On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, the feast of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St. Bonaventure (Seraphicum) was held in honor of the Faculty’s patron saint, the Seraphic Doctor.
The day started with Mass presided over by the Most Reverend Roberto CARBONI, OFM Conv., Bishop of Ales-Terralba (Sardinia, Italy). Bishop CARBONI has a close relationship with the Seraphicum. He is a former student and was ordained a deacon in the St. Bonaventure chapel by His Eminence, Virgilio Card. NOÈ. Bishop CARBONI was also once the Secretary General for Formation for the Order of Friars Minor Conventual.
After the Mass, the academic part of the day began with greetings and an introduction by the Dean, Friar Dinh Anh Nhue NGUYEN. The Dean gave a detailed overview on various studies and new articles published by teachers during this academic year.
Next, the Rector of the European University of Rome, Father Pedro BARRAJÓN (Legionaries of Christ), lectured on the theme “Christian Wisdom According to St. Bonaventure: His Theological and Ecclesial Topicality”. Father Pedro was followed by Friar Enzo GALLI, OFM Conv., a Christology professor, who lectured on the theme “From Triplex Verbum to Divine Filiation: An Attempt to Actualize the Christological Thought of St. Bonaventure”. Both reports will be published in the next issue of the journal Miscellanea Francescana (June-July issue).
In keeping with the feast day, the Seraphic Doctor was honored by both presenters and, even earlier, by Bishop CARBONI, in his homily which pointed out that “in his life and doctrine St. Bonaventure had the ability to integrate, with rare mastery, the course that St. Francis had indicated for each minor friar; that he should study, not out of personal vanity, or in search of prestige, or worse, in search of riches, but rather out of service to the Word and to the friars. In fact, St. Bonaventure was a master at facilitating interaction between the love of Christ Crucified, the love of Scripture and the humble, constant, enlightened and sustained study of prayer”.
The path towards establishing a Franciscan University was well-represented with the presence of Sr. Mary MELONE (Franciscan Angelical Sisters), Rector of the Pontifical University of St. Anthony “Antonianum” in Rome, and Friar Luca BIANCHI, OFM Cap., Head of the Antonianum’s Franciscan Institute of Spirituality. The Franciscan University Project is something our own Bishop CARBONI actively worked on when he served as the Order’s Secretary General for Formation.
“Everyone knows,” continued Bishop CARBONI, “that establishing this unique Franciscan University is a big challenge. There is no doubt that this is an important ‘prophetical moment’ which calls for the involvement of the entire Franciscan family. It is a remarkable indication for the Church, which wants to teach us to dialogue, collaborate, share and find unity, in a world which, as we know, tends to put up walls of separation, walls of national and regional protectionism and walls that divide us into sects and groups”.
Elisabetta LO IACONO, Head of the Seraphicum Press Office