ALLEGANY, N.Y. — 2017 marks the beginning of the 800th anniversary celebration of St. Bonaventure’s birth. The Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University plans to mark this important occasion with an international symposium along with several lectures and new summer courses dedicated to the cultural and religious dynamics that shaped the saint’s teachings.
A three-day St. Bonaventure Conference, featuring keynote speakers Fr. J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., and Emmanuel Falque, will begin the summer program. The July 12 to 15 event, titled “Frater, Magister, Minister et Episcopus: The Works and Worlds of Saint Bonaventure,” aims to promote an understanding of how culture and religion form individuals and communities, and what elements of Bonaventure’s own experience may be recaptured in the contemporary world.
“This will be one of the most exciting explorations of current Bonaventure scholarship in the world today. St. Bonaventure University is reinvigorating its role as the gathering place for international scholarly research in the Franciscan intellectual tradition,” said Fr. David Couturier, OFM Cap., dean of SBU’s School of Franciscan studies and executive director of the Franciscan Institute since 2014. “This is the third year in a row that we have invited scholars from around the world to meet and discuss with one another developments in Franciscan studies.”
On July 14 – the day before the feast of St. Bonaventure – Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, will give the annual Ignatius Brady Lecture, exploring “Bonaventure and the Centrality of Love.” Sr. Ilia has written extensively in the area of Franciscan theology, with a particular emphasis on the theology of Bonaventure. She is a member of the Commission for the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition – sponsored by the Order of Friars Minor’s English-speaking Conference – and served as chair of the spirituality department at Washington Theological Union.
The following week, the Institute will present the Secular Franciscan Conference, a forum exploring how one comes to understand the Franciscan identity and how one can develop as a Franciscan person. It will be led by David.
The Franciscan Institute’s summer program includes seven courses – one of which is taught by former Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM. His “Survey of Franciscan History” will focus on the internal developments in the three Franciscan orders and will examine the religious movement initiated by Francis of Assisi.
Other courses being offered this year include:
- The Franciscan Roundtable, aimed at helping Franciscan men and women in their early years of formation evaluate Franciscan life and its values, will be led by the director of post-novitiate formation for the Capuchin Province of St. Mary, Br. Lake Herman, OFM Cap.
- “Foundations of Franciscan Spirituality” taught by Br. Daniel Klimek, TOR, examining “Franciscan life as a ‘life of penance,’ as understood and lived by Francis and Clare, and the men and women of the various branches of the Franciscan family.”
- “Francis: His Life and Charism” which will be taught by Joshua Benson. The class will provide an introduction to the life and times of Francis of Assisi.
- “St. Bonaventure on Truth, Beauty and Goodness” taught by Anthony Murphy will study the role in Bonaventure’s work on the transcendental: ‘Goodness, Truth, and Beauty’ as rooted in the theology of the word and its implication for the understanding of language.
- “The Holy Spirit and the Church in Bonaventure and Pope Francis,” taught by Sr. Marie Kolbe Zamora, OSF, who will examine the role the Holy Spirit plays within Bonaventure’s ecclesiology and compare that with the role the Holy Spirit plays in ecclesiology after Vatican II, especially as evidenced in Pope Francis’ discourses.
- “Franciscans and Health Care,” taught by Jean-François Godet-Calogeras.
The School of Franciscan Studies at St. Bonaventure University develops and provides for-credit, continuing education, and professional enrichment programming that illuminates the Franciscan intellectual and spiritual traditions, according to the university’s website. “We are committed to widening the circles of individuals who wish to study the Franciscan tradition and explore its implications for contemporary life and ministry in a globalized and complex world.”
More information about the institute’s summer courses, which begin June 26 and conclude July 28, can be found on its website. A catalog of books and journals published by Franciscan Institute Publications can be found online.
— Johann Cuervo is a communications assistant for Holy Name Province.
- “Feast of St. Bonaventure a Festive Occasion in Western NY, Florida” – July 26, 2016, HNP Today
- “Franciscan Institute’s New Magazine Debuts” – March 27, 2015, HNP Today
- “HNP Friars Share Insights at Merton Conference” – June 25, 2014, HNP Today
- “Franciscan Institute Announces Summer Courses” – Dec. 4, 2013, HNP Today
- “Franciscan Theologian to Give 10th Annual Ignatius Brady Lecture” – Jan. 30, 2010, HNP Today