ALLEGANY, N.Y. — The community of St. Bonaventure University here celebrated the Feast of St. Bonaventure on July 14, and honored world renowned Francis scholar Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., as the 20th recipient of the Franciscan Institute Medal.
The Franciscan Institute established the medal in 1987 to honor scholars who have made outstanding contributions to Franciscan studies in the areas of philosophy, theology, history and spirituality. Recent honorees have included David Flood, OFM, Dr. David Burr, Clément Schmitt, OFM, Ingrid Peterson, OSF, and Kenan Osborne, OFM.
At the Feast, Fr. Regis, an authority on Francis and Clare, presented on “Clare of Assisi: From A Vantage Point of 30 Years.”
He is perhaps best known for his work on Clare of Assisi: Early Documents and as one of the three general editors of Francis of Assisi: Early Documents. He has written and/or translated nine books and authored many journal and encyclopedia articles. He was the impetus behind the founding of the journal Greyfriars Review, and until recently, was its editor.
In addition to his work on the writings of Francis and Clare, Fr. Regis has written True Joy: The Wisdom of Francis and Clare, Bonaventure: The Enkindling of Love, The Constitutions of the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor and Towards Renewal: Documents of the Plenary Councils of the Capuchin Friars Minor.
The Eucharistic Liturgy for the Feast of St. Bonaventure was celebrated at 5 p.m. in the University Chapel, Doyle Hall. Fred Link, OFM, provincial of St. John the Baptist Province, was celebrant. Fr. Frank Lane, rector emeritus of the Josephinum, gave the homily.
The celebration continued on Sunday with Vespers in the university chapel.. Following Vespers, Michael Cusato, director of The Franciscan Institute and dean of the School of Franciscan Studies, presented Fr. Regis with the medal during an Academic Convocation beginning at 7:45 p.m. in The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
The emcee of the program was Bill Short, OFM, and Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., delivered the laudatio in praise of Fr. Regis’s lifetime work in Franciscan studies. Margaret Carney, OSF, president of St. Bonaventure University, gave closing remarks.
Fr. Regis taught summers at The Franciscan Institute and was a member of the faculty before becoming a professor in the School of Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.