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This paper was originally written to help colleagues at the University of Saint Francis to understand the concept of the Franciscan charism, a goal integral to part of our Strategic Plan in 2002. Many staff and faculty questioned why the Strategic Planning Steering Committee chose such a word for the core of its vision for the institution. Through the revision process of that plan, we have come to a greater understanding of the richness of the Franciscan charism. This paper is offered as a model to help colleagues at other institutions understand this tradition.