Secular Franciscan Order (SFO)

In 1205, Francis of Assisi was called by God to rebuild the Church. Early in his ministry, Francis recognized the need to include people from all walks of life within his movement of reform and renewal. The work of following Christ in humility, love and joy, which is the vocation of all Christians, could not be restricted to the traditional life of the Friars and Sisters. This was true in the thirteenth century and it remains so today.

We are…
* Women and Men
* Single and Married
* Ordained and Lay
* Wage-earning or Retired
* Young and Old
Leading ordinary lives…In city, town, and countryside

Called to follow Francis by…
* Making Christ known and loved everywhere
* Spreading the spirit of love and unity in the whole world
* Living simply

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TAU symbol - The National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order - USA

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Today, there are estimated to be over a half-million Franciscans worldwide in the various denominations of the Christian family. Anglican Franciscans are divided among five provinces worldwide. The Province of the Americas stretches from Canada to Chile to the Caribbean. It currently includes the First Order Brothers and Sisters – who live a celibate life in their respective communities – and the Third Order. The Third Order consists of men and women, single or in committed relationships, who, though following ordinary professions, are called to a dedicated life of service to our Lord through prayer, study, and work. Like the First Order, Tertiaries make a lifetime commitment to live a Rule of Life in company with the sisters and brothers in their Order.

Secular Franciscans TV – You can view these videos at this site.

The Secular Franciscan Identity. In the course of the second half of the twentieth century the Franciscan Family experienced deep transformations. On June 24, 1978 the tertiaries received the new Rule, approved by Pope Paul VI.  First, there was the Second Vatican Council with its new focus.  The Council documents strongly influenced the writers of the Pauline Rule. We entered into a period of study and of assimilation of the new Rule. It became a fundamental point of reference in the search for “identity”. The attitude of the brothers and of the sisters was changing into a new way to be Franciscan, identical in its essentials, but different in how it manifested itself. The Franciscan Third Order had assumed the new Franciscan name of “The Secular Franciscan Order”, exactly because it wanted to underscore the presence of Franciscan laity in the world; it wanted to distinguish itself in its “secular” state, the most significant feature of the Third Order. In Article 2, Secular Franciscans are men and women who, “led by the Spirit, strive for perfect charity in their own secular state. By their profession they pledge themselves to live the gospel in the manner of Saint Francis by means of this rule approved by the Church.”  The updated legislation of the SFO (Rule and General Constitutions) states that the identity of the Secular Franciscan is expressed in a triple dimension: personal (the inner life), fraternal (co-responsibility) and universal (the mission). READ MORE

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Ritual  [ PDF DOC ]

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