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St. Bonaventure’s Franciscan Institute hosts hundreds at its summer 2021 programs

Jul 23, 2021

The Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University welcomed more than 420 people at its courses, seminars and workshops this summer.

As part of its mission of research and education, the Franciscan Institute offers a variety of week-long seminars in Franciscan spirituality and theology for those interested in learning more about the Franciscan movement’s history and relevance for today’s world.

As the summer’s intensive programming comes to an end, Fr. David B. Couturier, O.F.M. Cap., executive director of the Franciscan Institute, reflected on the summer events.

“This summer we got to experience the enthusiasm of hundreds of people from around the world who are fascinated by the Franciscan message. Virtual technology allowed us to connect teachers in Australia and the Netherlands with students in Kansas, India and Canada.”

This year’s program began with an academic conference on Franciscan ethics. Designed as a collaborative effort between the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University and the Franciscan Study Center at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, the conference allowed a dozen scholars to provide lectures reflecting on a more relational form of ethics for today’s world. Those papers will be gathered in a book to be published by Franciscan Institute Publications in 2022.

Dr. Katie Wrisley-Shelby offered a master class on suffering in the Franciscan tradition.

“To think through the Franciscan response to suffering with a group of theologically and pastorally minded ministers and scholars — who all certainly approached the course content with a Franciscan heart — was both spiritually and intellectually rewarding,” said Wrisley-Shelby, who received a doctorate in Franciscan studies from Boston College in 2018.

Dr. Timothy Johnson, chair of the institute’s Research Advisory Council, offered the first in a five-part Ignatius Brady Lecture Series for 2021-2022, designed to introduce St. Bonaventure, the university’s patron saint.

“I was deeply honored to present the inaugural Fr. Ignatius Brady lecture this year on the Feast of St. Bonaventure and delighted to share my reflections on the Seraphic Doctor with individuals and communities around the world,” Johnson said.

Fr. David underlined the international popularity and reputation of the Franciscan Institute today.

“Every summer we are gathering hundreds of people together and offering them the opportunity to make St. Bonaventure University their intellectual home for Franciscan scholarship and study. It’s a wonderful experience,” he said.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2020, St. Bonaventure was named the #2 regional university value in New York and #3 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.