Friar J.A. Wayne Hellmann is Professor of Historical Theology at Saint Louis University, where he has also served as director of the PhD program in Historical Theology and as chair of the Department of Theological Studies. A Conventual Franciscan of the Midwestern Province of Our Lady of Consolation, he received his theological training at the Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure in Rome and his doctorate from the Ludwigs-Maximilian-Universität in Munich, Germany. He served as co-editor of the three volume series, Francis of Assisi: Early Documents (New City Press, 1999-2001) and also as co-editor for the first three volumes of Studies in Early Franciscan Sources (Franciscan Institute Press, St. Bonaventure University, 2011). These latter volumes offer scholarly essays on each of the writings of Francis and of Clare. In addition, he has written numerous articles and served as an editor for the Franciscan entries found in the new edition of the New Catholic Encyclopedia. For many summers over the last years, he taught early Franciscan sources at the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure, New York. Additionally, he has often lectured or conducted retreats for Franciscans in Zambia, Africa and elsewhere at home and abroad.
Father Charlie Smiech, O.F.M., is an international retreat director and spiritual advisor. Ordained as a Franciscan friar in 1981, he is a member of Saint John the Baptist Province in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has traveled throughout the world offering the best in Catholic teaching and Franciscan spirituality. Father Smiech received his Master of Divinity from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, New York, and he continued his studies in spirituality at St. Michael’s College in Toronto, Ontario, and at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. From 1999 to 2006, Father Smiech served as spiritual director and guardian at the St. Francis Retreat House in Eaton, Pennsylvania. He preaches to religious congregations, at parish missions, and at numerous retreat centers throughout the United States and Canada. He has also attended inter-faith conferences in Germany, India, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, and Pakistan.