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Two Students to Attend National Seminar on Catholic Social Teaching at UN in NYC

Public Relations
Posted: Friday Apr 12, 2013

April 12, 2013

Two Saint Vincent College students have been accepted to participate in the eighth national Catholic Social Teaching Symposium for college students sponsored by Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy See to the United Nations and president of the Path to Peace Foundation.

The students, nominated by the Saint Vincent College Office of Campus Ministry, are Thomas C. Mengers, a junior theology major with a minor in criminology, law and society, from Claymont, Delaware, and Sarah Riffon, a freshman psychology and theology major from Westover, West Virginia.

The seminar will be held from May 19 to 24 at the Bishop Molloy Passionist Retreat House in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens, New York City.

“This unique experience offers students an introduction to the social teaching of the church in general and the work of the Holy See at the United Nations in particular,” Archbishop Chullikatt said. “Participants will have an opportunity to visit the UN and meet ambassadors and experts in international affairs.”

This year’s seminar will focus on the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris by Blessed John XXIII. The issues identified in that Encyclical continue to be issues which engage the church and the world.

Mengers, 21, son of David and Patti Mengers of Claymont, is a 2010 graduate of Archmere Academy. He has been active in student government for three years as a residence hall representative and class senator, campus ministry and service learning projects including Habitat for Humanity. His home parish is Immaculate Heart of Mary in Wilmington.

Riffon, 18, is the daughter of Thomas and Tracy Riffon of Westover and a 2012 graduate of University High School in Morgantown. She has been active at Saint Vincent in campus ministry and its advisory council, Respect Life Club, Big Sisters and the orientation committee. She was previously active in the Diocesan Youth Board and the Diocesan Charismatic Service Committee.

The Path to Peace Foundation was established in 1991 for the purpose of spreading the message of peace by which the Catholic church, through the words and activities of the Pope and of the Holy See, strives to “guide our steps into the path of peace.” The foundation, which serves to extend the scope and reach of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, primarily directs its activities to the international stage of the United Nations, sponsoring lectures, panel discussions, movie screenings and other informational events.

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Photo: Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., left, president of Saint Vincent College, and Fr. Killian Loch, O.S.B., director of campus ministry, congratulate Thomas Mengers and Sarah Riffon. 

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PR2013-199