Press Releases

Women in the Franciscan Tradition Is Theme of Conference

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The Franciscan Institute and the School of Franciscan Studies at St. Bonaventure University are hosting a conference Tuesday through Friday on Women in the Franciscan Tradition on the St. Bonaventure campus, as well as a talk on new findings on St. Francis of Assisi.

“This conference brings together Franciscan scholars from around the world for a unique focus on the eruption of the feminine Franciscan charism in the Middle Ages to our times,” explained the Rev. David Couturier, O.F.M. Cap., dean of the School of Franciscan Studies. “The tradition of Franciscan feminine spirituality evidences a powerful variety of expressions, religious and lay, from the very beginning and we are learning more every day of just how rich and diverse their experiences and experiments with Franciscanism were.”

Speakers include Dr. Marco Bartoli, professor of medieval history at the University of Perugia, Italy, who has done extensive studies on the life of Clare of Assisi; Sisterr Florence Deacon, O.S.F., historian and former director of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi and president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and Dr. Amy Koehlinger, assistant professor in the School of History, Philosophy and Religion at Oregon State University.

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“This conference is an amazing opportunity for students of Franciscanism to explore together with some of the best Franciscan scholars from around the world the creative diversity of Franciscan experiences that women developed from the very beginning of the Franciscan movement,” said Couturier.

To attend, participants must register online at

Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on campus,.the annual Ignatius Brady Lecture will feature the renowned Franciscan scholar Jacques Dalarun, Ph.D., who will explore the powerful and newly discovered life of Francis of Assisi by Thomas of Celano. Dalarun also will receive the Franciscan Institute Medal Award for his work.

“Dalarun is one of the world’s foremost experts on the life and spirituality of Francis of Assisi,” Couturier said. “His discovery and confirmation of the rediscovered life of St. Francis by Thomas of Celano has been described as a once-in-a-century find in medieval studies.”

Dalarun will compare and contrast the two “lives of St. Francis” by Celano already available with the insights and challenges the new document poses for those interested in the Franciscan vision today.

“The text that Dalarun discovered has been lost for nearly 800 hundred years," Couturier said. "We are peering back in time to a view of Francis that would have inspired his earliest followers; we are listening in on experiences unknown until now of life with Francis of Assisi."

He continued, “Dalarun will make those experiences come alive as he delves into and explains this richly textured manuscript found — amazingly enough — in an auction house in the United States.”

Registration is not necessary for the Brady Lecture. All are welcome to attend. The annual Ignatius Brady, OFM, Lecture was established in conjunction with a major endowment gift given to the Franciscan Institute in 2002 by the Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province.

For more information on all Franciscan conferences in July, please visit


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