The Hofstra Newman Club was graced by the presence of a special guest who, in the coming weeks, will be on his way to study at the Vatican. This comes at an exciting time for the Catholic community here at Hofstra given the recent Conclave which resulted in the selection of a new pope.
Father Lachlan Cameron, who usually resides as the Chaplain of Adelphi University, conducted what will likely be his final visit to the University in the foreseeable future. Recently, he became the first priest from Rockville Center to be selected to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy where he will be trained to become a diplomat for the Vatican.
“This is where it gets a little mysterious,” said Lachlan, on how he was afforded this rare opportunity. “Somehow my name gets [to] Arch Bishop Benjamino Stella… how it got to him I don’t know.”
After the conclusion of his training, Father Lachlan will become a diplomat of the Holy See, a sovereign nation with permanent observer status in the United Nations.
“I would be posted [maybe] in the middle of Africa, Asia, Europe, or… South America. It’s really an opportunity that allows you to work closely for the pope. You’re helping him fulfill his mission as the… universal pastor of the flock,” Lachlan said.
Professor Julie Byrnes, Hofstra associate professor of religion, wasn’t surprised that someone from Rockville Center was called to this position.
“I think that it is interesting, and unusual, but not as unusual as you might think given that there is a really high concentration of well educated Catholics in the United States,” Byrnes said. “The U.S. secondary education system in political science and other disciplines that [could] be helpful to diplomats is very world renown.”
Byrnes also noted that, “Rockville Center… has Catholics that are really supportive of the Vatican, and in line with the Vatican Administration.”
Bridget McCormack, Hofstra Catholic campus minister, is excited to see what the future holds for Lachlan.
“He is one of the best priests, and one of the best men that I know. I’ll miss him terribly, I couldn’t possibly be prouder of him and to know him and call him my friend,” said McCormack. “I pray that whatever it is that God has planned for him that he’s able to embrace it and to find great joy in what he is being called to do. He’s an incredible human being.”
Lachlan will be off to answer his higher calling shortly after the Easter holiday. He will be leaving behind a community of students who have grown to view him as a mentor. Sophomore Newman Club Treasurer Erin Rapp will miss Lachlan when he departs for Rome.
“We’re losing a great man to the community,” Rapp said. “He’s a great role model. He’s really like [an] older brother figure. We are definitely going to miss him.”