St. Francis of Assisi serves as a beacon of Our Father, Christ, and The Holy Trinity. The following series of pieces are accounts of how this beacon called some individuals. Each story is different, each encounter unique. As we celebrate the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, we would like to share the following reflective piece from a Franciscan School of Theology alumnus, Jeff Durham, which highlights the significant impact St. Francis has had and continues to have.
Franciscan School of Theology Student Profile: Jeff Durham
War, wealth inequality, climate change. Our twenty-first-century world has a great deal in common with times in which the early Franciscans found themselves. Franciscan spirituality, with its focus on the relational as well as the Incarnational, is as vital today as it was eight centuries ago.
While the Order of Friars Minor has undergone many changes throughout the centuries, these two: relationality and incarnationality have stayed consistent. This is due to these two values being integrally related to one another. If you believe that creation is imbued with divinity then it is vital that you also relate to the divinity as much as possible.
These values of Franciscan spirituality, which are rooted in the Gospel, encourage people to see the Divine in everyone, but especially in the marginalized. The focus of the Incarnation within Franciscan spirituality is extended not only to humans but to all of the created world itself. This aspect of Franciscan spirituality results in a strong desire for those who follow Franciscan spirituality to work toward the protection of the integrity of all creation. As we approach a world that seems deaf to the cries of the world, this message is more important than ever. In my daily life of service to others in the public sector, I have found these values that I learned and saw expressed so explicitly during my time at the Franciscan School of Theology to be invaluable.
Jeff Durham, Franciscan School of Theology Alumnus
Master of Ministry in a Multicultural Church, 2010
- What are some Franciscan values that resonate with you?
- How can Franciscan spirituality be applied to your line of work in a way that will result in a positive impact on others?
About This Piece
The month of October, specifically October 4th, is when we celebrate the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. In commemoration of St. Francis, the following reflective student pieces in one way or another pay tribute and homage to the great impact St. Francis has had and continues to have. Click below to read other spotlights in this series.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The online Master of Theological Studies – Franciscan Theology (MTS-FT) program is offered by the Franciscan School of Theology in partnership with the University of San Diego. This Fully online program is designed for working professionals and recent undergraduates alike; students of the online MTS-FT program study with renowned scholars whose teachings draw from lives of active service in parishes, schools, and community involvement. In addition, this unique online program uses faith studies to enact positive change in local and global communities. Learn more about the program here.