Inauguration of Father Dave Pivonka, TOR

  • September 24th 2019

Franciscan University of Steubenville
Marketing and Communications
Contact: Tom Sofio

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


For Immediate Release

Dave PivonkaCeremonies Set for the Inauguration of Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Seventh President

STEUBVENVILLE, OHIO—Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, will be formally installed as the seventh president of Franciscan University of Steubenville on Friday, October 4, 2019, the solemnity of St. Francis of Assisi.

A member of the Class of 1989, Father Pivonka is the first Franciscan University alumnus to assume the school’s top pastoral leadership role.

Events begin with the Inauguration Ceremony at 2:30 p.m. in Finnegan Fieldhouse, followed by Mass at 3:45 p.m., also in the fieldhouse. A reception with refreshments will follow at 5:00 p.m. at the Finnegan Fieldhouse Plaza. The public is invited to all events; tickets are not required but the favor of RSVP is requested. The Inauguration Ceremony and Mass will be livestreamed for those unable to attend.

The Inauguration Ceremony begins with a procession of the Franciscan faculty in academic attire and words of welcome by various officials associated with Franciscan University.

High points of the ceremony include the installation of Father Pivonka as president and the presentation of the presidential seal by the Very Reverend Joseph Lehman, TOR, minister provincial of the Sacred Heart Province, and Father Pivonka’s Inaugural Address, in which he will present his vision for leading Franciscan University in the years ahead.

Father Pivonka will be the main celebrant for the Mass that follows. Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton of Steubenville and Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh will be in attendance.

The homilist will be Father Jonathan St. Andre, TOR, vice president of Franciscan Life at Franciscan University. During the Mass, Father Pivonka will retake the Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith before Bishop Monforton.

Raised in Durango, Colorado, Father Pivonka graduated from Franciscan University in 1989.  He went on to earn an MDiv and MA in theology from the Washington Theological Union in 1996, writing his MA thesis on the indissolubility of Christian marriage. He earned a doctorate in education from the Graduate Theological Foundation in 2005, with a doctoral project focused on Catholic education in a post-modern world. He also earned an executive juris doctorate from Concord University School of Law of Purdue University Global in 2011. 

A solemnly professed member of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Province of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Penance, Father Dave was ordained to the priesthood in 1996 on the campus of Franciscan University and then spent the next 12 years at Franciscan University, where he held a number of pastoral, leadership, and administrative positions. 

An in-demand Catholic speaker and author, Father Dave directed Franciscan Pathways, an evangelistic outreach of his TOR community, from 2012-2019.  During that time, he authored books on discipleship and the Holy Spirit.  With 4PM Media, he also co-created The Wild Goose, a highly successful video series on living a life animated by the Holy Spirit, the film Sign of Contradiction, a documentary on the Life of St. Francis of Assisi, and a forthcoming video series titled Metanoia, on ongoing spiritual conversion.

Father Pivonka was elected president of Franciscan University of Steubenville by a unanimous decision of the Board of Trustees on May 21, 2019.