Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger has appointed Father Kevin Creagh, CM, to the newly created position of vicar for Evangelization and Ministerial Formation. Father Creagh, who has served as president/rector of Christ the King Seminary for the past year, has a long history in education and formation.
"Father Kevin's zeal for cultivating and nurturing the call experienced by so many to devote their lives to priestly ministry is well known," said Bishop Scharfenberger in his announcement.
In this expanded role, Father Creagh and his team, which includes Vocation director Father Andrew Lauricella and permanent diaconate director Deacon Timothy Criswell, will collaborate with theologates, diocesan offices and parish leadership to oversee the priestly, diaconate and lay ministerial formation processes, while working to foster a vibrant culture of ministerial formation, vocations awareness, leadership development, and mission advancement for the 21st-century Church in the Diocese of Buffalo.
With regard to the essential mission of evangelization, Father Creagh and his team will be reinforcing successful models of parish and family evangelization and ministry while developing new strategies to advance discipleship and faith development, parish leadership and planning, stewardship, vocational awareness and social justice programs to address the needs of underserved communities and those who have been marginalized. More specifically, with respect to ministerial formation for clergy and laity, Father Creagh will oversee vocational development of clergy, lay ecclesial ministry development, and the ongoing formation of newly ordained priests.
Bishop Scharfenberger said in the announcement that Covid-19 pandemic has "created a new sense of urgency, as well as a clear opportunity to work more collaboratively and to assert our essential, shared mission of evangelization and service, especially to those most in need."
Father Creagh is a native of Queens. After high school he served in the United States Marine Corp and then enrolled at St. John's University in Queens receiving a bachelor of science degree in 1991. While at St. John's, he met the Vincentian Community and later entered the Vincentian seminary formation earning two master's degrees from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington. He later earned a professional diploma in administration and instructional leadership at St. John's University, and then a doctoral degree in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania.
After ordination in 1996, Father Creagh was assigned to Niagara University as campus minister and lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies. He then spent time in Taiwan as a missionary before returning to St. John's University as an administrator in the areas of campus management, fundraising, and global studies, as well as a lecturer in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. During this time, he was also asked to serve as the vocation director for the Vincentian Community for a three-year term.
Father Creagh returned to Niagara University in 2011, where he was vice president for the Office of University Mission and Ministry and later assumed additional responsibilities as the vice president for the Office of International Relations, which entailed extensive international travel to recruit students from around the world. He also taught in Niagara's Leadership and Policy Doctoral Program and served on numerous dissertation committees. While stationed at Niagara he was asked to serve on the board of trustees at St. John's University. In addition to serving as the religious superior of the local Vincentian Community, he served on the board of trustees of Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora and also taught organizational leadership courses at the seminary. In 2019, the board of trustees of Christ the King Seminary elected him as its 27th president-rector.