St. John Prep Students Discover Themselves Overseas

Forty students and six teachers from St. John’s Prep, Astoria, embarked on an international pilgrimage to better understand their faith, the world, and their school’s Vincentian heritage. They traveled to Ireland, Wales, England and Paris under the leadership of their director of campus ministry, Cristina Varriale.

The Brooklyn Tablet writes… “While on their field trip halfway across the world, St. John’s Prep students learned a little more about their Queens school. They experienced their school’s Vincentian roots at the Shrine of St. Vincent de Paul.

After stops in Ireland and England the group ended with a tour of Vincent’s Paris.

In keeping with the school’s Vincentian roots the group was invited to participate in a special Mass celebrated by Vincentian Father Pat Griffin at the Shrine of St. Vincent de Paul. Fr Griffin, a Brooklyn native and graduate of “The Prep”, is currently serving as the International Director of the Daughters of Charity and based in Paris.

Students were able to pray before the body of St. Vincent de Paul as well as learn more about the history of St. Vincent and his order, the Vincentians.

The school’s next big adventure will be organized by Spanish teacher, Cathy Lojo, who will be taking students to Barcelona, Florence and Rome in February.  Jennifer Cocchi, junior dean, will be taking students to Australia in July. Cristina Varriale will be leading another tour in the spring, this time to Central Europe.

Editor’s note: When I graduated from St. John’s Prep 57 years ago this would have been beyond our wildest imagination!

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