background image

t. Bonaventure's Board of Trustees
recently voted unanimously to ac-
cept the strategic plan for University
Ministries that establishes strategies
and goals in four areas designed to create a
transformational Franciscan experience for
all members of the university community.
"For the first time in our
university's history, University
Ministries has a road map
that articulates the ways that
our amazing partners work
together to bring the Gospel
to the lives of our students,"
said Fr. Francis Di Spigno,
O.F.M., executive director of
University Ministries.
Following guidance pro-
vided by the Association of
Catholic Colleges and Uni-
versities, the plan has four
primary goals:
I. Invite and accompany
the university family into the
life of the Catholic Church
through prayer, liturgy,
sacraments and spiritual formation.
II. Create opportunities for the university
family to act from a commitment to justice,
compassion, and mercy and, in light of
Catholic Social Teaching, to focus on the
dignity of the human person and the com-
mon good.
III. Through the formation of whole per-
sons, guide the university family members in
seeking a vocation*, developing character
and integrity, and experiencing transforma-
tion to one's own unique and true self. This
will solicit high standards of personal behav-
ior and responsibility, while reflecting on and
experiencing each person's radical goodness.
IV. Seek dialogue and shared practice
among religious traditions to clarify beliefs
and to foster mutual understanding.
Fr. Francis notes that St. Bonaventure has
some longstanding and unique ministries,
including The Warming House and Bona
Buddies, that already cause us to stand out
among ministries offerings at other universi-
"This plan calls us to collaborate across a
comprehensive range of ministries to create
connections between what students and
other community members experience
through our liturgy, service, reflection and
retreat programs. It's exciting to think about
our capacity for cultivating lifelong leaders in
ministry through deep and meaningful en-
gagement of our students during their col-
lege years," he said.
In addition to daily and weekly Mass offer-
ings that are enhanced by a growing and
dynamic music ministry that is led by Ju-
lianne Wallace, director of faith formation,
worship and ministry,
the community is served
by the friars of Mt. Ire-
naeus, who offer oppor-
tunities to enter into a
more contemplative and
reflective experience. Fr.
Dan Riley, O.F.M, Br.
Kevin Kriso, O.F.M., and
Fr. John Coughlin,
O.F.M., work daily with
the ministries team to
plan and coordinate pro-
gramming with and at
"the Mountain."
Students are able to
connect faith life and ex-
perience with actions
through the ministries of
the Franciscan Center for Social Concern,
under the direction of Sr. Suzanne Kush,
C.S.S.F. The program manager for The
Warming House and Bona Buddies is Mar-
garet Morris, '05, who joined the Ministries
team in January.
According to Associate Vice President for
Enrollment Kate Dillon Hogan, '78, a strong
ministries program is central to the univer-
sity's value proposition.
"The outcomes of this plan will have a
positive impact on enrollment," says Hogan.
"Families choose a Catholic university --
whether they are practicing Catholics or not
-- because they want their student to have
a holistic experience that builds strong
minds and strong moral, ethical, and spiri-
tual foundations. I am excited to tell the
story of how our Ministries programs can
help students find their calling -- which is
ultimately what sets them up for a lifetime
of success and fulfillment. I can't imagine an
institution that can do this better than
To learn more about the Strategic Plan for
University Ministries, or to volunteer to be
involved, contact Fr. Francis at
for the church. Based
on the story of his selection, there
must have been an acknowledg-
ment by those within the College
of Cardinals that getting back to
basics is important and priorities
need to be re-established.
However, for many it is impor-
tant that the healing process is
not rushed, and hopefully with
time, community, supporting peo-
ple, and internalizing faith can be
the primary objectives. Lots of
work to be done, but yes, I am
, I was
honored to participate in the
AFCU Leadership Pilgrimage to
Assisi and Rome. Part of the pil-
grimage was participating in an
open Papal audience where more
than 250,000 people gathered in
St. Peter's Square to see Pope
Francis in the popemobile and
then deliver a brief message.
As the pope was riding through
the crowd, he was leaving his ve-
hicle to greet people. At one
point, the skies opened up and a
downpour came down and
drenched the pope, the wind
blowing his white zucchetto
(skullcap) to the ground. He
calmly reached to the ground,
picked up his cap, placed it back
on his head and continued,
soaked from the rain.
These simple human acts of
leaving the vehicle, getting wet,
picking up his own cap and con-
tinuing to greet the crowd were
extremely impressive to me and
showed in very simple ways a sea-
change in the leadership of the
church. While humanizing the Pa-
pacy is only a small step, it is an
important step in restoring hope
to a disillusioned church.
Zimmer, Ph.D.
School of
Faith formation in the 21st century
Ian J. Mortimer
Class of 1993
Vice President for
Champlain College
University Ministries plans for increased engagement and demand
* Vocation indicates a general "calling." It is not lim-
ited to, but can also include, a religious calling.
Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M.