St. Bonaventure University

Alumni News

Public invited to lecture, Transitus, Mass during Francis Week events at St. Bonaventure

Sep 21, 2023

St. Bonaventure University will celebrate the life of St. Francis of Assisi during Francis Week, Sept. 26 to Oct. 4. This year’s theme is “Care for Creation.”

Fr. Stephen Mimnaugh, O.F.M., vice president for Mission Integration, said the theme “Care for Creation” was chosen because environmental challenges, extreme weather events, and their impact on human, animal, and plant life confront us daily.

Francis week

“Young people want environmental sustainability to be taken seriously because they will live with the consequences of inaction,” he said. 

Pope Francis began his 2015 encyclical letter addressing the environmental crisis using St. Francis’ words, “Laudato si’, mi’ Signore” or, “Praise be to you, my Lord,” from the song “Canticle of the Creatures.” The Pope draws attention to “symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life,” (LS 2) that increasingly affect life on our planet.

“St. Francis’ unique contribution to Christian spirituality recognized the interconnectedness of God’s creation. Highlighting this aspect of our Franciscan tradition is timely and relevant,” Fr. Stephen said.

The public is invited to the Fr. Jerome Kelly Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 4 p.m. in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. During the lecture, Dr. Don Haas, director of Teacher Programs at the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca, will discuss “Fear is Our Best Hope: Moving from Climate Anxiety to Climate Action.”

Haas’ research concentration includes science communication focused on climate and energy, plant-based earth science education, teacher professional development, and curriculum materials development. Known for his interactive and engaging presentations, Haas will share the science behind climate change in surprising ways and help us put our emotions to work. A reception will follow.

The lecture will also be livestreamed at

The Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi will be held Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. in the University Chapel.

Friars and other followers of St. Francis have gathered at twilight on the eve of his feast for centuries to celebrate his passage from earthly life and death to everlasting glory. This rite is known as the Transitus. The ritual celebrates the university’s Franciscan identity with Scripture and the heritage of the early stories surrounding St. Francis. The Transitus will be livestreamed on University Ministries’ YouTube Live channel,

A reception will follow the Transitus service.

The Feast of St. Francis Mass will be celebrated Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 4 p.m. in the University Chapel, Doyle Hall. Mass will also be livestreamed at