Peter Damian Fehlner, O.F.M. Conv.
✝ Friar Peter Damian Fehlner, OFM Conv. was welcomed into eternal rest on the morning of 8 May 2018. Father Peter entered the Franciscan Friars Conventual Novitiate in Middleburg, N.Y. in 1951, professing his Solemn Vows on 1 November 1955. He was ordained to the priesthood on 14 July 1957 at the Basilica of St. Alessio in Rome, Italy. He received a Doctoral Degree (S.T.D.) from the Seraphicum (Rome) in 1959. His exceptional dissertation was entitled “The Role of Charity in the Ecclesiology of St. Bonaventure.”
Fr. Peter Damian became regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on the writings and theology of St. Bonaventure. He taught dogmatic theology for a quarter-century at St. Anthony-on-Hudson Theological Seminary, in Rensselaer, N.Y. Through the years he also held a position on the Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure in the Seraphicum, Rome, Italy. In 1984 he moved to Rome’s Casa Kolbe, where he became the Assistant International Director of the Militia Immaculata, and editor of Miles Immaculatae. In this post he became renowned as a speaker at conferences, retreats, symposia, and media events—activities which would continue for the remainder of his life.
In the mid-1990s, Fr. Peter Damian transfiliated to the Franciscans of the Immaculate, a religious congregation with its origins in the Conventual Franciscans. As a friar, he continued his ministry of teaching and writing. In 2015, Fr. Peter Damian returned to his original religious Order of Friars Minor Conventual, re-professing his Solemn Vows as a humble follower of St. Francis of Assisi.
Fr. Peter Damian’s scholarly genius was recognized by academics at Notre Dame University, South Bend, Ind., at a June 2015 Symposium dedicated to his theological writings.
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