Annual Franciscan Conference 2019

June 21 – 24
Sheraton Westport Chalet
St. Louis, Missouri

A Call to be Saints, Founders and Prophets:
Franciscan Writings Addressing Contemporary Issues

As we celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the three-volume Franciscan Sources, we invite Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF and Michael Blastic, OFM to use the lens of these writings and the values of the Third Order Rule and Life to approach contemporary issues.

We will be inspired to use our Franciscan Sources and our Third Order Rule and Life to:

  • Use a contemplative stance to heal the clerical abuse issue in our Church
  • Consider our values of poverty and humility to face institutional and material loss in our congregations
  • Engage the movement of conversion to confront the divisions of today’s society

Sister Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF

Sister Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF

Sr. Mary Elizabeth’s love for all things Franciscan is grounded in over 30 years as a vowed Franciscan Sister of the Sacred Heart with an MA in Franciscan Studies from St. Bonaventure University and experience as a research chemist, physics and chemistry teacher, and enthusiast of playing ball, reading, sewing and climbing trees. She has served since 2014 as Vicaress or Vice President of her congregation and previously served as the General Minister from 1999-2009.  Mary Elizabeth has been Vice President of Mission Integration and University Ministry at the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Illinois for the past nine years. She is a leader in the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities, on staff for the Franciscan Pilgrimage Program, and lectures widely and facilitates in religious institutes in the United States and abroad. Sr. Mary Elizabeth is author of The Francis Solitude Experience: A Pilgrim’s Journal and several articles in “The CORD”. Considered a “translator of the translations,” her enthusiastic Franciscan style spills out in simple practical applications as well as in deep theological understanding.

Michael Blastic, OFM

Michael Blastic, OFM is a popular lecturer who has researched interests in the early origins of the Franciscan Order, focusing on the Writings of Francis and Clare of Assisi, Franciscan Hagiography, and early Franciscan theology and spirituality. He earned his doctorate at St. Louis University, served on the faculty of the Washington Theological Union, and is presently on the Novitiate Formation Team in Santa Barbara, CA. He is a member of Holy Name Province of the Friars Minor.  With his understanding of the texts and contexts of Franciscan history, he sketches  the implications of the Franciscan tradition for contemporary issues of justice, peace, and the environment

The Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel St. Louis

From the airport:  There is a free shuttle bus to the hotel that runs every half hour from 6:30 AM to 11 PM.

Restaurants:  There are a large number of eating establishments within walking distance in the Westport Plaza complex.