On Saturday, May 21, 2022, the General Assembly of the Franciscan Academic Society (FTN) was held in Cracow, Poland. The participants in the Assembly unanimously adopted the Statutes of the FTN, ad experimentum, for one year. They also decided to add a preface that takes into account the new Conventual Franciscan Constitutions.
The editor-in-chief of FTN’s annual journal, W nurcie franciszkańskim (In the Franciscan Current), Friar Andrzej HEJNOWICZ, reported that the latest issue of the journal is about to be published. It contains scholarly articles by nine authors. The articles are on the following topics: Blessed John Duns Scotus and His Theology; Bioethical Discussion of Eugenic Abortion; The Presence of the Earlier Rule (1221) in the Text of the Constitutions (2019); Friars within the City: The Urban Dimension of Franciscan Spirituality; Twenty Years of Conventual Franciscan Mission in Uganda; Creative Fidelity to the Charism: The Franciscanism of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe; Times of Plague and Pandemic in the Historical Context; “Franciscan Hofman”; and Traits of the Venerable Servant of God Friar Wenanty Katarzyniec.
In addition, FTN members said they were in favor of digitizing previous issues of the journal and making them available online for all interested parties.
A symposium has been scheduled for the fall of 2023. Its anticipated topic will be about the tradition that St. Francis started eight hundred years ago in Greccio, namely, the living nativity scene.
The Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland (Cracow), Friar Marian GOŁĄB, attended the Assembly and expressed his joy that FTN is made up of Conventual Franciscans from three academic centers: Cracow and Lublin in Poland and Rome, Italy. He reported that four friars will be defending their doctorates this year and another two will begin specialization studies at the Catholic University of Lublin.
The Acting President of FTN, Friar Zbigniew WÓJCIK, gave a report on the previous year and announced the next General Assembly for May of 2023.
On November 28, 2011, the professors at the Conventual Franciscan Major Seminary of St. Maximilian M. KOLBE in Cracow expressed their desire to found a “Franciscan Academic Society.” The idea was born from the scholarly interests of the friars and from the Conventual Franciscan Constitutions, which encourage the promotion of scholarly activities and studies, particularly those relating to Conventual Franciscan life and doctrine.
The FTN has set itself the following goals: to carry out, promote and disseminate scholarly research, especially in the humanities, social sciences and theology; to support all social and cultural activities; and to firmly establish the academic Conventual Franciscan community in Poland.
On September 29, 2017, the friars then involved confirmed their willingness to pursue this idea. On November 22, 2017, they asked the Minister Provincial to formally establish the FTN. In granting this request, the Minister Provincial issued a decree, dated May 18, 2018, making the FTN a Public Association of the Faithful within the Province of Cracow.
Currently, the FTN is active in scholarly research, promoting Conventual Franciscan thought and tradition through symposia and conferences and through academic and popular articles in FTN’s journal, W nurcie franciszkańskim.
Friar Jan M. SZEWEK
Friar Andrzej HEJNOWICZ