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What is the Feast of St. Francis?

The Feast of St. Francis (FOSF) honors the patron saint of those who promote ecology. St. Francis of Assisi saw God in the poor and sick, praised all creatures as brothers and sisters under God, became a peacemaker and a bridge builder at the time of the Crusades, and is the saint from whom Pope Francis took his name.

In the spirit of St. Francis, this year's FOSF programs focuses on the theme "Dial Down the Heat: Cultivate the Common Good for our Common Home."

Why "Dial Down the Heat"? In the United States, too often conversation about important moral questions - like climate change - devolve into shouting matches and very little real listening. In many legislative bodies, including the U.S. Congress, the issue of climate change sees little traction because legislators simply talk past one another with no genuine attempt at dialogue.

People of faith have a role to play in bridging the divide and creating safe spaces in our parishes and schools to have civil and constructive dialogue on difficult issues such as climate change. "Dial Down the Heat" focuses on listening to both the stories of impacted communities as well as each other's stories in order to hold civil and "courageous conversations," and create common ground to protect our common home.

By hosting a Feast of St. Francis event, you and your community will engage with Pope Francis' call for constructive dialogue about our place in God's creation and the environmental impacts on poor people and communities. Your experience can become a model for civil dialogue beyond your Church community.

To host a Feast of St. Francis event in your parish or school: 

We provide you with everything you need to host a successful program. The program guide includes:

  • Facilitator's guide and power-point presentation
  • Prayers
  • Short video with discussion questions
  • Suggested activities
  • Advocacy activities
  • Resources
  • And much more.

On this webpage, you can also download a sample bulletin announcement, a sample press release, and a promotional flyer. You are welcome to edit any of these documents as best suits your community.

The Feast of St. Francis program guide is free of charge.

The feast day is October 4. However, you may hold your event at any time that suits your community.

-Thank you to our Feast of St. Francis committee: Kathy Brown (Caritas Internationalis), Ted Miles (Catholic Relief Services), and Kim Van Oosten (Catholic Health Association)