St. Vincent's Legacy
February 10, 2014 by James Lioi
Hey, everyone! Well the new semester has kicked in and man is it snowy! I don’t think I’ve ever experienced WNY similar to this winter. I can’t count the times I’ve been stuck in my driveway, although I’m sure my roommates can, since they are the ones who have to help me move my car!
Big things this semester, big things! The MCAT is less than four months away…freaky. I’ve really begun studying and am taking full advantage of free practice tests that are held online and through universities around the area. The hardest part is maintaining a schedule. I know I haven't yet but I am continuing to work through it.
I’m currently taking two of my favorite classes this semester – Virology/Immunology and Biochemistry II. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 11:05 a.m. I am in awe. I go from learning how the human body maintains homeostasis through energy pathways such as glycolysis to learning how viruses operate due to their incredibly wide range of characteristics. I think I am the only one who is truly interested in the virology class but, then again, I do plan on pursuing this topic as my career.
Topic shift – St. Vincent de Paul. Do you know who he is? He is the patron saint of the Vincentian sect of Catholicism.
Now I am not an official representative of the Vincentian heritage but I do want to talk about it from my personal perspective and how his legacy has affected me.
I grew up in a religious family, similar to most young adults my age. Now, however, I consider myself agnostic, not to avoid the topic but from years of searching for answers, answers I may never know. I tell you this because even though I’m not “religious,” I do believe in something: humanity. I have been blessed with so many opportunities to succeed and most people would say that I genuinely enjoy helping others whether they are as fortunate as me or not.
Niagara University has set a great example of St. Vincent de Paul through the faculty they hire, the programs they run and the volunteering opportunities. Walking by St. Vincent’s statue in the middle of campus every day humbles me. This man had the chance to tutor a wealthy family’s child and yet chose instead to go help those in the countryside. How incredible!
In this day and age, money and power seems to be the main priority. I agree that money is needed to survive and power to an extent, but that shouldn’t be your only motivation in my opinion.
Like I said, though, this is only the ramblings of a college student. This story has inspired me to take a few years off after undergrad in order to pursue St. Vincent’s call to volunteer internationally. Medical school can wait. Heck, it’s a struggle not to take time off after this semester in order to go, and I’m sure it will be a struggle to return to life after my experience. Even as I sit here I wonder if I shouldn’t drop medical school entirely in order to do this permanently.
Well, my dinner is done cooking – sausage and peppers are on the menu tonight! I hope you all stay safe during this cold and snowy winter. ‘til next time!
“Who will excuse us before God for the loss of such a great number of people, who could be saved by the slight assistance we could give them?” - St. Vincent de Paul