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New Friary Groundbreaking

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2008

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STEUBENVILLE, OH—Franciscan University of Steubenville will celebrate a major milestone in its $25 million capital campaign with a groundbreaking ceremony for a new friary on Friday, April 25, 2008, at 4:00 p.m.

The event will be held at the construction site, located between the Steel Cross that overlooks the campus and the upper soccer field. It will include the ceremonial groundbreaking by University president, Father Terence Henry, TOR, and other University representatives, and the annual renewal of vows by the Third Order Regular Franciscan priests and brothers who serve the University. The ceremony will be followed by an informal reception. All are invited to attend the celebration.

“With the sacrificial support of our benefactors and the assistance of our Franciscan Sacred Heart Province, we can now move forward with the construction of a much-needed new home for the friars who live and provide pastoral ministry to the campus community,” says Father Terence Henry, TOR.

The existing Holy Spirit Friary, one of the oldest buildings on campus, has seen increasing structural, electrical, and plumbing problems and can no longer meet the space requirements of friars serving a university population that has more than tripled in the past 47 years.

“Engineers have determined that the costs and complexity of updating the building and expanding it to meet the needs of today’s friars are impractical,” Father Henry says, “so we are very grateful to all those who have made a new friary possible.”

The current friary has housed over 150 friars since its completion in 1961. The new Holy Spirit Friary will provide modest living space for up to 20 friars. Additional meeting rooms for spiritual direction, handicapped accessibility features for elderly friars, and guest rooms for visiting friars and clergy are among the improvements that will come with the 24,000-square foot building.

Michael Hernon, Franciscan University'’s vice president of Advancement, says the new friary is a well-deserved tribute to the loving service of the Franciscan friars.

“As a student here, then as an alumnus, and now as an administrator, I’ve watched our friars put the students’ needs before their own time after time,” he says. “It is fitting that our alumni and friends have recognized the great gift the friars are to this school and have generously helped fund our beloved friars’ new home.”

Attending the groundbreaking ceremony for Holy Spirit Friary will be the Most Reverend R. Daniel Conlon, bishop of Steubenville; Father Christian Oravec, TOR, chairman of the Franciscan University Board of Trustees and provincial of the Sacred Heart Province; Father Richard Davis, TOR, vice president of Community Relations and local minister for Holy Spirit Friary; along with trustees and friends of Franciscan University.

Construction for the new friary will be financed in part by funds raised through the University’s $25 million capital campaign, which has raised nearly $16 million to date toward University needs including an academic chair in bioethics, student scholarships, fieldhouse expansion, and communication arts and science equipment.

For information on the friary groundbreaking or Franciscan University’s capital campaign, call the Advancement Office at 1-800-783-6447.

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