I don’t want to leave the world for a religious community, and yet I want to grow in my relationship with Christ. Consider the Secular Franciscans
Franciscans strive to live the gospel, in the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi. Franciscan come from all walks of life…Laborers, Professionals, Housewives, Executives, Workers, Ordinary Citizens, Managers, Career people, etc. Franciscans meet monthly to replenish themselves spiritually and study God’s way through Saint Francis of Assisi.
Franciscans learn to improve their prayer life, sacramental life, devotional life, …. The WORLD is their arena of activity.
Franciscans reach out to people in need.
Franciscans become involved in parish activities.
Franciscans volunteer services in whatever areas appeals to them.
Franciscans promote family life.
FRANCISCANS are people with desires like YOURS.
How do I Learn About the Franciscan Way of Life?
First one seeks a Fraternity location from your parish priest or from a Secular Franciscan.
You express an interest to learn about the Secular Franciscans.
The Fraternity Welcomes You. You receive information about the Order.
An assigned Franciscan member instructs you once a month.
Remember, You have no obligation to join, just to learn.
Then, if You would like to continue your studies, you are Admitted into the Secular Franciscan Order.
Your information and education about the Order continues at a deeper level.
You also attend meetings where Franciscan topics are presented and discussed.
In time, You are asked whether you want to make a permanent commitment to the Secular Franciscan way of life. If you do, you are Professed into the Secular Franciscan Order. You continue to learn about your Franciscan way of life through monthly meetings.
What are the Obligations?
Nothing binds you under sin except what binds you as a Catholic.
You join in the prayer of the Church by reciting a form of Liturgical prayer, suitable for Secular Franciscans.
You try to attend Mass as often as you can.
You say morning and night prayers.
You say prayers before and after every meal.
You examine your conscience nightly.
You pray for those in need: sick, suffering, dying…
Become an example to others through your life style.
Wear a symbol of your commitment — a “T” shaped Cross.
Attend regular Fraternity meetings…
Participate in prayers & Mass.
Lead a discussion if you wish to.
Contribute to the Fraternity common fund for the missions, unwed mothers, charitable causes, needy, poor…
Try to attend a monthly Holy Hour.
Get to confession if needed, or confess often for the grace of the sacrament.
Secular Franciscans are a Religious Order. It is a vocation to a Way of Life.
You have to be called to serve.
You learn your calling by attending meetings.
You will never know if You are called unless You try.
Is God Calling You to the Secular Franciscan Order?
The process of becoming a professed Secular Franciscan is a journey that involves three separate stages and culminates in a lifelong commitment to live the gospel following the example of St. Francis of Assisi. This formation process unfolds in regularly scheduled formation sessions during which the home study material is thoroughly discussed.
The first stage, Orientation, provides time for dialogue and developing relationships in fraternity. During Orientation you will be introduced to the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare and share in Franciscan prayer life. You will be given general information about the Secular Franciscan Order. Orientation is a time to discern if the Spirit is calling you to a Secular Franciscan vocation. The period of Orientation is a minimum of three months.
The second stage, Inquiry, is the first formal period of initiation. It is a time of in-depth study of the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare. During Inquiry you will learn about the Franciscan charism and Franciscan history. You will deepen your understanding of what it means to be secular and Franciscan, and you will continue to discern if the Spirit is calling you to the Secular Franciscan way of life. The period of Inquiry is a minimum of six months. If a vocation is discerned, the Inquirer is received into the Order.
The third stage, Candidacy, is the final formal period of initiation. It is a time of preparing for permanent commitment by immersion into fraternity life. Central to this stage of formation is Article 4 of The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order which states, “The rule and life of the Secular Franciscan is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following Saint Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people.” The period of Candidacy is a minimum of eighteen months and culminates in permanent commitment to the gospel life.
After profession of the Rule and permanent commitment to the gospel way of life, the newly professed member joins the rest of the fraternity in ongoing formation.