In fraternitas, or in fraternity — this is how St. Francis and his followers lived more than 800 years ago. It is also a message realized this past May by four St. Bonaventure University employees who journeyed to Italy on a 10-day pilgrimage.
Bona staff members Danny Bush, ’13, multimedia producer; Beth Eberth, director of university communications; Joe Flanagan, ’74, director of alumni services; and Janet Glogouski, ’10, major gifts officer, joined more than 30 other pilgrims from Franciscan colleges and universities to explore the history of Saints Francis, Clare, and Bonaventure, and to visit the places where the Franciscan movement first began.
They traveled from the quiet solitude of the church of San Damiano, where Francis heard the crucifix speak to him and where Clare and her poor sisters would later settle, to the Vatican and Rome.
Jean-François Godet-Calogeras, Ph.D., professor in the School of Franciscan Studies, and Fr. André Cirino, O.F.M., pilgrimage guide for the Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs, led the group, offering special liturgies and reflections along the way at each sanctuary.
“Within fraternitas, everyone is welcome,” Godet-Calogeras explained. “It is celebrated through eating and drinking together, which creates relationships. That is the experience we try to have during the pilgrimage.”
It is also the experience the staff members brought to life for their colleagues as they hosted a bring-a-dish-to-pass lunch in Francis Café on campus September 10, where they shared stories about the pilgrimage.
They talked of the magnificent architecture and rare artworks they viewed, shared photos of the beautiful vistas, and described their daily itineraries, which were filled with Mass, lectures, and reflections — along with about five miles of walking per day.
“I would like for more people at our university to be able to go on the pilgrimage,” Godet-Calogeras said, adding that he would also like to see more gatherings like the shared lunch in Francis Café. “We could visit Assisi virtually through videos and images."
For information about arranging a shared lunch with discussion of the pilgrimage, members of the campus community can contact Godet-Calogeras at (716) 375-2149 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEMORIES FROM ASSISI:
“A lot of times we met in the evenings on a rooftop in Assisi. Those were some of the best conversations.” - Janet Glogouski, ’10
“We shared a common journey, a common experience; it was wonderful.” - Joe Flanagan, ’74
“Don Aldo Brunacci, who received St. Bonaventure’s Gaudete Medal, worked with the bishop of Assisi to help hide hundreds of Jews in homes and monasteries during World War II. It was amazing to read about him in the museum there and to see the Gaudete Medal in Assisi.” - Beth Eberth (Read Eberth's column about her experience in the Summer 2014 edition of Bonaventure magazine)
“The experience was truly an adventure. One of the most poignant moments for me was being a Eucharistic minister at Francis’s tomb. That was out of this world.” - Danny Bush, ’13
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