Among the first initiatives of the friars who came from Germany in 1958 to the Midwest was the ministry of education. In 1860, after the assuming St. Francis Parish in Teutopolis and beginning parish missions, they founded St. Francis Solanus College at Quincy, Illinois, in response to the need for education in frontier Illinois, to provide liberal arts education in the Catholic, Franciscan tradition.
Years of growth and development followed. The State of Illinois chartered the College in 1873. In 1917 the College changed its name to Quincy College and Seminary. The admission of women in 1932 represented another milestone. After World War II, enrollment surged with a corresponding increase in faculty, both friar and lay. The College officially adopted the name Quincy College in 1970. Most recently, an historic change in 1993 resulted in a new status and a new name: Quincy University - a Catholic, independent, liberal arts institution of higher learning that stands in the centuries-old Franciscan, Christian tradition of education. Over the years the friars of Sacred Heart Province would engage in other academic pursuits.
In 1946, when after World War II members of the armed forces were coming home to build new lives and return to jobs, Corpus Christi High School was begun; this became Hales Franciscan High School in 1962 and was established to carry on the mission of educating young, African-American males at a time when there were few opportunities for them to receive a quality, private education.
Also, founded in 1961 as a college-prep school for boys, Padua Franciscan High School in Parma, Ohio, became co-educational in 1983 and is now the second-largest Catholic high school in northeast Ohio. As a school in the Franciscan tradition, its mission is to develop the unique talents of each student, while giving them the skills they need to succeed in college and beyond.
In 1968, three religious communities – one of which was the Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart – came together and founded Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Their vision was to offer seminary students a priestly formation that mirrored the spirit of Vatican II–the renewal of the church. Since then, CTU has become the largest Roman Catholic school of theology and ministry in North America. The school is a richly diverse mosaic of students who are internationally and ethnically diverse, men and women, religious and lay people, and multigenerational.
In addition, the educational ministry of Sacred Heart Province includes other programs of religious formation, for example:
- The Apostolate for Persons with Chronic Illness/Disability with Lawrence Jagdfeld OFM (LFJagdfeld@aol.com)
- The ongoing education program at St. Peter’s Church-in-the-Loop with Robert Pawell OFM (email@example.com)
- Workshops and retreats on Sacred Scripture with William Burton OFM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Sessions on Success: Full Living with Justin Belitz OFM (email@example.com)
- Programs on Urban Spirituality with Clarence Klingert OFM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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