA stated, “I’m glad I was able to attend, I
enjoyed the tour.”
John Bleimaier ’75L agreed adding, “We could have gone all day
with the discussion.” Bleimaier continues to be involved with the
University because of his positive experience as a student and
subsequently as an alumnus. He was pleased to be part of the
program and shared, “I come back to St. John’s because of their