|The guardian of Holy Peace Friary at Mt. Irenaeus, the university’s Franciscan sanctuary in the hills of West Clarksville, Fr. Dan is often the first friar students meet when they come to St. Bonaventure. His radiant smile and booming laugh have been omnipresent fixtures on campus since 1971, when he returned to his alma mater and started the university’s campus ministry.|
He was assigned by Holy Name Province to positions in Boston, New York City, Portsmouth, N.H., and Washington, D.C., between 1974 and 1979, but returned to St. Bonaventure in 1979 to become coordinator of the university’s vocation program and campus minister.
Even more than his infectious smile, the indelible mark Fr. Dan will ultimately leave at St. Bonaventure is Mt. Irenaeus.
Named after longtime librarian Fr. Irenaeus Herscher, O.F.M., the Mountain was established in 1984 when Fr. Dan signed a purchase agreement on a 207-acre, hardwood-covered hilltop in Allegany County. Three cabins were built in the 1980s, Holy Peace Chapel was dedicated in 1990, and Holy Peace Friary — a large community house for the resident friars, with gathering space for prayer and meals — was completed in 1995.
Twenty-five years after its founding, Mt. Irenaeus continues to host members of the St. Bonaventure community and visitors of all faiths, offering a quiet, natural setting and contemplative atmosphere that encourages people to develop their spirituality, or simply to get away from the stresses of daily life for a little while.
Several times a year, Fr. Dan takes the “Mountain on the Road,” a program that brings the Mountain’s services wherever its presence is requested. Participants at the retreats open up to important parts of their spiritual journeys, while reconnecting within the St. Bonaventure family.
A native of Rochester, Fr. Dan graduated from St. Bonaventure in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and joined the Franciscan Order in 1965. He received his master’s in theology from Washington Theological Union, and was ordained a priest in 1971.
Fr. Dan also plays a vital role on campus as a minister-in-residence in Devereux Hall.
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About the University: St. Bonaventure is in the top 25 percent of institutions in U.S.News & World Report’s 2009 ranking of Northern Universities – Master’s. 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.