Sister Margaret Carney of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities is being honored for her many contributions to Catholic intellectual life. She will receive the Monika K. Hellwig Award from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities at the association’s annual meeting Jan. 28 in Washington, D.C.
Prior to being named the 20th president of St. Bonaventure University (Olean, New York) in 2004, Sister Margaret held positions at the university including associate professor of Franciscan Studies, dean of the School of Franciscan Studies and director of the internationally recognized Franciscan Institute. During her term as the Institute’s dean and director she helped found the Bonaventure Texts in Translation Series. She worked with Joseph Chinnici, OFM, of the Franciscan School of Theology (California) and Brother Ed Coughlin, OFM, currently president of Siena College to help establish the Secretariat for the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition, which offers consulting for study centers, publishers and individual scholars of the Franciscan Order. She resigned from the presidency of St. Bonaventure in 2016 but continues to participate in designated initiatives for the university.
Sister Margaret’s early work included years in elementary and secondary education and ministries within the Franciscan community. As associate vicar for religious in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, she was the first woman to serve in that diocese’s chancery; she lectured extensively in the U.S. and abroad in Franciscan studies; and was a member of the working commission of the Franciscan Third Order Regular mandated with drafting a new formulation of the Rule and Life for more than 400 congregations of Franciscan sisters and brothers.
Sister Margaret holds a master’s degree in theology from Duquesne University, a graduate degree in Franciscan Studies from St. Bonaventure University and became the first woman to earn a doctorate in theology at the Antonianum, Rome’s Franciscan University.
The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities was founded in 1899 and serves as the collective voice of U.S. Catholic higher education. Through programs and services, the association strengthens and promotes the Catholic identity and mission of its member institutions so that all associated with Catholic higher education can contribute to the greater good of the world and the Church.