ALLEGANY, N.Y. — Do we wish to admire or to imitate St. Francis?
F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, tackles this powerful question posed by St. Bonaventure in a new lecture series titled “Enkindling Love: The Spiritual Journey of St. Francis According to Bonaventure.”
Through 12 scholarly lectures, Edward, vice president for Franciscan mission at St. Bonaventure University, focuses on the image of St. Francis in “The Major Legend of St. Francis,” written by St. Bonaventure.
According to the course description, students will “focus on the many ways Francis’s inner transformation — conversion of mind, heart and choice — was embodied in a manner of life through which Francis became ‘a practitioner, a leader and a herald of Gospel perfection.’”
The five-disc set and electronic study guide are available on NowYouKnowMedia.com. Each session is 23 minutes long and comes in DVD, CD and MP3 format.
“I have lectured and written on various aspects of Bonaventure’s ‘Major Legend of St. Francis’ over the years,” said Ed, a Provincial Councilor and a 1970 graduate of SBU. “It was a challenge to organize the whole text into 12 basic lectures in the hope of providing some background for readers of the text.”
An expert on Bonaventure and Francis, Ed wrote the introduction for, edited and annotated Writings on the Spiritual Life: Works of St. Bonaventure, Vol. X, published by the Franciscan Institute in 2006. He has written articles for Blessed Ambiguity: Brothers in the Church, Human Development, Review for Religious, The Cord and New Theology. He also lectures and has led a variety of programs in the areas of human-spiritual formation, spiritual direction, organizational development and Franciscan spiritually.
Before serving as vice president for Franciscan mission at SBU, Ed was director of the Franciscan Institute and served as Provincial Secretary. He earned a doctorate in counseling from The Catholic University of America, Washington, in 1975 and a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Boston College in 1981. He has also served as a process and organizational consultant to a variety of religious communities.
Now You Know Media offers more than 200 Catholic audio and video lecture courses taught by top scholars, according to its website. The organization has a section titled “Franciscan Programs” with more than 50 courses relating to Franciscan history, spirituality and other topics.
“I have been fascinated by the entrepreneurial spirit of Michael Bloom, CEO of Now You Know Media,” said Ed. “He saw the need for and interest in adult faith formation and continuing education. He has provided a great service to the Church with no involvement from the institution.”
As coordinator of educational programs for the Franciscan Institute, Ed has organized next month’s Franciscan Forum X, titled “Responding to God’s Love: Exploring the Franciscan Moral Vision,” being held in Colorado Springs, Colo.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.