OLOL College

Franciscan Foundations

Following in the footsteps of St. Francis

As St. Francis of Assisi responded to God’s call, “Go and repair my house,” the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady go out into the world to be witness to the Love of the Father. In 1911, six Franciscan Sisters set sail for America from France. They came with meager personal belongings and very little money, enduring personal hardships and cultural barriers on a mission to bring health and spiritual wholeness to the sick and needy of Louisiana. Their efforts formed the foundation for the mission of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady in the region today.

In 1923, these determined pioneers established a school of nursing to perpetuate their healing ministry.  This school of nursing has grown from an initial class of nine students to become Our Lady of the Lake College, an institution that continues the legacy of faith and academic excellence of those founding Sisters.

St. Francis chose the Tau to symbolize the penitent life and depict his love of nature and all things, and the Tau was adopted by those who followed in his footsteps. Based on the Tau, the central symbol of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System encourages the ideals of the Christian cross, Jesus, St. Francis or a Franciscan Sister. The symmetry and proportions of the symbol suggest our constant pursuit of spiritual completeness, but a slightly incomplete circle reminds us that we cannot achieve earthly perfection.

The four quadrants of the symbol, marked by the circle's segments, represent four of the Health System's five core values (reverence and love for all of life, joyfulness of spirit, humility and justice) with the figure in the middle symbolic of the fifth value (service).

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