Our Mission

Our Mission Statement
Our Franciscan Tradition
Our Catholic Tradition

Our Mission Statement

The Franciscan spirit of service with and for others is part of what makes Siena College distinct among liberal arts colleges. In this spirit, the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy calls the entire Siena College Community to respond to the demands of peace, justice and integrity of creation that arise in our local region, our nation and our world

Rooted in the Franciscan Tradition and informed by Catholic Social Teaching, the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy offers transformational education and formation opportunities for the entire Siena Community that integrate classroom learning with hands on service and reflection among poor and marginalized people. Our goal is to develop in the Siena Community a deeper sense of responsibility and solidarity with the poor and marginalized, in order that we all might become lifelong advocates and servant-leaders. In so doing, the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy commits itself to be a model community of Gospel values.

Our Franciscan Tradition

Lesser Sisters and Brothers
The Franciscans are a world-wide religious family founded by Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi in thirteenth century Italy. Most Franciscans are members of the Roman Catholic Church. Siena College was founded by members of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor, a community of Catholic priests and brothers.
“Order of Friars Minor” is a loose way to translate the Order’s official Latin title, which strictly translated means “Order of Lesser Brothers.” It is this identity of being “Lesser Brothers” – and “Lesser Sisters” – that characterizes all we do at the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy.

We are Sisters and Brothers

Sisterhood/Brotherhood is central to the Franciscan Tradition. It defines who we as Franciscans are. As St. Francis taught us, “Let no one be called ‘first’ among you, for you are all brothers and sisters.”
At the Franciscan center for Service and Advocacy, we are not sisters and brothers simply to one another. We are sisters and brothers to all people, for we are all children of God. It is in this spirit that we offer our service to, and advocate for the dignity of, all women and men.

We are “Lesser”

Today as in Saints Francis and Clare’s day, upward social mobility was the name of the game. “Be the best!” Francis and Clare, however, followed a different way, that of Jesus who taught, “Anyone who wants to be the first among you must become the least among you, and the servant of all (Mark 9:35).”
At the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy, we serve our sisters and brothers first and foremost by sharing in their lives. We put their needs, their cares and concerns before our own. In this way, we show our respect for their inherent dignity as God’s children, by that humble service that sees all other people as “greater” than ourselves.
Learn more about Siena College’s Franciscan Tradition by clicking this link. http://www2.siena.edu/pages/3479.asp. Be sure to click the back arrow to return to this page.

Our Catholic Tradition

Catholic Social Teaching
Siena College’s Catholic Tradition guides all our programming in the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy by means of its tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
The tradition of Catholic Social Teaching is a treasure trove of insight and wisdom for the building of a just society and a peaceful world. The seven principles listed below are a summary of its major themes.
Students can study the richness of the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching at greater depth by enrolling in “RELG 265: Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching.”

Dignity of the Human Person

All women and men are created in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, every person is sacred, from the moment of conception until natural death. This is the foundational principle of Catholic Social Teaching and the basis of its belief that human dignity is both the bedrock of a just society and the cornerstone of a peaceful world. Every human institution is measured by the yardstick of human dignity.

Call to Community

People are not islands unto themselves. By our very nature, we are social. How we organize our relationships – in economics and politics, in law and public policy – directly affects human dignity and our capacity to grow in community. All people, therefore, have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.

Rights and Responsibilities

Human dignity can be protected and a just and peaceful society achieved only if human rights are protected. Corresponding to these rights are the duties and responsibilities we owe one another, to our families, and to the wider world.

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

A basic moral and ethical test for every society is how well its poorest and most vulnerable members are faring. In a society marked by deepening divisions between “haves” and “have-nots,” it is our responsibility to ensure that we give priority to the needs of the least of our sisters and brothers.

Dignity of Work and of Workers

Work is more than a matter of making a living. It is a way we care for one another’s needs and help to build a more just and peaceful world. Work has dignity, and this dignity must be protected, together with the dignity and rights of workers – to just wages, the organization of unions, private property, and self-initiative.


We are all children of God. Therefore, we are more than neighbors in our global village. We are all sisters and brothers to one another, whatever our national, racial, ethnic, or ideological differences, whose love for one another must show forth in our common work of promoting peace in a world torn by conflict and division.

Care for Creation

Care for the earth is not simply an Earth Day slogan. It is a requirement of Catholic faith. We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.

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Contact Us

  • Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy
    Siena College
    515 Loudon Road
    Loudonville, NY 12211
    Location: Foy Hall 215 and 302
    Phone: (518)-783-2333
  • Fr. Russel Murray, O.F.M., Ph.D.
    E-mail: rmurray@siena.edu
  • Ms. Judy Dougherty
    Associate Director
    E-mail: dougherty@siena.edu
  • Mr. James Snyder
    Siena College Mentoring Program
    E-mail: jsnyder@siena.edu
  • Ms. Sue Corcoran
    Assistant to the FCSA
    E-mail: scorcoran@siena.edu


We’re located in Foy Hall. Click the photo below to see a map.