Neumann Institute for Franciscan Studies

Mission Statement

The Neumann Institute for Franciscan Studies exists to strengthen the vision and charism of Francis and Clare of Assisi within a context of contemporary experiences in higher education. The Institute serves the scholarly and spiritual needs of the Neumann University community through seminars, lecture series, and other educational activities.

The Institute provides ongoing dialog about the Franciscan charism and values as they apply to the intellectual, affective, and ethical development of the Neumann University community.


The Neumann Institute for Franciscan Studies promotes the integration of the Catholic Franciscan tradition into the curriculum. The Institute supports course development by providing resources and research assistance.

 

   
 
Neumann Institute for Franciscan Studies
   

Logo

The logo of the Neumann Institute for Franciscan Studies speaks simply of the love Francis and Clare had for the poor crucified Christ. The San Damiano Cross symbolizes the central theme. This Cross was hanging in the abandoned San Damiano Chapel outside Assisi when Francis went there to pray in 1206.

 

During a time of intense prayer, Francis heard the words: “Francis, go and repair my house which as you see is falling into ruin.” Later, St. Clare and her companions lived in a monastery attached to the Church of San Damiano. Today, the original San Damiano Cross hangs in the Basilica of St. Clare in Assisi.

 

On either side of the cross are the medieval letters "F" and "C." The cross connects the lives of Francis and Clare illustrating their faithful response to following in the footprints of the poor crucified Christ.

 

Major activities include the following:

 

  • Sponsorship of lectures by recognized scholars. Past speakers have included:

    • Zachary Hayes, OFM (August 26, 1998)

    • Ingrid Peterson, OSF (October 5, 1999)

    • Michael Blastic, OFM (October 4, 2000)

    • Margaret Carney, OSF (October 1, 2001)

    • Thomas Bourque, TOR (September 30, 2002)

    • Joseph Nangle, OFM (August 25, 2004)

    • Charles Finnegan, OFM (December 1, 2005)

    • Kathy Warren, OSF (February 27-28, 2006)

    • Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ (August 21, 2007)

    • Michael Calabria, OFM (September 5, 2008)

    • Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ (August 26, 2009)

    • Mary Beth Ingham, CSJ (October 5, 2009)

    • Pam Wood (October 26-27, 2009)

    • Darleen Pryds (October 25, 2010)

    • Diane Tomkinson, OSF (April 11, 2011)

    • F. Edward Coughlin OFM (August 24, 2011)

    • Rev. Anthony Ciorra (December 8, 2011)

    • Timothy Johnson, Ph.D. (January 10, 2012 in collaboration with Office of Academic Affairs)

    • Patricia Ciarrochi (August 22, 2012)

    • Claire D'Auria, OSF (December 3, 2014)

    • Daniel Horan, OFM (October 17, 2015)

    • Ilia Delio (November 21, 2015)

    • Julie Keegan osf (February 22, 2016)

    • Kathleen Moffatt osf (February 16, 2017)

     

  • Full days and half-days Days of Reflection (annually since 2008-2009) related to the mission theme for the year.

 

  • Artistic, musical, and literary presentations featuring guest speakers, including:


    • Andrea Likovich, OSF in 2002

    • Linda Vonderschmidt-LaStella on September 30, 2003

    • Leonardo Defillipis on October 27, 2005

    • Murray Bodo, OFM on October 22, 2007 and May 4, 2012

    • Melinda Parsons, Ph.D. on February 22, 2010 and April 16, 2011

    • Philadelphia Art Museum lecture and tours on October 29, 2004 and December 10, 2010

    • Brother Michael McGrath, OSFS (November 13, 2012 and February 27, 2013)

 

  • Lectures featuring Neumann University presenters, including:

  • Dr. John Mizzoni on October 28, 2003

  • Dr. Maria Traub on November 6, 2003

  • Dr. Connie Korteland on February 16, 2005 and April 6, 2011

  • Professor Ron Chance on March 23, 2005

  • Dr. John Kruse on November 28, 2006, December 1, 2008, March 16, 2009, and March 20, 2012

  • Dr. Eileen Flanagan on March 1, 2007, March 16, 2009, and February 15 and 27, 2012

  • Dr. Mac Given on March 29, 2007

  • Dr. Janet Massey, Dr. Mac Given, and Leon Francis on March 19, 2007

  • Dr. James Houck on March 9, 2010

  • Dr. Richard Sayers on October 6, 2010

  • Dr. Kathleen Conn on March 21, 2011

  • Marina Espiritu Lutz on March 29, 2011

  • Rev. Philip Lowe on September 25, 2012

  • Sr. Pat Smith on October 18, 2012

  • Dr. Robert McMonagle and Dr. Geoffrey Karabin on October 22, 2012

  • Dr. John Kruse and Dr. Len DiPaul on April 10, 2013

  • Elaine Gross on September 6, 2013

  • Sr. Suzanne Mayer, IHM October 21, November 20, 2013, January 9, March 24, 2014

  • Melissa Hickey October 30, December 15, 2013, February 28, April 23, 2014

  • Dr. Mac Given on April 23, 2014

  • Elaine Gross on October 2, 2014

  • Sr. Suzanne Mayer, IHM on March 30, 2015

  • Dr. John Kruse on November 19, 2015

  • Dr. Len DiPaul on December 2, 2015

  • Sr. Diane Tomkinson, OSF on January 6, 2016

  • Dr. Mac Given on February 19, 2016

  • Bryce Johnson on November 3, 2016 and April 10, 2017

  • Jenelle Abnett on March 10, 2017

  • Mary Ann McCarthy osf on March 24, 2017

  • Patrick McKenzie on April 4, 2017

 

  • Book discussions on the following:

    • A Franciscan View of Creation: Learning to Live in a Sacramental World, Ilia Delio, OSF, Lent 2004

    •  Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel Life, Lawrence S. Cunningham, Lent 2006

    • Care for Creation[A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth] Keith Warner, Ilia Delio, and Pam Wood, Lent 2009

    • Rejoicing in the Works of the Lord: Beauty in the Franciscan Tradition, Mary Beth Ingham CSJ, Fall 2009

    • Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI, Lent 2010

    • Women of the Streets: Early Franciscan Women and Their Mendicant Vocation, Darleen Pryds, Fall 2010 through Spring 2011.

    • Christian Simplicity: A Gospel Value (Lent 2011)

    • Sustainability and Catholic Higher Education (Lent 2012 and 2013)

     

  • Publication of newsletters highlighting the activities of the NIFS and sharing local and national efforts to promote understanding of the Franciscan tradition

  • Co-sponsorship (with the University Library) of the Frances and Wesley Bock Book Award for Children’s Literature

  • Collaboration with the Office of Service learning and Community Engagement to promote academic Service-Learning in light of the Catholic and Franciscan Tradition

  • Collaboration with Franciscan Action Network to promote advocacy issues related to care for creation, peacemaking, poverty, and human rights

  • Collaboration with Franciscan Spiritual Center to make relevant programs available to faculty and students

  • Development and implementation of Mentoring for Mission Program for new faculty members (initiated in 2007)

 

One Neumann Drive Aston, PA 19014-1298 Phone: 610-459-0905 or 800.9.NEUMANN

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