By Peyton Voorheis
Franciscan University announced on Feb. 27 that an Episcopal Advisory Board is being formed to provide counsel to the university and those that run it.
The board will have five leading bishops: the Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, archbishop of San Francisco; the Most Rev. Frank J. Caggiano, bishop of Bridgeport, Connecticut; the Most Rev. Joseph L. Coffey, auxiliary bishop of Military Services; the Most Rev. Andrew H. Cozzens, bishop of Crookston, Minnesota; and the Most Rev. Earl K. Fernandes, bishop of Columbus, Ohio. Each member will serve a five-year term, attend annual meetings and visit campus once per term.
Each bishop will use his position within the church to help inform the university of the Church’s needs and to help the university navigate the growing demand for evangelization and renewal programs.
The Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, president of Franciscan University, said of the development, “Along with the whole Franciscan community, I am so grateful for the bishops who serve the Church. This is an exciting opportunity for us because it deepens our relationships and fosters greater collaboration with the bishops.”
Pivonka also said of Franciscan as a whole, “as a Catholic university, we are called to serve the Church. Having a group of bishops to meet with and discern the most pressing needs of the Church and how Franciscan University can help address them is a great privilege.”
In addition to advising the university, the board will work to strengthen relationships between Franciscan University and various dioceses. Many graduates of Franciscan University work in ministry, education, catechetics and vocations in dioceses across America.
When accepting the offer to serve on the board, Caggiano said, “I consider it a great honor to be asked, given the wonderful evangelical work that the University has been doing for many years. The young people who come from my diocese to attend the university never tire of telling me how happy they are to be part of a thriving Catholic community of young people.”
Fernandes said, “Many members of the faithful have benefited as students from the quality and faithful, Catholic education offered at Franciscan University, and many of our youth have grown tremendously in their faith through the summer offerings (conferences) there.”