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. Please note that some conferences are on-campus offerings while others are offered virtually via Zoom.

Summer 2024 programs

Secular Franciscans:

Francis of Assisi, 1224-1226: A Spirituality of Decline and True Joy

Three Saturdays: June 1, 8 and 15
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. EST
No cost

This workshop, presented on Zoom, will look at what are called Francis of Assisi’s “years of decline” (1224-1226). It was a time of increasing pain and spiritual suffering. Francis, blind and suffering from malaria and leprosy, heads to La Verna for a time of contemplation and solace. The Stigmata and the Canticle of the Creatures are the products of the important year of 1224.

“Years of decline” are an ever-present context of our own lives. We experience the decline of parents and grandparents, friends and siblings, and, before long, signs of our own. What can Francis of Assisi’s years of decline teach us? 

Fr. Jack Rathschmidt and Fr. Dave Couturier, both Capuchins, will address these questions and more in these three Saturday Zoom sessions. There will be time given for Secular Franciscans to talk with one another in small discussion groups on this critically important topic.




Enjoy the Zoom session from June 1, 2024

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Enjoy the Zoom session from June 8, 2024

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Enjoy the Zoom session from June 15, 2024

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Mercy and Compassion in the Francis, Clare, and Early Franciscan Tradition

With Fr. Steven McMichael, O.F.M. Conv.

June 24-29
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. EST
Cost: $50

This course, presented on Zoom, will focus on the themes of mercy and compassion in the writings of Francis (and Clare) based largely on contemporary Italian scholarship, especially the writings of Pietro Maranesi, Cap.

The course will cover these themes, especially in Francis’ Testament, Earlier Rule (1221), and Letter to the Minister. Mercy and compassion are the lenses to interpret the entire life of Francis and Clare and will be shown to be the epicenter of Franciscan spirituality.



Qui Primus Legit:

Studies in Sentence Commentaries on the Eighth Centenary of Alexander of Hales’s Lectures

July 11 & 12, 2024

No cost, online format!

This conference will be held entirely online. It will include keynote lectures by Dr. Philipp W. Rosemann, chair of Catholic Studies at the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Christine Helmer, professor of German at Northwestern University. 

Please view the presentation agenda HERE.

From 1223 to 1227, Alexander of Hales, Regent Master in Theology at the University of Paris, delivered his magisterial morning lectures based not on the traditional material — Sacred Scripture — but rather on Peter Lombard’s Sentences. This innovation changed the study of theology in European universities for the next several centuries.

Until the time of the Reformation (and considerably beyond it in some places), the Sentences would retain its place as the most important textbook for advanced study of theology and philosophy in the Latin language. Alexander subsequently joined the Franciscan Order, giving the Franciscan Friars a permanent place within the University of Paris theology faculty and a share in the common scholastic culture that included commenting on the Sentences.

On the eighth centenary of his groundbreaking Gloss on the Sentences, this conference will address this theme highlighting the genre of the Sentence commentary as a key locus for the handing on (tradere) of theological tradition, doctrinal development, and theological and philosophical debate in medieval and early modern intellectual culture.

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    Padua Program 2024

    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.

    Cohort VI
    July 17-20, 2024


    Learn more about The Padua Program

    Franciscan Institute sponsored events

    • International Medieval Congress – University of Leeds
      July 1-4, 2024
      Drawing medievalists from over 60 countries, with more than 2,000 individual papers as well as public concerts, performances, excursions, book fairs and more, the International Medieval Congress (IMC) is Europe's largest forum for sharing ideas in medieval studies. There will be both an in-person and virtual component. The special thematic focus for IMC 2024 will be "Crisis." Learn more 

    • The End: Finiteness, Death, and Completion in Medieval Theology  
      June 26-28, Utrecht 
      This conference theme is based on how medieval theologians investigated, interpreted, and visualized death. The conference will be organized in cooperation with the Franciscan Institute in New York and has been adopted by the International Society for the Study of Medieval Theology (IGTM) as its annual conference. Learn more

    • Franciscan Lecture, Boston College Historical Theology Symposium, Dover, Massachusetts
      August 2024

      More information coming soon.