WASHINGTON, D.C. – In today’s hard economic times, Washington Theological Union here asks: Can the Franciscan path help establish a communal economy of shared goods and resources?
This and other questions will be discussed at WTU’s The Franciscan Center during its 12th Annual Franciscan Symposium, May 22 to 24, titled “Poverty and Prosperity: Franciscans and the Use of Money.”
“Our world is dominated by a global economy, where the use and misuse of resources can have a profound influence on people’s lives and where the question of money is an important one,” said Ilia Delio, OSF, WTU professor of spirituality.
She continues: “Francis of Assisi rejected the capitalism of his time, choosing instead a life of poverty. His way of life helped establish a new economy based on mutuality, trust and communion rather than competition, division and individualism.”
The symposium will include talks on:
• “The Cry for the Poor: Are We Listening?” by Marie Dennis
• The Early Franciscans and the Use of Money” by Michael Cusato, OFM, of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University
• “Sharing the Wealth of Poverty: Franciscan Friars at the End of the Middle Ages,” by Steven McMichael, OFM Conv.
• “Poverty: A Cause for Unity or Division,” by David Burr
• “Is it Possible to Live Franciscan Poverty Today?” by Jane Kopas
The symposium opens at 4 p.m. on May 22 for registration, and continues through lunch on May 24. Cost of the full conference is $225 per person, including all lectures and meals. Housing at WTU ranges from $55 to $65.
For more information, contact Ilia Delio, OSF, 202-726-8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other WTU News
• Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ, professor of theology at Fordham University in the Bronx, presented the Sophia Award and Lecture on “The Banquet of the Creed,” Feb. 15. In the biblical book of Proverbs, Holy Sophia prepares a rich feast, sets her table, and sends her maidservants through the streets to invite everyone to come and eat. Those who do will find strength to lay aside immaturity and walk the path of insight and justice (Prov 9:1-6).
In the spirit of this invitation, this lecture feasts at the table of faith as set forth in the creed. “We believe in one God,” the church testifies, one God who creates, redeems, and sanctifies the world. Using the ancient creed as a touchstone, this lecture explores contemporary questions, debates, and understandings arising today as theology does its work of seeking understanding to nourish commitment in the midst of a conflicted world.
• WTU students provided donations to the food drive for nearby St. Camillus Church, Silver Spring, Md., during the week of Feb. 9. The students responded to St. Camillus’ increased demand for food by donating rice, canned tomatoes, peanut butter, dried beans, vegetable oil, tortilla flour, canned fruit, and jelly.
• The Diocesan Retreat Committee will hold its 2009 Lenten Silent Retreat at the Bon Secours Spiritual Center in Marriottsville, Md., from March 6 to 8. The theme is “The Generosity of God,” based on the Gospel of St. Luke. The director of the retreat will be Rev. Canon Ralph Godsall, a retired Anglican priest with an extensive ministry as a preacher, retreat conductor and spiritual director. Cost is $195; scholarships available. For information, click here, or contact Joan Shelton at 202-232-1667, email@example.com.
• The WTU board of trustees will meet Feb. 19 to 21.