Jan. 22, 2009


  1. Thomas Merton Series to begin Jan. 27 at St. Bonaventure
  2. St. Bonaventure inducts two into Sigma Delta Pi honor society
  3. St. Bonaventure’s Horowitz to discuss early 20th century Argentina in Extraordinary Classroom Series
  4. Franciscan Friars from Holy Name Province Offer Free St. Paul Lenten Booklet
  5. Friday Forum
  6. Newsmakers for Fall 2008



Thomas Merton Series to begin Jan. 27 at St. Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure University will celebrate the life of Catholic writer and Trappist monk Thomas Merton with a series of lectures and other special programs this semester.

The lectures will be held in the Thomas Merton Center (University Ministries), and many will be offered on a Tuesday evening and then at lunchtime the following day to accommodate the schedules of faculty, staff and students.

Merton (1915-1968) taught English at what was then St. Bonaventure College over a period of three semesters: fall 1940, spring 1941 and fall 1941. He had been visiting the area since the summer of 1938 with his friend Robert Lax, a native of Olean and classmate of Merton’s at Columbia University.

“The young Tom Merton met one of our Franciscan scholars (Fr. Philotheus Boehner, O.F.M.), and from that time on in his writing and his view of the world, he invites us to see things with the eyes in which Saint Francis saw Christ and all creation,” said Fr. Daniel Riley, O.F.M., a member of the Franciscan Heritage Council.

Merton authored more than 70 books that include poetry, personal journals, collections of letters, social criticism and writings on peace, justice and ecumenism.

“Merton moved from his own embrace of Christ to an embrace of all people and engagement of other religious traditions, from some of the very things he began to learn and pray about during his time at St. Bonaventure,” Riley said.

December 2008 marked the 40th anniversary of Merton’s death. A list of spring lecture dates, topics and speakers follows:

› 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28, Thomas Merton’s “Letter to White Liberals,” presented by Dr. Barry Gan, professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Nonviolence, and Dr. Mark Huddle, associate professor of history

› 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, “Learning to Live … In a World of Colors, Cultures and Callings,” presented by Fr. Daniel Riley, O.F.M.

› 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17 and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, “Learning to Love … From Racism to Romance: Finding our Way from our Head to our Heart,” presented by Fr. Daniel Riley, O.F.M.

› 12:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, University Club, Friday Forum (for faculty and staff), “Merton and Contemplation through his Photographs,” presented by Dr. Anthony Bannon, director of the George Eastman House, Rochester, N.Y.

› 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, “Wisdom and Prophecy: The Two Poles of Thomas Merton’s Mature Spirituality,” presented by Dr. Patrick O’Connell, associate professor of theology at Gannon University and a pre-eminent Merton scholar

In addition to the speaker series, Mt. Irenaeus will host Bannon on Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14, for an overnight at the Mountain. The topic will be “Reflections on Thomas Merton” and participants can sign up in the Merton Center or call (716) 375-2096. Departure will be from the Thomas Merton Center at 4 p.m., March 13. A 6 p.m. supper will be followed by a presentation. On Saturday, there will be a presentation at 10 a.m. and the day will conclude with lunch. Those interested in attending only the presentations are welcome to do so.

Also, on Wednesday, April 1, University Ministries will hold a rededication of the Thomas Merton Center with Fr. Robert Struzynski, O.F.M., coordinator of academic programs for Mt. Irenaeus, as the presenter, and Robert Donius, vice president for University Ministries, as presider.

The events are sponsored by the Franciscan Heritage Council with special thanks to Paul Spaeth and Dennis Frank of Friedsam Memorial Library. Members of the Franciscan Heritage Council include University Ministries, Office of Franciscan Mission, Clare College, Franciscan Center for Social Concern, Mt. Irenaeus, Franciscan Friars, and The Journey Project.

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St. Bonaventure inducts two into Sigma Delta Pi honor society

Two students were inducted into Sigma Delta Pi, the national Spanish Honor Society, during a ceremony Dec. 15, 2008, at St. Bonaventure University.

Membership in the honor society is open to all students who are at least second semester sophomores and have at least one upper level course in Spanish culture or civilization. In addition, they must have at least a B average in the Spanish courses.

Students inducted were Spanish major Karlin R. Ames from Falconer, N.Y., and modern language major Kari L. Tarnowksi from Brocton, N.Y.

Three new officers were elected for the 2009-2010 school year. They are: Tarnowksi, president, Ames, vice president and Meghan Whitcomb, secretary.The adviser for the chapter is assistant professor Dr. Leigh Simone of the Department of Modern Languages.

Sigma Delta Pi was established on Nov. 14, 1919, at the University of California in Berkeley. It is the only honor society devoted exclusively to students of Spanish in four-year colleges and universities. It conducts an ever-increasing scholarship program for active members and annually presents a number of awards for study in Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.

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St. Bonaventure’s Horowitz to discuss early 20th century Argentina in Extraordinary Classroom Series

Dr. Joel Horowitz, a noted scholar on Argentina and professor of history at St. Bonaventure, will discuss “Immigrants, Soccer Clubs and Assimilation in Early 20th Century Argentina” at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, as part of the Extraordinary Classroom Experiences Series.

His talk will be held in Walsh Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

Ten copies his new book, “Argentina’s Radical Party and Popular Mobilization, 1916-1930,” will be given away on a lottery basis, with all those in attendance eligible to win one. The author will sign the books.

