Franciscan Courses in England

Jocelyn Thomas Franciscan World

The city of Canterbury,

An ariel view of the city of Canterbury and the cathedral. (Photo courtesy of John Fielding/Flickr

CANTERBURY, England — The Franciscan International Study Centre in Canterbury has recently developed several new programs and welcomes all to consider the 2016-17 curriculum.

Two certificate programs in Franciscan studies are being offered as well as a three-term sabbatical program centered on the themes of Scripture, Franciscan studies, and spirituality.

The FISC, located roughly 60 minutes southeast of London, was established in 1974, on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the first Franciscan house in Canterbury.

The center has become a widely recognized institution in the Franciscan world and beyond for its specialist teaching. It offers two certificates: one in Franciscan Studies and one in Training for Franciscan Formation. Each of these certificates can be earned within six months — during the Michaelmas (October through December) and Lent (January through March) terms of a given year. The Study Centre also offers two ecumenical training programs in spiritual direction.

Information about the centre, known for its “peaceful atmosphere and beautiful surroundings,” can be found on its website.

Informational flyers describing the three programs were provided by Fr. Thomas Herbst, OFM, a member of St. Barbara Province based in California, who is currently lecturing at the Study Centre. He said, “The Centre’s staff is working to reorganize its curriculum to best appeal to students.”

“The Centre is and always has been an international kind of place,” said Fr. Thomas. “It is run by two or the three branches of the Franciscan Order — OFM and OFM Conventual — originally based in the United Kingdom, but now amalgamated , in the case of the OFMs, with Ireland and, in the case of the OFM Conventuals, with Ireland and North America. Our staff at present is comprised of English, Scottish, American, Romanian and East Asian members. And the student body over the years has hailed from literally all over the globe.”

The FISC offers a library with 64,500 volumes and rooms available for events, with catering if needed.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.

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