ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — When St. Bonaventure University President Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., delivered the annual Franciscan Lecture at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., on Nov. 13, she re-established a link between the institutions that dates back to the late 1800s.
It was following a devastating tornado in Rochester in 1883 that a nun, Mother Mary Alfred Moes, presented a plan for a hospital to Dr. William Worrall Mayo. Mother Alfred had been sent to Rochester as a member of a new congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis, established by Fr. Pamphilo da Magliano, one of the founders of St. Bonaventure University.
The Mayo Clinic’s annual Franciscan Lecture is held to remind Mayo Clinic leaders and staff of their Franciscan heritage and to renew their commitment to providing excellent health care with compassion, respect and spiritual support.
President Carney’s keynote talk, titled “A Vision for Critical Times: Franciscan Values in a Corporate Culture,” underscored the importance of those Franciscan values as they apply to leaders of a large institution.
She also addressed the common historical roots that gave rise to both a world class health facility and a university that just celebrated 150 years of educating students in the Franciscan tradition.
In addition to founding St. Bonaventure University, Fr. Pamphilo opened friaries, built churches, founded schools, seminaries and parishes, and established three congregations of sisters, including the Sisters of St. Francis of the Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes in Rochester, Minn. Mother Alfred, who professed her vows before Fr. Pamphilo, arrived in Rochester in 1876 and started setting up schools.
It was following the tornado of 1883 that Mother Alfred presented her plan for a hospital to her friend Dr. Mayo, vowing to raise the money needed to build the facility if Dr. Mayo would provide medical care. Six years later, Saint Marys Hospital opened.
Dr. Mayo and his two sons, William J. and Charles H., formed the nucleus of a medical staff that would grow and become renowned for a teamwork approach to health care in which specialists in different fields work together.
The family practice took on more doctors and by 1907 some 5,000 patients a year were registering at “the Mayos’ clinic.”
Today, the Mayo Clinic is a world leader in providing medical services, education and research, and health information, with a medical staff that numbers 2,500 physicians and scientists.
About the University: St. Bonaventure is in the top 15 percent of institutions in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 ranking of Northern universities that offer master’s degrees. It has a history of accomplishment and service that extends back 150 years. At the heart of St. Bonaventure University is the Franciscan affirmation of the dignity and worth of the entire created order. Fundamental to this vision is an awareness that it is within relationships and community that individuals discover and develop their potential.