On Saturday, October 1, 2022, one hundred and one friars gathered to inaugurate the 2022/23 academic year of the Franciscan Study Theological Institute in Cracow, Poland. The school is the collaborative effort of five Franciscan Provinces in Poland, belonging to the Order of Friars Minor, Friars Minor Conventual and Friars Minor Capuchin.
“This year is a special year,” explained the Rector of the Franciscan Study, Friar Mariusz ORCZYKOWSKI, OFM Conv. “Through our new affiliation with the Theological Faculty of the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Cracow, we have, according to the guidelines of the Congregation for Catholic Education, become a theological institute. All five of the collaborating Franciscan seminaries within the Franciscan Study are now affiliated with the university.” He added: “This example of Franciscan unity is a gift, it is our treasure: let’s protect it, preserve it, and develop it, so that future generations can say that in 2022, the wonderful work of the five Franciscan seminaries got underway, work which has had a great influence on the Church in Poland, on our Orders, and on the future of the Gospel of Christ in our country.”
The inauguration event began with Mass in the Capuchin church. The Minister Provincial, Friar Marek MISZCZYŃSKI, OFM Cap., presided over the liturgy. “May this be a time for all of us to grow in God’s wisdom,” he said, “through study, community life and formation talks, but above all, through being alone with the Lord God, the source of divine wisdom.” Creating the Franciscan Study was a multi-stage process. First, in 2016, it was initiated by the Conventual Franciscan Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland and the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph Spouse of the B.V.M. Then, in 2018, they were joined by the Friars Minor Province of Our Lady of the Angels in Poland. In 2022, two more Jurisdictions belonging to the Friars Minor in Poland joined the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. and the Province of the Assumption of the B.V.M.
In accordance with the guidelines of the Congregation for Catholic Education, in 2022, the Franciscan Study signed an agreement to be affiliated with the Theological Faculty of the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Cracow, thereby becoming a theological institute.
Friar Jan Maria SZEWEK