Students and friars offer a blessing before a meal at Mt. Irenaeus, a Franciscan mountain community near campus.

St. Bonaventure University

University Ministries

University Ministries welcomes students of all religious affiliations to participate in a variety of opportunities for spiritual growth, service learning, social action and community building.

The McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministries buildingAs the nation's first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure affirms the unique dignity of every person and invites everyone into a community of  acceptance and understanding. All are welcome here.

University Ministries is the focal point for forging these loving bonds of belonging, and for extending this sense of community beyond our campus borders. We strive to share God's unconditional love, particularly with marginalized populations — the needy, ignored and excluded.

We're located in the McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry (pictured), located in the center of campus. Opened in 2017, the center houses offices, an interdenominational prayer tower, a great room for student gatherings, and kitchen facilities.

We are committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside of the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship.

Our liturgical life, centered around Sunday Eucharist, invites all members of the Bonaventure community to join in various liturgical ministries and many prayer opportunities.

Franciscan Center for Social Concern

Your hub for service-learning, whether it's feeding the hungry, befriending a child, or visiting with a senior citizen. Be a leader in service to others.


Mt. Irenaeus

The resident friars of this Franciscan community near campus welcome all to relax, hike, garden, sit and talk, or share a home-cooked meal. A special ministry, a special place.

Mt. Irenaeus

Faith formation, worship & ministry

We invite all into the life of the Catholic Church, with liturgical programs, sacraments, worship experiences and opportunities for spiritual growth.

Faith, worship & ministry

Mass Card Requests

Mass intentions to honor the living and remember the deceased may be ordered online.

A donation to the Franciscan Friars of $15 is suggested for each Mass intention requested. We can accept up to two intentions for each Mass.

The spring 2022 Mass calendar is full. We are now accepting Mass intentions for the fall 2022 semester, when Masses resume.

During the academic year, the Franciscan friars offer daily Mass at 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Great Room of the McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministries. Sunday Masses are offered in the University Chapel at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

You may choose from a selection of cards and make your donation online. (Card #1 is the Mass card for deceased; Cards # 2 and 3 are Mass cards for the living). We will send you a confirmation with the date that the Mass will be offered, and, if you desire, we will inform people in the university community.

We welcome your Mass requests.

For questions or more information, please email Yvonne Peace or call her at (716) 375-2662.

Order Mass cards online

St. Peter's Square in Rome, Italy
Photo by Kristin Marsicovetere, '10, '13

Franciscan Leadership Pilgrimage

Each December, students may participate in a Franciscan Leadership Pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi through the Franciscan Pilgrimage Program. Participation is open to students of all faith traditions.

The pilgrimage brings together leaders of various faith traditions form Franciscan colleges and universities across the U.S. to reflect on and learn form the vision and values of saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. It includes time for reflection, study, conversation, leisure, relaxation and visits to sacred Franciscan locations  in Assisi and Rome.
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    Volunteering at SPCA brings purpose, furry friends into lives of Bona students

    Nov 16, 2021
    GivingTuesdayatBonas header

    by Cassidey Kavathas, '24

    Cuddling a kitten, walking a dog, or feeling the deep purr of a cat glad for your company. These are experiences St. Bonaventure University students enjoy through volunteer work at the Cattaraugus County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Pictured_Bona student Neeya Shetty visits with a four-legged friend at the local SPCA

    Located at 2944 Route 16 North in Olean, the SPCA is a nonprofit animal shelter dedicated to saving the lives of animals, as well as providing adoption services for homeless and neglected animals. Through St. Bonaventure’s Franciscan Center for Social Concern (FCSC) and the SBU@SPCA program, students visit the shelter weekly to interact with the animals. 

    Student volunteers walk the dogs and play with the cats, offering companionship and exercise. They also help clean enclosures and sleeping areas for the animals.

    “SBU@SPCA is the only organization on campus that gives you interaction with animals,” said Katie Heitzman, a senior biochemistry/chemistry double major from Centerville, New York, and coordinator for the SBU@SPCA program. “The goal is to help socialize the animals and to help the dogs get their energy out,” said Heitzman. “It can be hard for the staff to keep up with so many animals at once, so our goal is to help them with that while having fun.”

    Pictured_Bona students visit the SPCA weeklyVolunteers say the animals sometimes offer as much help to them as they do the animals.

    “It definitely is a stress reliever,” said Neeya Shetty, a sophomore biology major from Long Island, New York. “I usually go before a big test to release some steam.”

    Heitzman agrees with Shetty about the animals’ positive effect on mental health, describing the unique pairing of university students and stress.

    “I strongly believe that fur therapy is real,” said Heitzman. “Nothing can match the calming presence an animal can have on a person. This is especially true for college students who usually have a lot of things going on at once.”

    Besides the benefits to mental health, working with animals helps many students with homesickness.

    “I started volunteering because I grew up on a farm and when I came to Bona's I missed it a lot. The SPCA was an easy place to get some contact with animals,” said Heitzman. “I volunteer for all the special little moments, like the doggy grins and getting a cat to come up to you for a pet.”Kaitlin Sinclair walks a dog at the SPCA

    For many, volunteering at the SPCA does not feel like community service work.

    “Volunteering is one of the most satisfying things a person can do. The SPCA is always so grateful for the help and so welcoming, and you can physically see the difference you are making. It's incredible,” said Heitzman.

    To help raise money and awareness for SBU@SPCA and other service programs on campus, the FCSC will host #GivingTuesdayatBonas, a one-day fundraising event on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

    Across the United States, the Giving Tuesday movement is intended to be a way to encourage people to support their favorite non-profit causes as part of their holiday giving.

    The community is invited to visit now through Nov. 30 to learn more and to make a contribution.