Twenty-two Felician Sisters from across North America were among the almost 300 attendees at this year’s Annual Franciscan Federation Conference  at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA.

Theme for this year’s conference which will run through noon on Monday, July 22, is “Franciscan Life in Evolution.” Francis of Assisi was a lover of creation and Bonaventure said of him that “in beautiful things Francis saw Beauty itself and made of each and every thing a ladder on which to climb up to the Beloved” (LM9.1). The Conference will explore what it means to be at the growing tip of evolution, following the footprints of Francis.

Ilia Delio, OSF, and Keith Warner, OFM, are this year’s presenters.

Ilia Delio, OSF,is a Senior Fellow at Woodstock Theological Center and Director of the Catholic Studies Program at Georgetown University. Prior to Woodstock, she was professor and Chair of Spirituality Studies at Washington Theological Union where she taught in the areas of spirituality, Franciscan theology and Science and Religion. She holds a doctorate in Pharmacology from New Jersey Medical School-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and a doctorate in Historical Theology from Fordham University. She is the author of 13 books and numerous articles. Her most recent book, The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love was published by Orbis Books in Spring, 2013.

Keith Douglass Warner, OFM,is a Franciscan Friar in the St. Barbara Province. He wrote his MA thesis about a Franciscan spirituality of itinerancy, supervised by Bill Short, OFM and Joe Chinnici, OFM. He later completed a PhD in Environmental Studies at the University of California–Santa Cruz. He began teaching at Santa Clara University in 2003. He is the Director of Education at the Center for Science, Technology, & Society, where he directs a fellowship that places undergraduates with social entrepreneurs using frugal technologies in the developing world. He teaches about technology for social justice, religious environmental ethics, and Franciscan spirituality. He researches the emergence of environmental ethics within scientific and religious institutions, and how this fosters a more just and sustainable society. He is an active participant in the retrieval of the Franciscan intellectual tradition, especially the sciences and social ethics. In September 2012, The Franciscan Institute published “Knowledge for Love: Franciscan Science as the Pursuit of  Wisdom,” as part of the Franciscan
Heritage Series. He is best known in the Franciscan world for coauthoring, with Ilia Delio OSF and Pam Wood, “Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth.”