St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio was the focal point of a celebration held Thursday, March 14, 2019, at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St. Bonaventure (Seraphicum) in Rome.
This celebration anticipated the saint’s actual liturgical commemoration which falls on July 15. The ‘Seraphic Doctor’ was a biographer of St. Francis of Assisi and served as the Minister General of the Franciscan Order for seventeen years. Celebrating the feast within our academic calendar allowed us to foster fuller participation among the professors, students, scholars, and members of the General Curia of the Friars Minor Conventual in charge of governing the Faculty.
The celebration began at 9:30 a.m., with Mass presided over by the Minister General of the Order, and Grand Chancellor of the Faculty, Friar Marco TASCA. The Mass gave him an opportunity to make some opening comments at the end of his second term. In fact, the Ordinary General Chapter will take place this May, to elect new members of the government of the Order.
Friar Marco expressed his heartfelt thanks to his Vicar, and Delegate for the Faculty, Friar Jerzy NOREL. He also thanked the Deans who succeeded him over the years – Friars Zdzisław KIJAS, Domenico PAOLETTI and Đình Anh Nhue NGUYÉN, as well as the professors, the students and all “those who have loved and served the Faculty with passion, solicitude and patience.” He wished that the Faculty might be “a group of men and women, religious and lay, united in loving the Lord: the most beautiful gift we can give as a Theological Faculty of the Church.” The Faculty, moreover, is committed to establishing a single Franciscan University together with the other Franciscan families.
At 11:00 a.m., an academic part of the celebration took place, which included the Rector of the Pontifical University Antonianum, Sr. Mary MELONE; the President of the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality, Friar Luca BIANCHI OFM Cap.; and representatives of the Conventual General Curia. This part of the morning began with a greeting and some introductory comments by the Dean, Friar Đình Anh Nhue NGUYÉN, who gave a thorough presentation of the activities during the last academic year. He presented the editorial works of the professors and the publications of the Miscellanea Francescana publishing house—the monthly San Bonaventura informa and the Miscellanea Francescana magazine. Next, Professor Andrea DI MAIO, a Philosophy Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University, gave a lecture on the theme “Testimony, Preaching, and Mission: The Method of Evangelization according to Bonaventure.” The lecture contributed more interesting information for further study of the Seraphic Doctor. A report will be published in the Miscellanea Francescana magazine, thereby enriching the ongoing reflection on the fullness, fruitfulness and topicality of Bonaventurian thought.
At the end of the feast day celebrations, Friar Timothy KULBICKI gave a report on “Narbonne and Nemi: The Franciscan Constitutions of St. Bonaventure and Those of Today.” His talk also served to introduce the upcoming conference on the new Constitutions of the Order, which is being promoted by the Procurator General of the Conventual Franciscans and is scheduled to take place on March 21-23, 2019, at the Seraphicum.
Elisabetta LO IACONO – Seraphicum Press Office Manager