Catholic Theological Union Plans Franciscan Symposium

Jocelyn Thomas Friar News

CHICAGO – As part of its 50th anniversary commemoration, the Catholic Theological Union is holding a symposium accompanied by an art exhibition. The events are being held this fall – the symposium from Oct. 25 to 27 and the art exhibition from Sept. 16 to Dec. 15.

CTU is currently seeking submissions for the art exhibition. Titled “Prayer and Devotion: Franciscan Art, Franciscan Artists,” the exhibition seeks to bring together work by contemporary Franciscan artists without regard to its content, as well as work from artists that use Franciscan themes.

“Organized in conjunction with the school’s 50th anniversary, acknowledging the Franciscans as one of the three founding religious communities of the school, and enhancing an Oct. 25 to 27 symposium focused on Franciscan lifelong formation, the show’s title comes from the Franciscan Rule of 1223,” according to information on the CTU website.

Artists who belong to any branch of the Franciscan family or who work with Franciscan themes in all media are invited to submit up to three original works for consideration by July 10. Entries can be submitted through this link.

The “Symposium on Franciscan Formation” will include two public presentations on lifelong formation for Franciscan men in the U.S. in service of God’s mission.

General Minister Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, will speak at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25. His talk will focus on the promises and demands of life-long formation in the communities of Franciscan men in a time of intergenerational, intercultural and interobediential formation expectations and pressures.

The following day, Fr. John Corriveau, OFM Cap., a former general minister of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and recently retired bishop of Nelson, BC, Canada, will address the issue of formational demands from a perspective of the needs and expectations of the larger church.

Except for the two public lectures, the symposium will be closed to roughly 50 Franciscan men from the First and Third Orders, according to Fr. Jerry Bleem, OFM, of Sacred Heart Province. He is a member of the advisory committee to the endowed chair of Franciscan Spirituality [endowed by the Province of St. John the Baptist] that is sponsoring the symposium.

“Our goal is to mount a show that records and celebrates contemporary artists’ efforts to work ‘faithfully and devotedly,’ filled with the spirit of holy prayer and devotion,” said Fr. Jerry, who is organizing the exhibition through the school, with the vice-president for institutional advancement and the gallery’s curator.

The Mary-Frances and Bill Veeck Art Gallery at Catholic Theological Union is located at 5416 South Cornell Avenue in Chicago. CTU was established in 1968, when several religious orders combined their seminary resources to form an academic center that would be urban-based and ecumenical in spirit. Fifty years later, CTU has become a premier school of theology, sponsored by 24 religious communities, with a global reputation for academic and pastoral excellence.

Last fall, more than 100 friars gathered in Chicago for a Franciscan Study Day titled “Looking to the Future Together: Beyond Ite Vos.”

Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.

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