Philotheus Boehner, OFM
1901 – 1955
Fr. Philotheus Boehner, OFM, was born on Feb. 17, 1901, in Lichtenau, Germany. He was professed in 1921 and ordained in 1927 as a member of the Province of the Holy Cross, Saxony, Germany. After ordination to the priesthood, he taught philosophy for six years at Dorsten.
During this time he frequented centers of leaning at Quaracchi, Rome and Paris. He acquired a thorough knowledge of current research on Franciscan philosophical and theological texts. In 1939, at the invitation of Etienne Gilson, he lectured in paleography at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. That same year, he began lecturing on medieval philosophy at St. Bonaventure College, Allegany, N.Y., where he reorganized some summer courses in Franciscan philosophy into a complete program of Franciscan studies and undertook editing the works of William of Ockham.
In 1941, with Fr. Thomas Plassmann, OFM, he reorganized Franciscan Studies from a series of annual monographs into a quarterly journal. In 1942, these projects were given a corporate name and an organization, the Franciscan Institute, of which Fr. Philotheus was named the first director in 1946. He was Thomas Merton’s spiritual director while Merton taught at St. Bonaventure.
Fr. Philotheus died May 22, 1955.