St. Bernard's will host programs on great spiritual leaders - Catholic Courier

St. Bernard’s will host programs on great spiritual leaders

Two programs are being offered on “Great Leaders of Catholic Spirituality” as part of the diocesan spiritual renewal.

The programs will take place Friday, June 20, and Friday, Aug. 22, at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, 120 French Road, Pittsford. Four sessions will be offered each day that will highlight the spirituality of men and women whose impact on the Catholic Church is still strongly felt today.

Featured saints for the June 20 program, along with their scheduled times and presenters, are:

* St. Benedict of Nursia (9:30-10:45 a.m.): Father Daniel McMullin, Catholic chaplain at Cornell University, will speak on the Italian saint of the early sixth century who was a major pioneer in Christian monasticism.

* St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.): Dr. William Cook, history professor at SUNY College at Geneseo, will lecture on Italy’s St. Francis, founder of the Franciscan order in the early 13th century who is the church’s patron saint of animals and the environment. St. Clare, meanwhile, was an early follower of St. Francis who founded the Poor Clare religious order.

* St. Teresa of Avila (1-2:30 p.m.): Sister Joan Wagner, SSJ, will talk on the Spanish saint of the mid-16th century who, along with St. John of the Cross, reformed the Carmelite Order to create the Discalced Carmelites.

* St. Ignatius of Loyola (2:45-4 p.m.): Father Carsten Martensen, SJ, Catholic chaplain at Ithaca College, will speak about the Spanish saint, also of the mid-16th century, who founded the Jesuit order — also known as the Society of Jesus.

Cost for the June 20 event is $10 per presentation, or $30 for all four sessions.

On Aug. 22, a similar four-session program will be offered at St. Bernard’s. Sessions will spotlight St. Anthony of the Desert, an Egyptian monk of the third and fourth centuries and founder of Christian monasticism; Celtic spirituality and the spiritual heritage of Ireland; Archbishop Oscar Romero, the courageous activist bishop of El Salvador who was assassinated in 1980 and is being promoted for sainthood; and St. Therese de Lisieux — also known as The Little Flower — a Carmelite nun from France who died in 1897 at age 24 but not before penning her hugely popular autobiography The Story of a Soul.

The “Great Leaders of Catholic Spirituality” programs are being held in conjunction with Spirit Alive!, the three-year diocesan spiritual renewal that began in early 2008. St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry and the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Catechesis are serving as cosponsors of the June 20 and Aug. 22 gatherings. For registration details, visit and click on “Upcoming Events.” Or, call St. Bernard’s at 585-271-3657.

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