Franciscan Institute Releases Two New Books

Maria Hayes Around the Province

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — Franciscan Institute Publications at St. Bonaventure University recently announced the release of two new publications that focus on St. Bonaventure. One is an updated version of a book written in 2000. The other was authored by a Sacred Heart Province friar and a former general councilor for the Order.

The new releases are:  The Soul in Ascent: Bonaventure on Poverty, Prayer and Union With God by Timothy Johnson and St. Bonaventure’s Commentary on John’s Gospel: Thirty Days of Reflection and Prayer by Fr. Robert Karris, OFM.

First published by Franciscan Press in 2000, Timothy Johnson’s book has offered a thorough textual study of the importance of prayer in Bonaventure’s theology and life. This new edition includes Johnson’s most recent work on Bonaventure’s Sunday Sermons, sourced from Johnson’s “The Sunday Sermons of St. Bonaventure — Bonaventure Texts in Translation Series.”  It is a must-read book for anyone interested in Franciscan spirituality and theology, according to the Franciscan Institute.

“If Francis discovered that prayer is an activity of the Spirit, Bonaventure was able to identify Francis’s unique charism of prayer: that of the poor,” said Fr. Regis Armstrong, OFM Cap., in a review. “Johnson’s work is a wonderful took that will be cherished by those eager to deepen the ‘spirit of holy prayer.’”

In the second book, Fr. Robert Karris, OFM, explores St. Bonaventure’s commentary on John’s Gospel in the latest release from Franciscan Institute Publications. For each day, the Sacred Heart Province friar tells readers which passage from John’s Gospel to read and meditate on. He then provides Bonaventure’s commentary on one or two verses of the passage and follows with a reflection of his own. In the reflection, he relates Bonaventure’s commentary to the rest of the passage being interpreted, to contemporary exposition, and to themes in the rest of the Gospel. Each day is concluded with a prayer, which is intended to inspire the reader’s own prayers.

“In the tradition of lectio divina, Bob Karris, OFM, offers us a way to prayerfully explore the Seraphic Doctor’s commentary on the Gospel of John,” said Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, Vicar General of the Order of Friars Minor, who reviewed the book. “Fr. Robert has insightfully selected 30 gospel texts with Bonaventure’s comments to help us deepen our Christian discipleship. This is Franciscan scholarship at its finest: to lead one to an encounter with the living Lord.”

 Maria Hayes is coordinator of communications for Holy Name Province.