ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — St. Bonaventure University will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis with a week of Franciscan-inspired events beginning Friday, Sept. 28.
Opening Francis Week will be Italian stage star Mario Pirovano, the speaker at the Friday Forum.
Open to faculty and staff, the talk is scheduled from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the University Club, with lunch — partially subsidized by the President’s Office — beginning at noon. There will also be an open overnight at Mt. Irenaeus beginning at 4 p.m., featuring Pirovano as a guest.
Friday’s event is connected with Tuesday’s performance of Pirovano’s acclaimed one-man show, “Francis, The Holy Jester,” written by Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo. The performance at SBU kicks off his two-month North American tour.
Philosophy Professor Mike Chiariello asked Pirovano to perform for students in the Umbra Institute study abroad program last year in Italy, and then invited the actor to come to St. Bonaventure.
“The forum will be a discussion with him to talk about his life with Dario Fo and Francis of Assisi,” said Fr. Francis DiSpigno, executive director of University Ministires. “It’s kind of a preview to Tuesday night’s show in the Quick Center.” On Monday, Oct. 1, the Fr. Jerome Kelley Memorial Lecture will be given by Fr. Ken Himes, O.F.M., a moral theologian. The talk is called “Good Life Choice: The Formation of Conscience in the Catholic Franciscan Tradition.” It will be held at 4 p.m. in the University Chapel.
On Tuesday, Oct. 2, Pirovano will perform his show at the Rigas Theater in the Quick Center at 3 p.m. — an abridged version with post-show discussion — and again at 7:30 p.m., featuring the full premiere of the play, Fr. Francis said.
Admission to Tuesday’s performances is free, but seats are limited.
From 10-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3, cookies and coffee will be offered to students in front of Plassmann Hall to recognize Lady Jacoba.
“Jacoba was a very good friend of St. Francis who supported Francis’ endeavors,” Fr. Francis said. “There was a tradition that she would bring Francis almond cookies as a sign of her caring for him. This will be a way of marking the day.”
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, a Transitus service at the University Chapel will mark the passing of St. Francis to eternal life.
“We call it the Transitus because it comes from the word ‘transfer,’” Fr. Francis said. “As we are celebrating Francis’ death, we are also celebrating his entrance into new life.”
To close Francis Week, there will be a Mass at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, in the University Chapel to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis.
Francis Week activities are sponsored by a generous gift from John, ’58, and Kay Meisch of Canandaigua.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.
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