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Franciscans of Reconciliation
Ecumenical Catholic Communion


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Mission Statement

St. Bonaventure House of Studies is a ministry of The Community of St. Francis, Chicago, and is intended primarily as a service to individuals, Congregations and Communities in the Ecumenical Catholic Communion. We also wish to be of service to our sisters and brothers beyond the Communion when requested and when appropriate. The Virtual House of Studies provides bibliographies, individualized courses of study, programs and modules for short courses and longer Continuing Education Programs designed for congregations. Our specific focus is on those issues and bodies of literature that address and enhance our understanding of:

1) the Church Catholic expressed through the Local Church, as experienced in the First Millennium of Christianity, as recovered by the See of Utrecht in the early Eighteenth Century, as engaged by the secession of some German, Swiss and Austrian Roman Catholics following the First Vatican Council, as articulated by the theological discussions of the Second Vatican Council and those theologians who have continued in that ecclesiological trajectory, and as expressed by all Christian theologians who have contributed to our understanding of an ecumenical ecclesiology;

2) ecumenical ties with other Catholic communions, Eastern Christians, Lutherans, Anglicans, Protestants, and with all who are in Christ;

3) our relationship with all children of God, including those of different faiths and of no faith;


4) integrative theological systems that speak to the catholicity of the human experience and the ecumenical possibilities between peoples who presently conceptualize themselves as differentiated.

Elaboration on the Mission Statement

Houses of Studies have a long history of service to Christian intellectual growth, starting with the establishment of specialized communities at the Universities of Paris and Bologna by Dominican Friars in the thirteenth century. Over time the idea of a community of Christian scholars became attractive to a wide variety of Christians. For example, in our own time there is a Jesuit House of Studies at St. Louis University, a Swedenborgian House of Studies at the Pacific School of Religion, and Duke University Divinity School is the site of a cluster of Houses of Study for Anglicans, Hispanics and Baptists. Throughout the world there are several Houses of Studies in our own Franciscan tradition.

Houses of Studies are often residential communities, and most are linked to academic programs. A few also offer continuing education programs. We will specialize in continuing education opportunities, both individual and group. While we may explore the possibility of certificate programs in the future, our immediate interest is in providing non-credit guided educational opportunities for those who wish to deepen their understanding of Catholic Christianity. These opportunities will be available at a variety of levels, from those who need introductory study to those with advanced degrees in one of the theological disciplines who seek post-graduate study. St. Bonaventure Virtual House of Studies seeks to serve the needs of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion and other Christians dispersed over a wide geographical area and whose life circumstances make the residential community experience difficult or impossible.

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