February 09, 2010

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 9

NU celebrates 350th anniversary of the deaths of saints Vincent De Paul and Louise De Marillac

Niagara University is observing the 350th anniversary of the deaths of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac with a series of lectures and events intended to praise the lives and works of these two saints.
The celebration began on Feb. 6 with a concert in honor of saints Vincent and Louise in the university's Alumni Chapel, presented by NU Theatre. This 90-minute concert featured a variety of classical, spiritual and Broadway music and poetry readings performed by faculty and students from the university's theater department.

On Feb. 25, the university kicks off its lecture series when the history department presents "Does History Make the Person or Does the Person Make History: The World of St. Vincent de Paul," at 7 p.m. in St. Vincent's Hall Room 407. Dr. Stephanie Wichhart, assistant professor of history at NU, and the Rev. Thomas McKenna, C.M., NU's assistant to the president for mission development, are the featured speakers.  The university's theology and women's studies departments will sponsor the second lecture in the series, "St. Louise de Marillac: An Unheralded Practitioner in the Catholic Human Rights Tradition," as part of the university's Henry and Grace McNulty lectures. Sister Margaret John Kelly, D.C., executive director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John's University, New York, will deliver this lecture, which will be held on March 9 at 5 p.m. in the university's Castellani Art Museum.

The series concludes on April 15 with the philosophy department's Albertus Magnus Lecture, "How Is a Friendship Like Vincent and Louise's Possible? Aristotle, Aquinas and the Christian Elevation of Pagan Friendship." Dr. Jonathan Sanford, associate professor of philosophy at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, is the featured speaker for the event, which will be held at 7 p.m. in Bisgrove Hall Room 350.
On Sept. 11, the Castellani Art Museum will present two workshops in conjunction with the exhibition "Creative to Infinity: The Vision Continues," on display from June 20 through Dec. 5. The exhibition features works by participants in the visual arts program of the Roarke Center, which is sponsored by Catholic Charities in Troy, and operated by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. A reception will be held on Sept. 12 from 2 until 4 p.m.

The celebration ends with a business conference, "The Business of Charity," on Oct. 15. Local charitable service organizations are invited to attend this day-long event, which will feature presentations on various aspects of nonprofit organizations, such as financial management, fundraising, collaboration with educational institutions, overall principles for running successful nonprofits, and the spiritual dimension of such work as exemplified by saints Vincent and Louise.

St. Vincent de Paul, a 17th century Catholic priest, inspired others to respond compassionately to people's basic needs. He founded the Congregation of the Mission, a community of priests and brothers who sponsor Niagara University. His contemporary, St. Louise de Marillac, was a pioneer in religious life and in the provision of human services, and the founder of the Daughters of Charity.

All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact McKenna, chair of the 350th anniversary committee, at tmckenna@niagara.edu or 716-286-8123.

Share this: