Inspirations

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

Seeking Examples of the Ways Secular Franciscans Live the Rule

Aspirations

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.

6 comments to Seeking Examples of the Ways Secular Franciscans Live the Rule

  • marla presby ofs

    awesome!!!!!! we need to keep the Franciscan Way alive

  • marla presby ofs

    Secular Franciscans live the rule in simple ways of everyday life.
    We need to be the example at work/school to show the everyone has dignity. We need to say hi to the shy or overlooked person who seems to disappear in the room.We need to include others in conversations to let them know they are important and have value.
    In our home we need to not take others for granted. Our spouses are gifts from God who are made “one” with us in the sacrament of marriage. They are the ones we loved and chose to spend our life with, not the person we pass by in the hallway, barely knowing they are there. Our children are given us to be role models too. To love and teach and nurture the values of a christian way of life. They are not there to be ignored and pushed aside..We have a responsibility to raise them and return them back to God.
    We may not have the means to go out and change the world..But we can start by just respecting the lives of those around us in a Christ-like ..Franciscan-like manner.

    • lpotts

      Hi Marla,

      Absolutely, these are all things we do as Franciscans and all ways we should be. What I hoping to find is specific examples of things that specific Franciscans are doing in response to the Rule.

      Article 24 tells us to “foster communion among members”, and that “the council should organize regular and frequent meetings of the community as well as meeting with other Franciscan groups.” How is your fraternity’s council doing that?

      Article 15 says we should “individually and collectively be in the forefront in promoting justice by the testimony of their human lives and their courageous initiatives.” What concrete actions are our brothers and sisters taking to promote justice that can also be adopted by others?

      We all know what should be doing and what we are doing to live the Rule. I want to provide a way for us to share ideas so we can all benefit.

      Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have some ideas you would be willing to share.

  • Anna

    One couple in our fraternity makes 50 bag lunches for the homeless every week from their home. They enlist others to help them — the local Catholic elementary school sometimes decorates these bags for art, and friends drop by occasionally to help make sandwiches. Another fraternity in our region also makes bag lunches to distribute at St. Vincent de Paul’s food bank. When the food bank is closed for Christmas holiday, this fraternity provides soup and hamburgers one day.
    Other members have taken penance seriously and are enrolled in the Confraternity of Penitents to deepen their Franciscan journey.
    Hope these ideas are of help to others.

  • Frank Cryan

    One of the members of St. Peter fraternity is actively engaged in the following:
    Lector & Altar Server at all weekday morning masses (about 250/yr)
    Eucharistic Minister at some weekday morning masses (about 100/yr)
    Substitute Lector for our Deacon Candidate at every other Saturday Vigil Mass (about 26/yr)
    Eucharistic Minister at Sunday Mass (about 26/yr)
    Leader of Rite of Holy Communion Outside of Mass at local Nursing Home
    (about 26/yr)
    Lector & Altar Server at Mass on the 1st Friday at St. Peter’s Adult
    Day Center (about 10/yr)
    Previously led Rite of Holy Communion Outside of Mass at St. Peter’s Adult Day Center but the Parish Administrator now is able to say Mass.
    Visit patients and distribute Holy Communion to patients and their visitors at St. Peter’s Hospital, New Brunswick 4 days each month (about 48/yr)
    Serve as an Usher at the Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on the
    13th of each month from May to October. This is a 5 hour ceremony spent
    entirely on your feet. Usually, 3 of the 6 Masses are said by a Bishop.
    Visit the Franciscan Friary of the Atonement at Graymoor, NY 4 times each year to recharge the spiritual batteries.

  • Diane Curan

    Thanks! Great work, I look forward to the development of the site. peace and all good.

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