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Catholic Franciscan Presence

Saint Francis University was founded upon a robust Catholic Franciscan tradition in 1847, and that spiritual presence radiates through campus life today. 

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  • God is calling everybody, every day.

    In an age of complexity, simplicity of the message of St. Francis of Assisi has more appeal than ever before: Humility. Generosity. Reverence. Service. Respect. Prayer. Joy. Love. These guiding principles of the Franciscans aren't just ideals to be admired, but values to be lived.

  • Our Founding Friars

    It all started with six friars from Ireland.  six friars square graphic

    Brother Giles Carroll along with five of his friar brothers from the Archdiocese of Tuam in Ireland requested permission from the bishop of the Pittsburgh diocese to bring their dream, rooted in sharing the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi, to fruition in the Americas. In 1847, nearly fifteen years before the start of the Civil War, they began to cleared land in the forests of Loretto, Pennsylvania, to build a school that would one day become Saint Francis University.  In doing this, they were fulfilled the request of Demetrius Gallitzin, a former Russian prince who had settled here had made almost twenty-five years earlier in a letter to Archbishop Marechal for "...a college, seminary, and all that is required for an episcopal establishment" one day be built on this land.

    Meet our current friars

  • Franciscan Scholars Speak

    The T.O.R. Endowment in Franciscan Studies and Roman Catholic Theology allows the University to invite renowned Franciscans to speak on a variety of topics. You can explore past lectures through the videos below.