Deacon explains the wisdom of Bonaventure for Catholic leadership



Photo by Layna Corbett

Franciscan University received the wisdom of a deacon on Bonaventure’s virtues of leadership on Nov. 30 in the International lounge at 6:30 p.m.

Seraphic Valor Household sponsored Deacon Daniel Gordon Dozier, a Byzantine deacon who holds a masters in organizational leadership, to present on Bonaventure’s book “The Six Wings of the Seraph.” Each wing of the angel corresponds to a charism of Catholic leadership. Above all, Dozier explained, Bonaventure recognizes that “leadership is an invitation to cruciformity. The call to leadership is a call, oftentimes, to suffering.”

The first charism is zeal for righteousness, which Dozier explained as “when a leader is troubled whenever he finds anything unjust in himself or others. … It is rooted in a love for God and a love for the good.”

Next is brotherly love, a leader’s compassion for all under their care. Bonaventure said in his book, “Persevere in showing compassion to those who are struggling. Don’t be a tyrant, be a father.”

The third charism, patience, lets “the leader defend those under his leadership from the storms of sin,” Dozier explained. The leader needs patience for the challenge of working without always seeing results and to remain kind through trials.

The next is to live as a good example. Bonaventure encouraged his leaders to be humble, accessible and holy in order to produce holy followers.

Fifth is the virtue of good judgment, for the leader to discern the right choices for his community. This also involves taking care of personal needs, as Dozier explained, “If they haven’t gone to the well to receive grace, how can they give that grace to others?”

Last but “most necessary of all the virtues,” Dozier said, is devotion to God. It strengthens and clarifies the other charisms and “teaches us everything that leads to salvation.” Quoting from the book, Dozier said, “A leader should prepare every action with prayer.”

Freshman Isabella Gessler, a participant in the Center for Leadership program, said that for her, “learning about the actual Franciscan charisms of leadership is just vital. … I loved the focus on the devotion to God, how that has to be core above all things, and that devotion to God will lead into all the other virtues.”

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