About the Franciscan Forums
The Franciscan Institute is the most vibrant center in the English-speaking world today for research, teaching and the publication of materials on the historical, spiritual and intellectual traditions of the Franciscan movement.
Due to its rural location (80 miles south of Buffalo, New York) and the difficulties for many to come to the Institute for its degree programs or course offerings, either during the academic year or during its famous summer sessions, the faculty and friends of the Institute developed, in 1997, another kind of vehicle for making available the very best of contemporary thinking and reflection on the Franciscan tradition to those who do not have the opportunity or the resources to take advantage of its on-campus programs.
This vehicle is the National Franciscan Forums.
These national forums have two primary goals: (1) to address contemporary issues urgent for life in the world today from the perspective of the Franciscan tradition; and (2) to make available and accessible to members of all branches of the Franciscan Family and those interested in Francis, Clare and their life-transforming values, the very best in contemporary scholarship, teaching and resources on the Franciscan tradition today in a user-friendly format (presentation and discussion) within a manageable weekend time-frame.
To date, there have been eight National Forums, each on a different theme. Some of the themes treated in past years by the National Franciscan Forums have been the following:
- Use of the new Franciscan source materials (FA:ED) (2000);
- Mission Effectiveness and Ongoing Formation (2001);
- Relationship between Word and Art in the Franciscan tradition (2002);
- Go Repair My House (2004);
- The relationship between Franciscans and Muslims:
- Daring to Embrace the Other: Franciscans and Muslims in Dialogue (2007)
- Mirroring One Another, Reflecting the Divine: The Franciscan-Muslim Journey into God (2008)
The 2010 Forum will address the issue of dying and the care for the aged and dying from a Franciscan perspective.
Thanks to the generosity of the May Bonfils Trust Fund operated by the Holy Name Province of the Order of Friars Minor (New York City), the Forums have been able to receive significant funding which has made possible each of these forums since their inception. By agreement with the Trust Fund, these generous monies are allocated for use in the Denver area. Hence, the Forums are always held either in Denver or Colorado Springs.
The Ninth National Forum will be held at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, on June 17-20, 2010.
Some of the past Forum topics have been:
- Franciscans Doing Theology
- Franciscans Doing Scripture
- Words of Penance... Deeds of Peace
- Mission Effectiveness / Ongoing Formation in the Franciscan Tradition
- Reading the Tradition in Word and Art
- Go, Repair My House
- Daring to Embrace the Other: Franciscans and Muslims in Dialogue
- Mirroring One Another, Reflecting the Diving: The Francisan-Muslim Journey into God