As people in Western New York struggled through an oppressive heat wave in early July, some sought to beat the hot weather with festivities focused on the feast of St. Bonaventure.
St. Bonaventure Parish in Allegany, N.Y., celebrated its annual BonaFest, a summer festival held on or near the saint’s feast day. This year’s festivities included a Mass celebrated outside on the lawn of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany’s St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, a bake sale, raffles and games, and a 5K race, in which several of the Province’s postulants participated.
Nearby, the Franciscan Institute and the School of Franciscan Studies at St. Bonaventure University hosted a conference on “Women in the Franciscan Tradition,” as well as a talk on new discoveries about the life of St. Francis of Assisi, from July 12 to 15.
Speakers included Dr. Marco Bartoli, professor of medieval history at the University of Perugia, Italy, who has conducted extensive studies on the life of St. Clare; Sr. Florence Deacon, OSF, historian and former director of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi and president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious; and Dr. Amy Koehlinger, assistant professor in the School of History, Philosophy and Religion at Oregon State University.
“This conference was an amazing opportunity for students of Franciscanism to explore together with some of the best Franciscan scholars from around the world the creative diversity of Franciscan experiences that women developed from the very beginning of the Franciscan movement,” said Fr. David Couturier, OFM Cap., dean of the School of Franciscan Studies.
On July 14, renowned Franciscan scholar Jacques Dalarun gave the annual Ignatius Brady Lecture, exploring the powerful and newly discovered life of Francis of Assisi by Thomas of Celano. The manuscript was discovered in an auction house in the U.S. last year.
“Dalarun is one of the world’s foremost experts on the life and spirituality of Francis of Assisi,” Fr. David said. “The text that he discovered has been lost for nearly 800 years. We are peering back in time to a view of Francis that would have inspired his earliest followers; we are listening in on experiences unknown until now of life with Francis of Assisi.”
The annual Ignatius Brady, OFM, Lecture was established in conjunction with a major endowment gift given to the Franciscan Institute in 2002 by the Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province.
Celebrating 11 Years in Tampa
In Tampa, Fla., Sacred Heart Parish marked the feast day as well as the 11-year anniversary of the arrival of the Franciscan friars to the community.
“We mentioned the milestone at the weekend Masses, and lots of folks came out at the end of Mass and wished us ‘Happy Anniversary,’” said George Corrigan, OFM, pastor. “It got me to thinking — it is the anniversary of the people and the friars. All that has transpired in the last decade is the work of many helping hands, not just the friars.”
He continued, “The parish is not the same as it was 11 years ago. It has changed in so many ways, and, to my mind, all for the better — all for the greater glory of God.” Information about St. Bonaventure was distributed by the parish in a July 15 email.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.
- “Reflection: St. Bonaventure — The Saint, the University and Life’s Journey” — July 13, 2016, HNP Today
- “Tampa Parish Celebrates Mass of Belonging” – Oct. 15, 2015, HNP Today
- “Carnivals, Commemorations of St. Bonaventure Make Season Festive” — July 31, 2013, HNP Today
- “Franciscan theologian to give 10th Ignatius Brady Lecture” – Jan.30, 2013 HNP Today