I, N.N., by the grace of God, renew my baptismal promises and consecrate myself to the service of his kingdom. Therefore, in my secular state I promise to live all the days of my life the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Secular Franciscan Order by observing its rule of life.

~ Rite of Commitment to the Gospel Life or Profession in the Secular Franciscan Order
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Dearest brothers and sisters, just think of the decisive influence we could have for changing the world if all the 500,000 Secular Franciscans, scattered around the world in some 111 countries, lived their vocation to the full.

~ Fr. Benedetto Lino, A Specific Vocation for a Particular Mission, OFS General Chapter 2011
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And now, at the dawn of the new millennium, does the Franciscan adventure still have meaning? Does it still have any chance of success? Never has true fraternity been so longed for and at the same time so little lived. Never has the Franciscan charism been more needed than today in order to offer the total Christ to a disintegrating world which fears a brotherhood of solidarity among all human beings without exclusion.

~ Cardinal Roger Etchegary, Homily of April 9, 2000, on the occasion of the Great Franciscan Jubilee
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What does the rule ask of us? To be in the forefront in promoting justice by the testimony of their human lives and their courageous initiatives. We are not bystanders any more. Franciscans get involved. ... Doing nothing is no longer a choice for us.

~ Lester Bach, OFM Cap, The Franciscan Journey: Embracing the Franciscan Vision
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For those who are “called to follow Christ in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi” (Article #1), particularly through the Secular Franciscan Order, the rule of life becomes the central focus and basic font for setting forth the evangelical goals of life, for unraveling the meaning of the gospel commitment, and for detailing the means to be evangelized and to evangelize others with the supportive context of life in fraternity.

For this reason, the rule needs to be read, understood, digested, and absorbed into the personal and communal existence of every Secular Franciscan.

~ Benet A. Fonck, OFM, Called to Follow Christ

Added General Constitution Material to Articles 1 through 4

More to follow shortly (I hope).

Added General Constitution Material to Article 10

“Christ, poor and crucified”, victor over death and risen, the greatest manifestation of the love of God for humanity, is the “book” in which the brothers and sisters, in imitation of Francis, learn the purpose and the way of living, loving, and suffering. They discover in Him the value of contradictions for the sake of justice and the meaning of the difficulties and the crosses of daily life. With Him they can accept the will of the Father even under the most difficult circumstances and live the Franciscan spirit of peace, rejecting every doctrine contrary to human dignity. (General Constitution of the Secular Franciscan Order, Article 10)

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With Jesus, obedient even to death, they should seek to know and do the will of the Father. They should give thanks to God for the gift of freedom and for the revelation of the law of love. In order to carry out the will of the Father, they should accept the help which is offered to them through the mediation of the Church by those who are constituted as authority in her and by their confreres. They should take on the risk of courageous choices in their life in society with decisiveness and serenity. (General Constitution of the Secular Franciscan Order, Article 12)

[I guess we won’t be doing this in order. We’re doing Rule 10 in our fraternity’s ongoing formation is September.]

Next Step

Pax et Bonum!

Again, I apologize for the lack of progress on this site.

The good news is the next step is about to begin. I’m going to go through the SFO Constitution, find passages that refer to specific articles in the rule, and add them to the articles page to make a bit of cross reference.

After that, I’m not sure yet.

Relaunching as a clearinghouse...

After quite a bit of prayerful reflection, we’ve decided to relaunch this site. Instead of narrowly focusing on sharing stories about Secular Franciscans Living the Rule, we going to open things up and make this a place for gathering and sharing anything and everything about the Rule. A clearinghouse, if you will.

So if you have any ideas, resources, comments, commentaries, etc., please be sure to pass them along. We will, of course, remain interested in publishing any stories of how our brothers and sisters are actively living the Rule in the world today.

A stepping stone to the Gospel and its ideals

It is well to remember as we study this new version of the rule that it is a Way of Life and not merely a series of legal prescriptions. We know that St. Francis designated the Gospel as the supreme norm of life. He meant to put the Gospel before and above all conventionalism and every human law. Consequently, St. Francis resisted binding the lives of his followers with too specific prescriptions, for fear that the gospel principles be given secondary importance or that they be restrained by the limits of the letter of the law. So the rule is to be a guide that opens to the vastness of the gospel challenge. If we observe all the regulations of the rule, we are not truly following Francis. We must merely use the rule as a stepping stone to the Gospel and its ideals. It is then that we will really attain a true union with Christ.

~ Philip Marquard O.F.M., Called to Live the Dynamic Power of the Gospel: Commentary on the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO Resource Library)

Seeking Examples of the Ways Secular Franciscans Live the Rule


We hope that this site:

  1. Increases the world’s awareness of how Secular Franciscans bring the Gospel to life through living the rule.
  2. Inspires and encourages Secular Franciscans to more fully live the rule they promised to obey when they made their profession.
  3. Provides a place for Secular Franciscans to find ideas new ways in which to live the rule.

Please help us to accomplish these goals. We are looking for examples of the ways Secular Franciscans live the Rule in today’s world. It could be something your fraternity or another fraternity in your region is doing. It could be something you saw on the web or in a fraternity’s newsletter. It could be an idea that your fraternity is considering but hasn’t implemented yet.

Gathering these stories could prove challenging because it’s in our nature as Franciscans to be humble and to not draw attention to the good works we are doing. However, it seems to be crucially important, in our present age, that we take every opportunity we have to share ideas and experience in order to become better at bringing Gods love to the world.

We are going to relate each example we post to specific articles of the rule so feel free to share which you think would be appropriate. You can us this contact form to drop us a line.

Thank you. Pax et bonum.