The St. Francis Adult Education Center will hold a very limited Fall Semester starting October 2020.  Our center continues to be closed to in person groups, classes and meetings.

The following classes will be help remotely on Zoom:

Catholicism 101: The Sacraments – A Spirituality of Encounter

In this eight week course we will study the seven sacraments of the Church and what it means to be a sacramental people. We will investigate the history and development of each sacrament as well as how they are currently understood and celebrated in the church. In this difficult time of the pandemic, coupled with this tense time of division and strive, we will also explore how the sacraments are moments of real contact with God’s love, justice and mercy and, as such, are concrete encounters with the one who saves us.

Instructor: Joseph Nuzzi, M.A.

Wednesdays October 7 – December 2, 2020 (no class Nov. 25th)
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM or 6:30 Pm – 7:30 PM
This is a zoom lecture series, the zoom code will be emailed to participants when they enroll
Instructor:  Joseph Nuzzi


New York Friction and Factions: A Study of Three Novels by Edith Wharton

This year marks the centenary of the publication of Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence, the first Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by a woman. We will study three of Wharton’s New York novels in chronological order, beginning with The House of Mirth, the story of the animated and beautiful Lily Bart who was at once created and condemned by high society. A satirical view of society and personal relationships, The Custom of the Country follows the ambitions and self-centered Undine Spragg as she navigates relationships and American and French customs.  We will conclude with The Age of Innocence, highlights the extravagances and the restrictions of New York’s Gilded Age as Newland Archer finds himself attracted to his fiancée’s cousin Ellen, who comes to America in the wake of her failed marriage to a Polish count.

Texts: Widely available, including several inexpensive eBooks from Amazon. If you choose to purchase an electronic book of Wharton’s collected work, I recommend Edith Wharton: The Complete Works [newly updated], 2019.  $1.99 from Amazon.

Instructor: Sr. Fran McManus, RSM, MA

Thursdays 12:00-1:00 PM
Oct. 8- Nov 19


Pablo Neruda’s Poetic World

We will sample the works of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda whose work demonstrates a wide variety of styles and subjects that range from lyrical love poems to surrealistic works to political poetry.  Appointed as consul to several Asian countries and then to Argentina and later Spain, Neruda wrote from a global perspective shaped by appreciation for various cultural traditions and sympathy for those suffering from poverty or political oppression. Our discussion will include the problematics of the style and subjects of political poetry.  For the first hour and a half, we will discuss Neruda’s poetry.   The last half hour will include an optional writing opportunity in which students will be given a prompt and will be invited to incorporate some of the themes or styles into their own writing.  Students will have the option of revising their work during the week for comments by the instructor.

Text:  The Poetry of Pablo Neruda.  Ed. IIan Stevens.  2015 (available in Kindle and paperback formats from Amazon.)

Sr. Fran McManus, RSM, MA

Mondays 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM
Oct. 19-Nov. 30



*Please note:

The adult education center of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi is committed to providing quality adult education courses designed to deepen one’s understanding of faith through the study of Scripture, church history, theology, literature, the arts and Franciscan spiritual themes.  The fees we charge are to cover the administrative costs of the program and to provide a modest stipend to our instructors.  However, we never want financial difficulties preclude anyone from participating in our courses.

Therefore if financial constraints make paying the course fee difficult for anyone, please contact Joseph Nuzzi at or 212-736-8500 x365 and arrangements will be made for anyone who needs it.