Sr. Suzanne Kush Appointed Director of the St. Bonaventure’s Franciscan Center

HNP Communications Around the Province

ALLEGANY, N.Y.— The Franciscan Center for Social Concern (FCSC) is at St. Bonaventure University announced earlier this month the appointment of Sr. Suzanne Kush, CSSF, a native of Buffalo, New York, as its new director. The center was established in 1998 to “encourage in all members of the University community a yearning for justice and peace, a greater respect for life and a deeper reverence for creation.” The initial endowment for the center wasprovided by Holy Name Province.

In his letter requesting that the university establish the center, then Provincial Minister  John Felice asked that the center concern itself with implementing the justice priority of the Friars of the Holy Name Province. A priority which would encourage the entire campus community to become more involved in direct service of the poor and marginalized, as well as include an educational component “directed at a better understanding of: (1) the socio-economic factors and structures which negatively impact these groups, (2) the basic principles of Catholic Social teaching, and (3) the realization that charity (direct service) is the most basic and minimal, not necessarily most adequate and effective response to the needs of the poor.”

Sr. Suzanne joined the Buffalo Province of the Felician Sisters in 1964. After almost of decade of teaching in Buffalo Catholic Schools at both the elementary and secondary level, Sr. Suzanne became a director of religious education and served at several parishes. From 1980 to1986, she worked at Villa Maria College, and then was assigned to vocation and formation for religious life ministry. This past year, Sr. Suzanne has been working as a research assistant on the Third Order Regular Rule Project at the Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University and as an adjunct assistant professor at Felician College, Lodi, N.J.. Among the awards Sr. Suzanne has received are the Woman Religious Award from the Serra Club of Buffalo and a certificate of recognition from the Buffalo Urban League. She has also been involved in a number of local and national groups, including the National Religious Formation Conference and the National Vocation Conference. She has also been invited to speak at a variety of religious education programs in the Diocese of Buffalo and offered a variety of local and inter-provincial programs for the Felician Sisters.

Sr. Suzanne received a master of arts degree in Franciscan Studies (St. Bonaventure University, 2006); an M.A. in history (State University College of New York at Buffalo, 1983), an M.A. in religious studies (Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI, 1978), a B.A. in history (Canisius College, Buffalo, N.Y., 1974) and an A.A. (Villa Maria, Buffalo, N.Y., 1970).

In announcing this appointment,  Edward Coughlin expressed his delight that a person with Sr. Suzanne’s gifts, knowledge and skills, personal life commitments as a Franciscan religious, as well as her professional background, has acceptedthis appointment. The Center has not had a full-time director since 2005 when William Jud” Weiksnar, a Buffalo native, was reassigned by the Holy Name Province.

In the past few years, St. Bonaventure University has made significant strides in expanding a range and variety of service internships as well as significantly increasing the number of students, faculty and staff who are involved in service projects through such initiatives as the Journey Project, BonaResponds, the VITA and SIFE in particular.

“The addition of Sr. Suzanne to our team will greatly enhance our readiness to root our service in our Catholic-Franciscan values and encourage each participant in these service programs to reflect on their values, their personal gifts, and their call to love and serve for the sake of others” said Edward, vice president for Franciscan mission.