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As part of this year’s Francis Week celebration at St. Bonaventure, University Ministries is proud to announce the creation of the San Damiano Center for Pastoral & Liturgical Ministries.
With the formation of this center, the three main entities and outreach of University Ministries will now consist of the San Damiano Center for Pastoral and Liturgical Ministries [SDC,] the Franciscan Center for Social Concern [FCSC,] and Mt. Irenaeus.
The San Damiano cross holds a deep significance within our Franciscan tradition. It was in the chapel of San Damiano, just outside the walled city of Assisi, that a young Francis, searching for his identity and purpose, heard his commission from God to “go and rebuild my house which you see is in falling into ruins.”
Our new San Damiano Center hopes to be a place where the hearts of the young [and old] are empowered to hear the word of God and go out and build a better world.
Fr. Francis Di Spigno, O.F.M., executive director of University Ministries, says, “The formation of the San Damiano Center for Pastoral and Liturgical Ministries, with Amanda Naujoks as its inaugural director, reflects the wonderful work she is already doing and positions it to carry these initiatives into the future.”
While the Franciscan Center for Social Concern (FCSC) focuses on outreach though service and social justice, and Mt. Irenaeus focuses on contemplation and the communal experience of living the Gospel, the SDC’s role is to provide a pastoral outreach to our campus by inviting the entire university community to learn about the richness of our faith traditions, prayer, and spiritual growth.
The San Damiano Center includes existing programming such as SEARCH, RCIA, and LIFT, as well as new initiatives like Anchor (a grief support ministry), Bills and the Bible, SOS: Scripture Over Snacks, and Clarity: A Women’s Discernment Group. It also includes the work of Marcia Wymer, our coordinator of Liturgy and Music Ministries, as well as the team of Ministers-in-Residence who provide pastoral outreach to our residential undergraduate students.
“At St. Bonaventure, we are proud of our Catholic Franciscan heritage, and hope to share the gift of this rich faith tradition, but you don’t have to be Catholic to get involved in the work of the San Damiano Center,” said Naujoks. “Just look at the image of Christ’s open arms on the San Damiano Cross. He reminds us that all humanity, indeed all creation, is welcome into the tender embrace of God’s love and so too everyone is welcome to be part of the San Damiano Center. Our church, and our world, are in great need of more people who, like St. Francis, are ready to embrace their unique call to build up the kingdom of God anew.”
Amanda Naujoks and the office for the San Damiano Center for Pastoral and Liturgical Ministries can be found in the McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry, located in the heart of the campus.
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