Franciscan Institute

Friday marked the end of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University for everyone this summer. This was my first time as a student at the Institute, but I don’t believe it will be my last. What I encountered was beyond good. I was surrounded by scholarly yet un-pretentious friars, nuns and secular Franciscans and a smattering of others who all came to learn more about what it means to be Franciscan. I took a course called, “Retrieving a Franciscan Philosophy for Social Engagement,” taught by Keith Warner, OFM, Ph.D from Santa Clara University and ┬áthe St. Barbara Province in California. The course was more than I bargained for. Not only did I learn how much I didn’t know, but I came away with a renewed sense of purpose in my life and a future direction. I enrolled at the institute in March of this year. Little did I know that I would form lasting relationships with people I would scarcely meet elsewhere. My experience at the institute confirmed for me that I am truly a Franciscan. I got to attend daily mass which was the first time in a number of years that I had been to Mass with that frequency. The Institute revolves around the liturgy and the liturgy revolves around the Institute. We had class on July 4th followed by Mass and a barbecue at the St. Bonaventure University Friary. We celebrated the Feast of St. Bonaventure on July 15th and in between all of those celebrations I learned about the richness of the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition which up until then was only a phrase.

I learned about Peter Olivi, John Duns Scotus, Bl. Bernard de Feltre, St. Bonaventure, St. Francis, St. Clare, and many more. What it means to have a Franciscan social philosophy and be able to articulate it are not just words anymore. I came away with a renewed commitment to my vocation as a Secular Franciscan and a re-energized sense of purpose. I want to thank everyone who contributed to the experience in any way because it was one of those watershed moments that define a lifetime. Pax et Bonum.

Franciscan Institute

In a couple of weeks I’ll be attending classes at St. Bonaventure University’s Franciscan Institute. In preparation for that I received an instructive email from the liturgist yesterday. Each day begins with morning prayer and ends with evening prayer and in between is the Eucharist. I loved this quote taken from the mail.

Institute liturgies set a rhythm for our life on campus and give us time to come together, as the Body of Christ, from all of our different classes. We hope that your academic life comes to a culmination in the liturgy and that you leave the Institute with both new wisdom and a renewed spirit.

I look forward to my time at the institute with longing and hope for a renewed spirit. Peace!