A free new formation resource on the Gospel life of Francis based on the Early Rule is available for download from St. Bonaventure University.

It includes links to a 30-part series of short YouTube videos on the life of St. Francis completed by Franciscan scholars Fr. Wayne Hellmann, O.F.M. Conv., and Dr. Jay Hammond of St. Louis University.

Digital publication of the set of notes and videos was announced by Fr. David B. Couturier, OFM Cap., at the 20th Secular Franciscan Congress OFS-USA held Aug. 3-7. 2022, in Phoenix, AZ.

Fr. Couturier is executive director of the Franciscan Institute and an associate professor of theology at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY, which published the resource.

“In this handbook, we invite Franciscans to think about and work through the way that Francis of Assisi presents the core elements of Gospel perfection. We demonstrate how solidarity with the poor is itself an intimate sharing in the work of God as God repairs the world in the Christ,” Fr. Couturier writes in the introduction.

The course is designed so that it can be taken individually or in community.  It includes primary and supplementary readings and videos.  Lessons are designed for the learner to read, understand, and reflect on the Rule.  Detailed instructions are provided for navigating the course.

Before downloading the handbook, you will be asked to complete a one-minute survey.  Access The Gospel Life of St. Francis of Assisi handbook.