Leadership Focus of SBU’s Francis Week

HNP Communications Around the Province

ALLEGANY, N.Y. — Leadership was the focus of this year’s Francis Week events at St. Bonaventure University.

Dr. Sharon Daloz Parks, director of Leadership for the New Commons, gave the keynote public lecture, “Leadership Can Be Taught,” on Monday, Oct. 2, at the Rigas Theater in The Regina Quick Center for the Arts.

Parks had served for more than 16 years in faculty and research positions in leadership and ethics at Harvard University in the Schools of Divinity, Business, and the Kennedy School of Government. She now teaches in the Executive Leadership and Pastoral Leadership programs at Seattle University and serves nationally as a lecturer and consultant for a broad range of professional groups, especially in higher education and religion.

Parks also spoke about leadership and vocation to student leaders and senior-level forums. She has a particular concern for the formation of citizenship, leadership and ethics in the context of today’s organizations and cultures.

Francis Week began with a Family Weekend Eucharist in the university chapel on Oct. 1 and concluded on Oct. 4 with the Blessing of the Animals and the Feast of St. Francis Eucharist.

The Blessing of the Animals is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis’s love for all creatures. Francis wrote A Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things. During the Blessing of the Animals, pets are sprinkled with holy water while a prayer thanking God for all of his creatures is recited.

This year, many unique animals were blessed at the ceremony, including alpacas.

The traditional Transitus was held on Oct. 3 in the University Chapel. A celebration of the life and passing of St. Francis, the Transitus incorporates music and narration in retelling the story and legacy of St. Francis.

Also on Tuesday, the Student Government Association sponsored Canticle of the Campus, a university beautification and cleanup project.