The roots of Silver Lake College of the Holy Family were planted by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and rests upon the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition. Franciscan values, which are Gospel centered, are the College’s underlying principles.
A central value of Franciscanism is community. Compassion, peacemaking, and reverence for creation are each expressions of this value.
St. Francis of Assisi’s experience of a Trinitarian God influenced his vision of life. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit existed in a dynamic, self-giving, and mutual belonging relationship. Responding to this generous God, St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi celebrated the dignity of each individual because each person was created in the image and likeness of God. Following the gospel life of Jesus meant loving not only those they knew but all who were encountered. Hospitality, courtesy, and cooperation naturally flowed from this concept of community.
To put others ahead of ourselves by actively listening, perceiving their needs, serving humbly, or working for the dignity of every person is most challenging. Writing to his brothers later in life, St. Francis of Assisi wrote, “Whoever may come to us, whether a friend or a foe, a thief or a robber, let him be kindly received.” With gentle courtesy and touching simplicity, St. Francis and St. Clare embraced every living thing as a reflection of the Creator.
One way St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi tried to bring peace to the world was by being in right relationship with, not only God, but with every human person as well as the entire created world.
Peace begins with an attitude which is expressed through words and actions and can only be sustained through a deep spirituality. It renounces all forms of dominance over another: violence, exploitation, and plundering of creation. Reconciliation and justice are equal partners.
Reverence for Creation
In the process of his conversion, St. Francis of Assisi was gifted with a deep faith-experience of God. Out of the abundance of God’s love, creation, both animate and inanimate, was formed. Francis, hungering for truth and the realities of life, penetrated the mystery of creation with the eyes of faith. He came to realize that all creation was a reflection of the truth, goodness, and beauty of its Maker. In the beauty of the world, he encountered Beauty Itself. He sensed the unity, solidarity, and interdependence of all creation which inspired him to call creatures his brothers and sisters.