University Ministries welcomes students of all religious affiliations to participate in a variety of opportunities for spiritual growth, service learning, social action and community building.  
Our liturgical life, centered around Sunday Eucharist, invites all members of the Bonaventure community to join in various liturgical ministries and many prayer opportunities.  
Our Bona Buddies and Silver Wolves programs, as well as our service learning trips offer creative ways to live and learn with children, elders and cross-cultural communities.  
The Warming House, the oldest student-run soup kitchen in the nation, serves a meal six days a week. 
SEARCH, SBU for Life and Collegiate Peer Ministry are but a few of the other experiences that round out University Ministries. To learn more, stop at University Ministries, which is temporarily located on the second floor of Murphy Professional Building.  

Mt. Irenaeus and Students For The Mountain

Our premier retreat center, Mt. Irenaeus, is located 32 miles from campus and offers peaceful re-creation, prayer and family-style hospitality. Mountain Community Leaders take leadership roles with the friars and other Franciscans in the ministry of the Mountain, which invites all to relax, hike, work in the garden and share warm conversation and home-cooked meals. 

Franciscan Center for Social Concern

Interested in peace, social justice and the environment? The Franciscan Center for Social Concern seeks new ideas based on the interests of SBU students. Basic principles known as Catholic Social Teaching support our activities.

News, Publications & Research

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University Ministries to celebrate spirit of Christmas in advance of finals

Dec 02, 2013 |

By Samantha Berkhead, '14

In celebration of the holiday season, University Ministries at St. Bonaventure University will be hosting several Christmas-themed events in advance of finals week.

On Friday, Dec. 6, there will be an Advent Overnight at Mount Irenaeus, an annual tradition at the university’s mountain retreat.

“Its overall goal is to help people prepare for the feast of the birth of Jesus,” Br. Kevin explained. “We have a nice meal, maybe some cookies, then we decorate a tree and make a wreath. It is a warm and inviting evening.”

In preparation for finals week, students will have the opportunity to attend Reading Day at Mount Irenaeus on Saturday, Dec. 7.

“People can find several types of environments, depending on their needs,” Br. Kevin said. “There can be strictly quiet studying going on in certain places, study groups in other places, a little more social atmosphere in the kitchen, time to hike outdoors to clear one's head and even couches to catch up on a little sleep.”

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the same day, the Warming House in Olean will host a Christmas canning workshop. Attendants will learn how to make and can salsa, chutney, jams and more.

That evening, at 9 p.m., the University will celebrate Christmas Mass in the University Chapel. During Mass, the traditional Blessing of the Brains will take place.

Late Night Breakfast in the Hickey Dining Hall will follow Mass; it starts at 10 p.m. and is free and open to all students.

The Advent Penance Service previously scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 4, has been cancelled to accommodate the Memorial Mass at 7 p.m. for Tyler Davis.  If you would like to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, please contact University Ministries.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, 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. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.     

We moved — back!

University Ministries has moved into its new home, the newly constructed McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry, which is in the same place as its old home, the former Thomas Merton Center, located just north of Reilly Center in the heart of campus. University Ministries offices were temporarily located in the John J. Murphy Professional Building while its former home was razed and the new McGinley-Carney Center was being built.