Summer Franciscan Courses Offered Online

Jim McIntosh OFM Franciscan World

The Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, New York, and the Franciscan School of Theology in San Diego, California, are making their 2021 summer courses available electronically. This is the second consecutive year that both schools are offering their summer programs online.

From Franciscan Institute
The more than 80-year-old Franciscan Institute in Western New York will be offering four online classes this summer.

► The first Franciscan Connections Virtual Conference, sponsored by SBU’s Franciscan Institute and the Franciscan Study Center at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, will be offered on June 24 and 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST. Titled “Lesser Ethics: Retrieving the Good Life in the Franciscan Tradition,” this interdisciplinary Zoom conference will focus on a new, more relational methodology for ethics in our time.

► “Living Franciscan Values in our Contemporary World,” sponsored by the Secular Franciscan Conference, is scheduled for June 28 to July 1 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The course, whose $50 cost includes the required text, is being given by Benjamin Johnson, OFM Cap, a friar with the Province of Australia who is completing a doctorate in sacred theology on Bonaventure’s sacramental theology.

► A Master Class, called “The Spiritual Significance of St. Francis in the Theology of St. Bonaventure,” will be presented from June 21 to 25 at 10 a.m. by Dr. Luke Togni – who studies and writes on St. Bonaventure and is a professor of theology and classics. The class, which has a registration fee of $300, will explore the ways in which St. Bonaventure understood the importance of St. Francis of Assisi as a model for Gospel perfection and the imitation of Christ.

► Another Master Class, “From Leprosy to COVID-19: The Problem of Suffering in the Franciscan Theological Tradition,” will be given by Dr. Katherine Wrisley Shelby, a visiting assistant professor of theology and co-editor of multiple books about St. Bonaventure. The course, which has a $300 registration fee, is scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 6 to 15, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. It will study the Franciscan Theological Tradition response to several questions: How do does one follow the path of Francis when caring for COVID-19 patients? And how does Franciscan Theological Tradition offer meaningful ways – theologically and spiritually – to address the problem of suffering.

Additional details on these courses and information on how to register can be found on the Franciscan Institute’s website.

From Franciscan School of Theology
The Franciscan School of Theology is also offering four online classes, scheduled between mid-June and mid-July.

► “The Challenges and Blessings of Catholic Family Life Today” with Dr. Maureen Day, an assistant professor of theology and society, is scheduled from June 21 to 25. Grounded in Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia,” this continuing-education course will examine the American family’s social role through a theological lens. It will also discuss the ways that parishes can better serve families and initiatives that invite families to become active in their Church and world.

► A course set within the context of St. Francis’s life journey – reflecting on his experience of the Spirit, his mission in society, and his writings and actions – will be offered from June 28 to July 1 by Joseph Chinnici, OFM, president emeritus of the Franciscan School of Theology. The course, “Francis of Assisi: His Life and Historical Setting,” will focus on presenting a method for moving from the experience of life’s journey, to Gospel interpretation, to mission in the world.

► A course examining Francis of Assisi’s remarkable collection of writings will be offered from July 6 to 9 from 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. by William Short, OFM, a professor of Christian spirituality. Called “Francis and Clare of Assisi: Writing and Charism,” the course will examine approximately 30 texts that include Francis’s meditations on the words of Christ and norms for organizing life in a small community, some that survived in his own handwriting and others fragments of his “lost” writings contained in the writings of Clare of Assisi and others.

► “The Book of Psalms: A Franciscan Approach,” will be offered by Garrett Galvin, OFM, president and rector of the Franciscan School of Theology. The course, which will be presented from July 12 to 16, offers a combination of theological and historical reflections in tandem with practical pastoral applications for cultivating a Franciscan approach to the end of life. Participants will learn about the Franciscan spiritual tradition on dying and death, and will practice experiential meditations on being present to others with awareness, grace, and faith at the end of life.

Although the registration deadline for Franciscan School of Theology classes is June 11, early registration is recommended since the number of virtual seats is limited. Each course, except the one offered by Bill Short, is a week-long, from Monday to Friday, and costs $250.

Additional course and registration information can be found on the Franciscan School of Theology’s website.

Jim McIntosh is a communications assistant in the HNP Communications Office.