Charism & Mission

We Clinton Franciscans, in the spirit of Saint Francis and Saint Clare and grounded in contemplation, are called to ongoing conversion and sent as instruments of God’s peace. Our mission is living and promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking.


The word "charism" refers to a special characteristic, or gift of spirit, which is distinctive to a religious congregation. As women religious, we inherit the charism of the founders of our individual congregations. More than spirituality, it is the founder's charism of service, spirituality, and sense of mission that lives on in the congregation which she/he founded.


As Clinton Franciscans, we look to the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi. As awareness of the importance of Saint Clare of Assisi to the Franciscan family grew, we also recognize her as part of our founding charism.


As members of the Third Order Regular of the Franciscan family, first known as Penitents, our particular charism is one of ongoing conversion. We are on a life-long journey of turning to God and learning to live nonviolently as sister to everyone and all of creation.  


Chapter Commitment Statement


Chapter, held every four years, is a meeting of the legislative body made up of representatives from the congregation. Chapter embodies the fundamental nature of community life: shared responsibility and mutual commitment.


Functions of Chapter include examining the life of the congregation in light of the gospel, the call of the Church, the call of St. Francis, the charism of the congregation, and the direction set by the previous Chapter. The Chapter also gives the congregation new impetus to meet the demands of its mission by creating together the direction for the next four years and by electing a Leadership Team who will lead the congregation.


A Chapter Commitment Statement is ordinarily developed which sets themes for action to be taken over the subsequent four years, reflecting how the mission can best be incarnated within the spirit of the times.


2021 Chapter Commitment Statement


We Clinton Franciscans reaffirm our charism of ongoing conversion and our mission of living and promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking. Grounded in contemplative engagement and shared decision-making, we commit to unfolding the future by:


  • Developing our understanding of and strengthening our witness to our corporate stands which address the death penalty, nuclear disarmament, immigration reform, human trafficking, care of creation, and basic human rights and income inequality;


  • Growing in our awareness that “I” is within the “WE”

-- recognizing each individual’s uniqueness

-- affirming diversity and connectedness, inclusive of all God’s Creation

-- willingness to use our gifts for the common good


  • Strengthening relationships and collaboration with Sisters, Sojourners, Associates, Employees, and others aligned with our mission;


  • Creating sacred spaces for reconciliation and repair of harm on multiple levels;


  • Ensuring the future of the Franciscan Peace Center; providing resources, guidance, and expanding networks;


  • Authorizing the next Leadership Team to explore and recommend possible governance and leadership options, in consultation with community members, to enable making decisions together for our future.  


Chapter Commitment Statement, Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa – May 14, 2021


Additionally, the Chapter affirmed a Statement in Response to Racial Injustice issued on June 4, 2020, that pledged listening to the experience and wisdom of people of color, learning about racism in all its dimensions (systemic, institutional, and cultural), working in solidarity with people of color for radical reforms to racialized systems, and recommitting to nonviolence as the way to effect systemic, societal, and personal change.



Previous Chapter Commitment Statement


2016 Chapter Commitment Statement

2012 Chapter Commitment Statement