Alumni Spotlights

Dr. Scott Fina, '80: Integrating the Vincentian Core Values into His Life and Career

April 3, 2013

Scott Fina, '80, visiting the home of a family in the barrio in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Scott Fina, '80, visiting the home of a family in the barrio in Fortaleza, Brazil.

I am a former seminarian of the Vincentians. I began the seminarian program when I attended Niagara as philosophy major. My studies at Niagara and exposure to its faculty and students substantially added to my spiritual formation and moral perspective, especially a concern for the poor and social justice.

Brother Peter Campbell, C.M., '81, established the Vincentian Solidarity Office (which officially opened in June of 2002) and recruited me to join him in July of 2004.

Most of my career before the VSO was at two universities: Temple University and St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia (administration and teaching). I also twice previously worked for the Vincentians: one year at the Ghebre Michael Inn (a residential program for homeless men in Philadelphia); and two years at the Vincentian Renewal Center (a former religious retreat-conferences center in Princeton).

It has been fascinating to collaborate with Vincentian fathers and brothers around the world through the VSO. I have worked with Vincentians on projects in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Madagascar, India, Thailand, Taiwan, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Hungary, the Ukraine, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. (I probably missed a place or two.) My work has also brought me to collaborate with Vincentians who are working in the developing regions of Ireland, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Australia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, and the Philippines, and from various parts of the United States.

It is remarkable to see how the core values of the Vincentian charism ”” love of and preference for the poor, and integration of spirituality/prayer and work ”” are so consistent across greatly varying cultures and in a plethora of political economic circumstances. I first got to know those core values as a seminarian at Niagara University.