“Argentina’s Radical Party and Popular Mobilization” examines democracy’s first appearance in a country that appeared to satisfy all the criteria that political development theorists of the 1950s and 1960s identi?ed as crucial. This experiment lasted in Argentina from 1916 to 1930, when it ended in a military coup that left a troubled political legacy for decades to come.

In the book, Horowitz challenges previous interpretations that emphasize the role of clientelism and patronage. He argues that they fail to account fully for the Radical Party government’s ability to mobilize widespread popular support. Instead, by comparing the administrations of Hipólito Yrigoyen and Marcelo T. de Alvear, he shows how much depended on the image Yrigoyen managed to create for himself: a secular savior who cared deeply about the less fortunate and the embodiment of the nation.

The Extraordinary Classroom Experiences Series is a forum for the presentation and celebration of vitally engaging learning environments at St. Bonaventure University. Through this series, University faculty invite the campus community to attend a particular lecture, class exercise, or presentation that exemplifies a faculty member’s passion and expertise.

Click here for a printable .pdf listing of the Extraordinary Classroom Experience Series.

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Franciscan Friars from Holy Name Province Offer Free St. Paul Lenten Booklet

Holy Name Province has created a four-page Lenten study booklet called “St. Paul Guides Us Through Lent to Easter.”

The booklet contains daily Pauline passages for the duration of Lent, from Ash Wednesday, Feb. 25, to Easter Sunday on April 12, to spur thought, prayer and reflection, and is available for free through the Province’s Office of Development and Web site.

“Paul’s message is just as relevant and important today as it was 20 centuries ago,” said Rev. Russell Becker, O.F.M., director of the Franciscan Missionary Union of Holy Name Province, who developed the booklet’s text. “There are several aspects of Paul’s life and writings that might give us a moment to pray and reflect: His vocation/conversion, his realization that grace is a gift, the Church as the Body of Christ, and the sense of equality and dignity of all in Christ.”

The Province’s Lenten study guide complements the declaration by Pope Benedict XVI of the “Year of Paul” (June 2008 – June 2009) in honor of the 2000th birthday of the beloved “Apostle to the Gentiles.”

“He [St. Paul] is a great model for us all, and when we begin to wonder if we can actually do what we are called to do, Paul reminds us of the words that came to him from the Lord: My grace is enough for you! (II Cor 12, 8),” Fr. Russell said.

To order a free copy of “St. Paul Guides Us Through Lent to Easter” contact Barbara Sincaglia at 973-778-1915 ext. 100 or bsincaglia@anthonian.com. It can also be downloaded from the Holy Name Province Web site, www.hnp.org.

Holy Name Province is the largest group of Franciscan Friars in the U.S. with more than 350 members.

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Friday Forum

All SBU faculty, staff and
administrators are welcome to Friday Forums.

Date: Friday, Jan 23, 2009
Speaker: Chris Stanley
Time: 12:20 to 1:30 p.m.
Place: University Club
Topic: Religion played a very different role in the 2008 presidential election than in the last few cycles.This is true at the level of the candidates, the activities of organized religious groups, and the general public. Was this a one-time blip, or does it mark a realignment in American presidential politics? This talk will review some of the major developments and offer an overview of key statistics pertaining to the place of religion in the most recent election.
Cost: $3


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Newsmakers for Spring 2009

The National Park Service (NPS) is now featuring a series of short videos on its Web site produced by Chris Mackowski, associate professor of journalism and mass communication. Mackowski created the videos to help promote Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (FSNMP), a Civil War park in central Virginia. The videos appear on the park's Web page. Two of the videos highlight the unique features of FSNMP, and two of the videos highlight the park's internship program. A fifth video, also aimed at prospective interns, will appear later this month.

"Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park is the second-largest military park in the world," said Mackowski. "The park encompasses four battlefields that span 18 months of the Civil War. We tried to capture, in just a few short minutes, a bit of the spirit of the park. Hopefully, people who watch the videos will be inspired to know more."

The videos can be viewed at:

Dr. Chris Stanley, professor of theology, has signed a contract with Augsburg Fortress Press to edit a book of essays by various scholars analyzing the life and letters of the apostle Paul through the lens of postcolonial studies. The book will be published in 2010, and will include two essays by Stanley. Postcolonial studies is an interdisciplinary mode of analysis that investigates the effects of colonialism on subject peoples and their rulers. This is a pioneering work, as very little work has been done so far in analyzing the letters of Paul through a postcolonial lens.

In addition, Stanley presented a paper titled “Paul the Gentile?” in the Pauline Epistles section at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Boston, Nov. 22-25, 2008. His paper analyzed the apostle Paul’s depictions of his own ethnicity in light of the ethnic diversity and inter-ethnic conflict that characterized the Greco-Roman world. Stanley also chaired a session of the Paul and Scripture Seminar, a collaborative research project involving a number of leading scholars that is now in its fifth year.

An essay written by visiting journalism professor Breea C. Willingham has been included in the third edition of the textbook “The Well-Crafted Argument,” edited by Fred White and Simone Billings. The essay, titled “Improving Race Relations One Journalism Class at a Time,” can be found on pages 408-410.

Willingham is also presenting a paper Feb. 12, 2009, at the National Association of African American Studies annual conference in Baton Rouge, La. The paper, titled “Prison Writing as Resistance,” is about how inmates writing from prison during the social movements of the ’60s and ’70s helped bring attention to the political and racial problems in American prisons.

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