Tonight I returned with my wife and daughter to an old pastime, St. Bonaventure Basketball. St. Bona’s opponent tonight was University of Richmond. It was a good competitive game. St. Bonaventure lost 71-66. Our first date just over 25 years ago was a St. Bonaventure game. Tonight, 25 years later we attended the game with our college age daughter. We’re a basketball family. Both children played basketball, my son at the Division III NCAA level. Last year was Devin’s last as a Fredonia Blue Devil. I miss those State University of New York Athletic Conference games. There are memories from those years that I’ll treasure forever. Tonight was fun. No real emotional involvement, just an exciting game following dinner at a nice restaurant. St. Bonaventure had been struggling until last week when they knocked off St. Louis University. Tonight they nearly pulled off another win. Bona basketball is an event for many folks in our area. We’re fortunate to live so close to St. Bonaventure University. Bonaventure was started as a college is 1855 by Franciscan Friars who were invited to our area. They came from Italy and established the academic tradition that continues over 150 years later. There are always good memories for me at St. Bonaventure University. Thomas Merton taught at St. Bonaventure in 1940 just prior to entering the Abbey at Gethsemane in Bardstown, Kentucky. The University Ministry center at St. Bonaventure is called the Merton Center and if you know where to look you can see a clearing on a neighboring hillside called “Merton’s Heart.”
The large numbers of friars who staffed St. Bonaventure and nearby Archbishop Walsh High School has dwindled in recent years. But there are many of us from the area who attended one or both of those institutions and owe part of our education to those Friars of Holy Name Province. Tonight after the game we visited with Br. Joe Kotula, OFM. He’s one of my friends and a fellow basketball fan. It was good to see him and to enjoy another night of college basketball.
basketball, ncaa, franciscan, st.bonaventure