The Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi was celebrated on October 4th. Several Catholic colleges and universities commemorated the life of this humble saint with a week-long celebration. St. Francis was a man characterized by his conversion from a wealthy man to humble servant to the poor and preacher of the Gospel. St. Francis’ mission of embracing marginalized people is one that Catholic colleges and universities strive to embody through their work of service. Through celebrating the life of St. Francis, colleges and universities reaffirmed their desire to serve others in their community, to care for the environment, and to fight for social justice related issues.
St. Francis College, Hilbert College, and Viterbo University are among some of the schools that dedicated a week to St. Francis. The week consisted of different activities and a speaker series that relate to the mission of St. Francis. At St. Francis College they kicked off with a party and throughout the week hosted a series of talks relating to Franciscan spirituality and including “A Conversation on Hospitality” with St. Francis’s President, Miguel Martinez-Saenz. At Hilbert College there was a keynote address given by Fr. David Couturier titled “Franciscan Values & Millennials: Envisioning a Healthy World Economy.” The purpose of the address was to “advance a dialogue on how St. Francis of Assisi’s understandings of a social or fraternal economy can effectively inform many of the economic challenges that Millennials face today and in the future.” The week also featured service opportunities of feeding those in need as well as reflections and a mass to guide the week. Viterbo College spent the week hosting a series of liturgies, prayer services, and volunteer opportunities. One of these included a blessing of the animals, which reminded everyone how St. Francis had such a deep love for animals that he would even preach to them.
Spend a few minutes reflecting on the life of St. Francis of Assisi and asking God to give you are heart open to serve by praying the Peace Prayer of St. Francis!