SBU President Speaks at National Franciscan Symposium

HNP Communications Features

READING, Pa. — St. Bonaventure University President Sr. Margaret Carney, OSF, spoke last month at the 2008 Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities (AFCU) Third National Franciscan Symposium held at Alvernia College here.

Her June 6 morning plenary presentation, “Character Formation: Educating for Ethical Living,” addressed the Franciscan ethical perspective, the Franciscan response to global issues and problems, and how Franciscan values transform culture, society and the world.

The June 5-7 symposium, “Franciscan Education: Developing Leadership; Building Character; Impacting Student Learning Beyond the Lecture Halls,” provided ongoing study of Franciscan intellectual tradition in higher education, along with an opportunity to explore new scholarship and innovative teaching methodology relevant for undergraduate education.

It included a keynote presentation, three plenary presentations, multiple breakout seminars and an evening Celebration of the Arts in Franciscan Intellectual Life. Participants discussed best practices of other institutions.

Sr. Margaret reflected on efforts to retrieve the theology of great Franciscan intellectuals in a contemporary idiom, according to Paula Scraba, an SBU faculty member who attended the event.

Sr. Margaret discussed mentoring young adults and the importance of the atmosphere provided to students,” Scraba said. “She also mentiond Don Aldo Brunacci, a man who exemplified Franciscan ethics by putting his life on the line to save Jewish refugees in Assisi during World War II.”

“She also made reference to the presentation of Wayne Hellman, OFM Conv., titled “Retrieving and exploring the Catholic and Franciscan Intellectual Tradition.” Margaret mentioned the many service projects that take place at St. Bonaventure.”

The symposium was co-sponsored by the Neumann Institute for Franciscan Studies and the Bernadine Franciscan Sisters, sponsors of Alvernia College.

Two days before her presentation at the symposium, Sr. Margaret spoke to Holy Name friars at their Provincial Chapter at SBU.  Earlier that week, on June 2, Sr. Margaret returned from Europe, where she and three others led the 12-day SBU Heritage Pilgrimage.