May 10, 2012
Newburgh, NY -
Paul Richmond (left) assists Fr. Kevin Mackin OFM, president of
Mount Saint Mary College, as he blesses Tank Tebow, a Newburgh
Police Department bloodhound, during the annual Blessing of
Philosophy and religious studies courses at Mount Saint Mary
College in Newburgh, NY not only provide a set of values and
principles to live by, but can help one hear his life’s
Graduating senior Paul Richmond noted that philosophy and
religious studies at the Mount “helped me tremendously in my
vocation to become a priest.”
Richmond, of Kingston, NY, was involved with campus ministry,
directed by Fr. Francis Amodio, O.Carm., which also strengthened
his choice of vocation.
“Through community, prayer, retreats, and service,” said
Richmond, “I gained discernment.”
As an altar server for masses, helping with campus ministry
events and working with the poor at Newburgh Ministries, provided
rich opportunities that confirmed the call on Richmond’s life.
He served as the sacristan, responsible for gathering and
preparing all the materials necessary for mass in Founders Chapel
and the Chapel of the Most Holy Rosary in the Dominican Center,
both on the Mount campus.
“As head altar server for campus ministry, I served mass,
trained altar servers, and helped the chaplain with his duties in
the chapel and office,” said Richmond, a media studies/production
The Dominican heritage at Mount Saint Mary College also “shaped
my vocation through its various teachings and always seeking out
the truth in life,” noted Richmond.
The tradition of the Dominican Order includes the search for
“veritas” (truth) in all disciplines and “disputatio” (respectful
Religious studies curriculum at the Mount provides a
multi-faceted, worldwide introduction to the religious patterns of
Courses in philosophy cover the insights and theories of major
Western and Eastern philosophers, helping students master the basic
skills of philosophical thought and an “examined life.”
Richmond said professor Ed Teall’s philosophy classes “taught me
to always ask the question ‘why’ until you find an answer, and to
never let anything get in your way from reaching a goal and having
success in your life.”
A course on the New Testament, taught by Fr. Amodio, helped
Richmond understand “the truth of my faith and define different
aspects of my life with regard to my religious vocation.”
Mount Saint Mary College is Dominican in heritage, with a
Franciscan friar, Fr. Kevin Mackin, OFM, as president, and a
Carmelite friar as chaplain and campus ministry director. Richmond
said he found himself “in the middle of a crossroads of these three
religious orders. I began asking questions about each, and their
Richmond will join the formation program of the Order of
Carmelites, Providence of St. Elias in Middletown, NY, following
graduation in May. He will study philosophy and theology at Seton
Hall University in New Jersey in the fall.
“The formation process – which includes the stages of
pre-novitiate study, novitiate life as a brother in community,
simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience; solemn vows which
are permanent to death, the sacrament of holy orders for ordination
as a deacon, and then ordination to the priesthood -- takes about
eight years of study and pastoral work,” said Richmond.
When Richmond arrived on the Mount campus, he “immediately fell
in love” with the spectacular views of the Hudson River.
“The selling point for me was the small class sizes,” he noted,
adding that faculty members “really seem to care.”
His favorite memory of the Mount is “hanging out with friends I
love in the campus ministry office, where we shared many laughs,
and some tears,” said Richmond.
“Although we came as strangers, we’re leaving as a family,” he