Celebrating the Feast of St. Bonaventure

Vicky Wolak In the Headlines

To honor the memory of the 13th century Church scholar, friars and lay people commemorated St. Bonaventure this month in a variety of ways.

A recent bulletin of Sacred Heart Church in Tampa, Fla., where George Corrigan, OFM, is pastor, featured an excerpt from Works of St. Bonaventure X: Writings on the Spiritual Life by F. Edward Coughlin, OFM.

In the piece, Edward explains the profound impact Bonaventure had on Franciscan doctrine: “Bonaventure’s works are steeped in the richness of the Christian tradition. Later generations of scholars and spiritual pilgrims would subsequently find in him a significant theologian of the past to be a partner in conversation; a partner whose efforts may help shed light on our present situation.”

St. Bonaventure University
Festivities at the Western New York university named in honor of Bonaventure began on his feast day and continued into the weekend.

On July 15, a campus-wide Mass was celebrated at the University Chapel in Doyle Hall. Francis Di Spigno, OFM— St. Bonaventure University’s new executive director of faith formation, worship and ministry and guardian of St. Bonaventure Friary — served as principal celebrant. Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, a Franciscan scholar and interim president of SBU from 2003 to 2004, preached the homily. A dessert reception at Café La Verna followed the Mass.

The commemoration continued on July 16 with another 5 p.m. prayer service, followed by the Franciscan Institute Medal Ceremony and Academic Convocation in Doyle Hall’s Robert R. Jones Board of Trustees Room. The medal is awarded annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to Franciscan scholarship and education.

This year’s recipient was Fr. Joseph Chinnici, OFM, an American Church historian and Franciscan scholar who is the recently appointed president of the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif., and former provincial minister of St. Barbara Province in the western United States. He is a widely published author, most known for his groundbreaking work, Living Stones: The History and Structure of Catholic Spiritual Life in the United States.

SBU president Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, gave the laudation, and Fr. Robert Karris, OFM, a member of the research faculty in SBU’s Franciscan Institute, presented words of personal appreciation. A dinner and program followed the reception.

bonafeast bonaventurefeast-rParish Celebrations
In Allegany, N.Y., St. Bonaventure Church, where James Vacco, OFM, is pastor, celebrated its namesake the weekend before the feast with its annual parish festival, BonaFest.

The festivities began on July 9 with a 5K race. Start time for runners was 9 a.m. at the SBU tennis courts, and walkers set off 15 minutes later. Participants followed a marked trail along the Allegheny River and across the SBU campus. Participant times were posted on the parish website.

The following day, a special Mass was celebrated, followed by BonaFest. The parish festival ended with the drawing of the winning raffle ticket of a $5,000 cash prize.

In Paterson, N.J., St. Bonaventure Parish, where Daniel Grigassy, OFM, is pastor, celebrated the feast with two Masses on July 15.

Whether it was through homilies, awards, festivals or special Masses, the Doctor of the Church was remembered for his contributions to theology and Church doctrine.

— Vicky Wolak is a summer intern in the Province’s Communications Office.