International Coordinator – Philadelphia
A Brooklyn, N.Y., native who applies his talent for strategic planning to Vincentian congregations around the world, accepted a new challenge in 2012 from the Executive Committee of the Vincentian Family in Rome. Father Joe Agostino assumed leadership of the Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative.
The project’s goal is a tall order, but a challenge Father Agostino, his team and collaborators on and off the island are determined to achieve: alleviate poverty with systemic, sustainable strategies. His experience formulating new provincial plans for congregations from North America to Africa has prepared him well for this task.
“Working with the Vincentian Family on this initiative is an exciting incarnation of the Vincentian charism today,” he said. “Collaborating with the branches of the family both in Haiti and internationally to eradicate the effects of poverty speaks a word of hope to a people so often ravaged by natural and political catastrophes. Building on the heroic efforts of religious and lay groups of Vincentians working in Haiti, we seek to respond to immediate needs as we strive to change the very structures that keep Haitians in need.”
Father Agostino honed his management skills early in his career as parochial vicar coordinating a Vincentian project in Baltimore, Maryland, and then both as a pastor at St. John the Baptist Parish and through diocesan-wide commissions in Brooklyn.
More recently, he assumed chairmanship of two international Vincentian commissions vital to the family’s future: the international Vincentian Family Collaboration Commission, and its Project Design Team, which is preparing the call for the next global generation of the Vincentian Family to continue Vincent’s legacy of working together to empower the poor. A man who has proven he can juggle numerous critical responsibilities simultaneously, Father Agostino also serves as the assistant superior at St. Vincent’s Seminary, the motherhouse of the Eastern Province of the Congregation in the United States, located in Philadelphia, Pa., where he resides.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Niagara University in 1976, took final vows in the Congregation in 1980, received his master’s in divinity in 1981 and his master’s in theology in 1983 from Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pa. That same year, he was ordained a priest.