Capuchin Joins FAN as Research Analyst

HNP Communications Franciscan World

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Franciscan Action Network here has added a Franciscan scholar to its team.

Fr. David Couturier, OFM Cap., former president of Franciscans International, outgoing associate professor of pastoral theology, vice rector of St. Mary’s Seminary & University, Baltimore, Md., and director of pastoral formation, has joined FAN as a research analyst. 

The Capuchin Franciscan scholar and author holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., and earned an M.Div. degree from the Maryknoll School of Theology in Maryknoll, N.Y. A trained psychotherapist, he holds a licentiate in clinical psychology, pastoral counseling, and a doctorate in pastoral psychology, with an emphasis on organizational studies. 

He has written extensively on social forces impinging on contemporary secular and religious culture, including the groundbreaking tract, The Fraternal Economy: A Pastoral Psychology of Franciscan Economics (Victoria Press, 2007).

The book’s premise is like the friar himself, hopeful and yet prophetic, according to FAN’s Web site, which says:  “David’s wager is that it’s possible to create a relational, transparent economy instead of living in the endlessly competitive world of modern economics. He believes that modern consumerism is motivated by the great fear of scarcity, instead of what Franciscanism teaches, the love and wonder of abundance in God. In much of Fr. Couturier’s writing, one encounters a challenge to re-imagine creation as a community of brothers and sisters who need to develop new attitudes and learn new skills in order to survive and thrive.”

Fr. Couturier, who was named on Jan. 29, also brings strong experience to the Franciscan domestic agenda, according to FAN whose spokespeople said that he has “experience building consensus with international non-governmental organizations at the United Nation.”

In other recent FAN news, leaders encourage Franciscan-hearted people to support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 because they believe it will stimulate the economy by creating jobs, promoting job training, and offering other positive results.

FAN’s Executive Director Russell Testa recently co-led a retreat titled “Franciscan Peacemaking,” Feb. 7 to 8 at theFranciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. He announced that FAN membership has grown to 1,645. 

A recent e-letter of FAN announced that the Franciscan Life Campaign, conducted from Jan. 21-31, was a success. “More than 70 FAN members sent more than 200 messages to their members of Congress requesting that they not support the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).  We asked, instead, that they work for policies that uphold life by addressing the economic crisis and human-caused global climate change. Our mission as FAN is to shift the discussion so that it more fully reflects the gift of the Incarnation and supports all life, in a consistent ethic of life manner. We will continue to watch and respond in an effort to support all life,” according to the site.