On-campus events utilize the St. Bonaventure Conference Center, which can be set up for various purposes and is equipped with the latest technological offerings.

St. Bonaventure University

Programs & Conferences

Welcome to the Franciscan Institute's Programs and Conferences website. We look forward to welcoming you to the following events. All presentations and programs are being offered in virtual format only, utilizing Zoom or other web conferencing technology.


2021-2022 Ignatius Brady Lecture Series

Luke Togni 

Mirrors of the Eternal Art:
How God's Word Speaks in the Bible & Birds
Sept. 15, 2021
7 p.m.
Presented by Luke Togni, Ph.D.

Dr. Luke Togni studies and writes on St. Bonaventure, Pseudo-Dionysius, their sources, reception, and intersection. He has taught theology and classics at Marquette University and the University of St. Francis (Fort Wayne, Indiana). He lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, with his wife and four sons. 



    Zoom instructions for all lectures (all free and open to the public): 

    Links to previous talks in the series:
    • July 15, 2021, Dr. Timothy Johnson, S.T.D.,: Cruising Ventura Boulevard: An Introduction to Saint Bonaventure: WATCH NOW



    Download our flier for upcoming speakers & topics



    Academic Roger Bacon Conference

    Roger Bacon Conference Scholars 
    July 21 - 24, 2022

    The Franciscan Institute requests proposals (200-250 words) for scholarly papers and complete panels (3 to 4 papers) for this conference dedicated to Roger Bacon’s Moralis Philosophia.

    This gathering will celebrate the new English translation of this critical text by two eminent scholars of the Doctor Mirabilis, Jeremiah Hackett, and Thomas S. Maloney.

    Proposals should explore themes in the Moralis Philosophia in the context of Bacon’s writings, medieval culture, and the potential implications for contemporary studies in the humanities and sciences.

    Ten bursaries covering registration and room/board cost are available to those presenting papers for the conference with the intent of editing their papers for publication in the peer-reviewed journal of the Franciscan Institute, Franciscan Studies.

    Submissions will be received no later than Oct. 4. 2021. Notice regarding the acceptance of papers, panels, and bursary requests will be communicated to interested individuals no later than Dec. 13, 2021.



    Master Class

    Katherine Wrisley Shelby
    From Leprosy to COVID-19: The Problem of Suffering in the Franciscan Theological Tradition
    Tuesdays & Thursdays, July 6 - 15, 2021
    4-5 p.m.

    Presented by Dr. Katherine Wrisley Shelby

    In his Testament, St. Francis recounts the story of his conversion by recalling how he “[began] doing penance in this way: for when I was in sin, it seemed too bitter for me to see lepers. And the Lord Himself led me among them and I showed mercy to them. And when I left them, what had seemed bitter to me was turned into sweetness of soul and body. And afterwards I delayed a little and left the world.” 

    Beginning with the Poverello’s ministry to lepers, the Franciscan Tradition has historically responded to what systematic theologians today would call “the Problem of Suffering” in rather unique ways. With an eye toward COVID-19, this course will consider the Franciscan Theological Tradition as a locus of resourcement for thinking about this problem in light of the current global health crisis: How does one follow the path of Francis when considering how to best minister to COVID-19 patients? How might the Franciscan Tradition offer meaningful ways forward for thinking about the Problem of Suffering, both theologically and spiritually?

    This course will turn to certain key figures and texts from the Medieval Franciscan Tradition — including St. Francis himself, The Tree of Life by St. Bonaventure, and a selection of texts pertaining to or written by medieval Franciscan women — in consideration of these questions. 

    Zoom instructions will be sent to registrants.

    Registration fee: $300



    Poor Clare Program

    Dr. Krijn Pansters
    Care as Contemplation/Contemplation as Care in the Franciscan Tradition

    July 19 - 23, 2021
    2:30 - 4 p.m. (ET)

    Presented by Dr. Krijn Pansters

    For Francis of Assisi, communal and personal prayer were indispensable elements of mendicancy, which can therefore be called truly active-contemplative. In quite another way, Clare and her enclosed sisters also combined care with contemplation.

    It was not by alternating preaching and praying like the brothers, whose main activity was the provision of cura animarum to people in the world. It would be by living contemplative lives as a form of caring and by experiencing care as a central tenet of a contemplative practice.

    Withdrawn behind walls and with limited caring activities, they strove to share the ideals of minoritas in the same spirit of “fraternal” love, service, and dedication. Like male Franciscan spirituality and mendicant living, female Franciscan spirituality and communal living would be free from “care and anxiety [cura et sollicitudine] about this world,” yet far from uncaring.

    Their care would be toward the Father in heaven, toward the founding mother, toward the self, toward each other, and toward others.

    These categories of Clarissan contemplative care are the subject of this course.

    Zoom instructions will be sent to registrants.

    These sessions are for Poor Clare sisters. Registration will be completed through respective federations.


    The Padua Program

    The Padua Program at St. Bonaventure University helps Franciscan institutions and ministries transmit the values of Saints Francis and Clare to new generations of leaders.
    The Padua Program logo
    Learn from specialists in Franciscan life and spirituality, leadership and management.

    The next Padua Program, Cohort IV, is a series of eight monthly virtual sessions (November 2021 through June 2022) followed by a program on the St. Bonaventure University campus.



    Rule of 1221 Conference: POSTPONED TO SUMMER 2022

    Capuchin, Conventual and OFM friars are invited to a special gathering to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Earlier Rule of 1221.

    Jay Hammond and Bishop John Corriveau


    PLEASE NOTE: This conference, scheduled for summer of 2021, has been rescheduled for the summer of 2022.
    July 13 - 15, 2022