Holiday Mass Times at the Mountain

Thanksgiving Day 

11 a.m. Mass, followed by dish-to-pass brunch

Christmas Eve

9 p.m. Christmas Mass at Night

Christmas Day 

11 a.m. Mass, followed by dish-to-pass brunch

New Year's Eve

11 p.m. New Year's Eve Prayer Service

New Year's Day 

11 a.m. Mass, followed by dish-to-pass brunch


"Nature's Corner" - By Br. Joe Kotula

We are blessed to have a relationship with God's creation and all the goodness that comes with that. For instance, a garden that gives us a bounty of food each year.

This year we were blessed to have had a generous benefactor who purchased these raised beds. This will enable the soil to warm up soooner and stay warm longer, thereby extending our growing season.

Mother Earth always provides for us. May we all be aware of her generous gift.

Peace, Br. Joe


Spirit of Bona’s Weekend - Sharing our stories, shaping our future

Mike Fenn, executive director of Mt. Irenaeus, recaps a fruitful and enriching weekend at the Mountain spent with St. Bonaventure leadership and alumni.

In the height of a Western New York winter, we were blessed with a weekend of warmth in the middle of February, as we hosted an unprecedented retreat with leadership of St. Bonaventure. The weekend’s title was, “Listening and Lifting Up the Spirit of Bona's,” and the Spirit burst forth through the entire weekend.

What started as a hallway conversation between Fr. Dan and interim president Dr. Andrew Roth evolved into a weekend of 50 friends up on the Mountain the weekend of February 17. More than 20 alumni from along the East Coast, out to the Midwest made the trek, along with a dozen in the school’s faculty and administrative leadership, including the university’s future president, Dr. Dennis DePerro.

These alumni made the effort to join us this weekend for one primary purpose – to tell their stories. Stories about how they decided as 17-year-olds to go to Bona's, about who their most important teachers were during their four years there (hint – they weren’t always in a classroom) and how they impacted the world because they spent these formative years at SBU. This led us to a more traditional brainstorming session where we thought of words and phrases that set the Bonaventure experience apart from other universities.

Finally, we spent Sunday morning dreaming….what would we want people to say about St. Bonaventure 15 to 20 years from now? This aspirational exercise was a wonderful way to wrap up a very full and fun weekend before we all scattered down the hill.

The work continues, as we now bring what was spoken on the Mountain back down to campus. The words that were shared will hopefully be beneficial to those setting the course of the school’s future, identifying what makes Bona’s distinct and relevant to a prospective student and their parents.

Personally, the weekend was a highlight of my first year in this role for the Mountain. We hope to continue to work closely with university leadership to help present the strengths that we offer to the world, and help our university bring forth the gifts that each student has within them. Perhaps a phrase Fr. Dan had spoken well before this weekend took place might be the best way to amplify our message to students considering St. Bonaventure: “We want you, because the world needs you.” 



Executive Director's Corner - October 2016

Mike Fenn shares a recap of  Fr. Dan's 50th jubilee celebration Sept. 17 at the Mountain.
By now you are likely aware that Fr. Dan is celebrating his 50th year as a friar. We had a wonderful celebration of this milestone a few weeks ago. The theme of the weekend was "All our Relations," noting that building relationships and community, in the way St. Francis has inspired Fr. Dan, is what he really wanted to celebrate. I'd like to share some of the highlights of the weekend that strike me as I look back.
  • Much of Fr. Dan's family was able to join us for the weekend. Siblings, nieces, nephews, even a grand-niece made the trip. Getting to know Fr. Dan's family better, and seeing them interact with one another, was a great joy and a privilege to experience.
  • We had the gift of Dr. Pauline Albert with us to share her work on Franciscan leadership. She shared with our greater community as well as our Board of Trustees. The Mountain has a model that already develops leadership among our students, and it was very helpful to learn about how the founders provided leadership 800 years ago.
  • Our musical talent was truly a highlight of the weekend, as Kim and Reggie Harris joined the celebration for both Friday night and our Saturday liturgy, where Glenn McClure joined as well. It was also wonderful to have Barry Gan reassemble the Allegheny River Band for entertainment into the evening. All of them have a history at the Mountain, enriching our celebrations and bringing our community together in unique ways.
  • The many volunteers who helped make this event successful are truly remarkable. On paper I took the "lead" of the event but I never felt on my own. I am so grateful for all who came forward to help.

  • I also give thanks to our brothers - the core community who live on the Mountain - and their hospitality as 300 of us came on the land and took it over for a day. I am very grateful for their openness and their hospitality to be willing to invite us in the way they do.
Finally, a weekend like this inspires me. The good work that has come from Fr. Dan's founding vision needs to continue, as we have so much to offer to this world, and on this day it's clear that there are hundreds of people who believe in what we are doing, willing to help ensure it remains for years to come.

Mt. Irenaeus Hosts Holy Name Province Leaders

On May 23, the Provincial Council of Holy Name Province and Fr. Kevin Mullen, OFM, provincial minister, visited Mt. Irenaeus. For some of these friars, it was their first experience at the Mountain. 

Br. Kevin Kriso described their visit and said it gave them "a chance to experience the “eremitical” form of Franciscan life that is the Gospel Manner of Life and Ministry of Mt. Irenaeus."

This form of life combines moments of action and then contemplative retreating to a wooded place to pray and ponder before heading back out to active ministry again. Far from being a new style of Franciscan life, the eremitical form of life was practiced by St. Francis of Assisi and the early brothers, but is much less common today.

"Our brothers on our Provincial Council had the chance to experience a small taste of our life before going back into the active world of meetings and planning," said Br. Kevin.

Fr. Mullen also shared his impression of Mt. Irenaeus and its important ministry.

"The Provincial Council of Holy Name Province joined the friar community and some lay volunteers at Mt. Irenaeus for a most enjoyable evening that included prayer, conversation, and a great meal. Over the years, the community of Mt. Irenaeus has been known for the warm welcome that is extended to all visitors. We received such a welcome and as a result gained a better appreciation for why so many people love the setting and value the ministry of the community."