St. Bonaventure University has named Stephen Mimnaugh, OFM, vice president for Mission Integration, the university announced in a March 31 press release. He will officially assume the position on May 1.
Stephen had been serving as interim university chaplain since August 2022. He takes over for Xavier Seubert, OFM, who had been serving as interim vice president for Mission Integration since last June.
“Fr. Stephen has already made an impact on our university community in the short time he’s been at St. Bonaventure. He brings tremendous organizational experience and has a deep understanding of the university’s mission and values, which are informed by our Franciscan tradition,” said SBU President Jeff Gingerich, who also expressed gratitude to Xavier for his service.
“I can’t thank Fr. Xavier enough for his willingness to step forward last year and the contributions he’s made to our university community during my first year in office. I’ll be forever grateful for his wisdom and support,” said Gingerich.
Stephen said he is “very excited” to assume this new role at St. Bonaventure and is grateful to Gingerich for the appointment.
“In my Franciscan life, I have lived and ministered in many different settings. St. Bonaventure strives to live our Franciscan values. Compassion, wisdom, and integrity seem to be in short supply in our world. These are the gifts we can exemplify together,” said Stephen, who prior to relocating to the campus in Western New York in January 2022 was pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tampa, Florida, a thriving downtown parish of 1,600 families.
During his tenure as pastor, the parish was honored by Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, Inc. for its steadfast commitment to serving Tampa’s homeless during the pandemic.
Stephen holds several master’s degrees – including urban policy from the University of Pennsylvania; theology and pastoral ministry from the Washington Theological Union, and social welfare from the City University of New York. His academic research has focused on homelessness, supportive housing, public policy, and the role of community in poverty interventions.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Vermont, Stephen worked in commercial banking for three years before entering the diocesan seminary. But two years later, he discerned that God was not calling him to the diocesan priesthood. Transitioning to real estate finance, he relocated to his adopted home of Philadelphia.
Ten days after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Stephen contacted the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province. The inquiry was prompted, he recalls, when he asked himself the question, “If I knew today was my last day on earth, would I be satisfied with how I had spent my life?”
Ordained in 2009, Stephen spent 11 years ministering in New York City at St. Francis of Assisi Church and St. Francis Friends of the Poor, Inc., one of the city’s first permanent supportive housing providers.
In March 2020, with the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic taking a significant toll on New York City, Stephen happily worked daily on the St. Francis Breadline, the country’s longest continuously operating ministry of its kind. At the time, Stephen said that serving the Breadline’s 250 guests every morning “gave me purpose” during the early pandemic lockdown. He now brings his passion for purpose to St. Bonaventure University in his new position as vice president for Mission Integration.