St. Bonaventure, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- St. Bonaventure University will host a series of events highlighting the Feast of St. Bonaventure beginning Friday, July 15.
The celebration will begin at 5 p.m. on July 15 with the celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy in the University Chapel, Doyle Hall. The celebrant will be Fr. Francis DiSpigno, O.F.M., the newly appointed executive director of Faith Formation, Worship and Ministry and guardian of St. Bonaventure Friary. The homilist will be Fr. Dominic Monti, O.F.M., vicar provincial of the Holy Name Province, former acting president of the University, and a Franciscan scholar. A dessert reception will follow at Café La Verna beginning at 7:15 p.m.
On Saturday, July 16, an evening prayer service will begin at 5 p.m. in the University Chapel followed by the Franciscan Institute Medal Ceremony and Academic Convocation in the Robert R. Jones Board of Trustees Room in Doyle Hall from 5:45 to 7 p.m.
This year’s medal recipient is Fr. Joseph P. Chinnici, O.F.M., an American church historian and Franciscan scholar who is the recently appointed president of the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif.
During the convocation, the Laudatio will be given by St. Bonaventure University President Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., with the Appreciation given by Robert J. Karris, O.F.M., Th.D., a member of the research faculty in the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure. After the ceremony, a dinner and program will follow in Doyle Dining Room.
The Franciscan Institute Medal is awarded annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to Franciscan scholarship and education.
A professor of church history at the Franciscan School of Theology, Fr. Chinnici previously served as the academic dean of the school and for nine years was the minister provincial of the Province of St. Barbara, the administrative region of the Franciscan friars in the West. He was in this post when the clergy sex abuse scandal touched his order — several years before it became a national issue. He has published a book, “When Values Collide,” which blends his own personal experience of trying to do the right thing in a fraught atmosphere, the best social-scientific and psychological research, and serious reflection by a follower of St. Francis on the way the church’s leaders can re-establish confidence and trust.
Fr. Chinnici graduated with a doctoral degree from the University of Oxford in 1976. He is a widely known author and preacher and a published expert on both the history of American Catholicism and the development of Franciscan theology and spirituality.
His ground-breaking work “Living Stones: The History and Structure of Catholic Spiritual Life in the United States” (second edition 1996) has been followed by numerous articles in “U.S. Catholic Historian,” the co-edited “Prayer and Practice In the American Catholic Community,” and significant studies on the history of prayer and on the reception of Vatican II in the United States. Fr. Chinnici has served for the last 10 years as the chair of the English-Speaking Conference-Order of Friars Minor committee for the retrieval of the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition. In that capacity, has guided a major international effort for the Order to retrieve its Intellectual Tradition and explore its relevance for the 21st century. The Committee has developed The Franciscan Heritage Series and Fr. Chinnici, serves as its general editor. He has also promoted the publication of the Washington Theological Union Symposium Series.