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St. Bonaventure University and the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province formalized their historic relationship on Friday by signing their first-ever memorandum of understanding.
Holy Name Province traces its roots to Franciscan missionaries who came to America mid-1800s to minister to a flood of European immigrants. It was one of those missionaries, Fr. Pamfilo da Magliano, O.F.M., who was instrumental in the founding of St. Bonaventure in 1858.
The memorandum of understanding specifies the mutual desire of the university and the province to advance the educational mission of the university in a manner that respects and preserves its Catholic-Franciscan character.
While the relationship between the two has endured for more than 150 years, it was never defined in writing.
“This formalizes what has always been our understanding,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., university president. “It’s a commitment by the University Board of Trustees and the Holy Name Province to continue that relationship.” Also Friday, university and province officials participated in a ceremony to rename an addition to Friedsam Memorial Library that holds the rare book collection of the Franciscan Institute. The addition, which opened in 2008, is now known as Holy Name Library for the Franciscan Institute.
St. Bonaventure is home to the Franciscan Institute, the pre-eminent center in North America of teaching, research and publication on the history, spirituality and intellectual life of the Franciscan movement. Its collection of rare books has been described by the National Endowment for the Humanities as “a unique national asset of great value to American humanistic scholarship.”
Fr. John O’Connor, O.F.M., provincial minister of Holy Name Province, blessed the addition.
“An important part of our tradition as Franciscans is the intellectual tradition, so it is appropriate that we come together today to celebrate the blessing of this library, which in so many ways stands for the excellence that is the education endeavor that Franciscans have been about for over 800 years,” he said.
The university’s Board of Trustees agreed to rename the addition in recognition of Holy Name Province’s longstanding support of the Franciscan Institute’s scholarship and service.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them
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