They are a community of Catholic men and women I the
world who seek to pattern their lives after Christ in the spirit of St. Francis.
We follow St. Francis’ example of perfect joy: the knowledge that with Jesus as our center
we have true peace and all good.
We foster community spirit through monthly fraternity
meetings and other gatherings as well as through apostolic outreach, the
community, and the wider world.
In fraternity we help one another on our Secular
Franciscan journey. We begin with a
period of initial formation under the direction of a qualified member of the
fraternity. Permanent profession as a
Secular Franciscan is a step on a life long journey.
We strive to bring peace to people and draw them to
God by living the Gospel message. We
must be ready to forgive, comfort and most of all love. It isn’t easy or accomplished quickly. It is a lifelong work. That is the purpose of our ongoing formation.
A few of many notable people who have been members of
the Secular Franciscan Order include Pope John XXIII, St. Elizabeth of Hungary,
Dante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Charles Gounod, Louis Pasteur among others….
We invite you to visit to get to know us and see if
God is calling you to the Secular Franciscan way of life. Of course you are under no obligation. We meet from 2:00 to 4:30 pm the second
Saturday of the month at St. Joseph Church in Newton.
more information, call:
Marmorato, OFS (828) 578-6801 or Paula Coleman, OFS (704) 860-9610
Today Most Holy Father Pope Francis canonized Blessed Pope Paul VI!! This is hugely significant for all Secular Franciscans, as we follow what is called the “Pauline Rule”.
Auspicato Concessum, (Sept. 17, 1882) Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical letter glorified St.Francis of Assisi on the occasion of the seventh centenary of his birth. In this encyclical, the Pope presented the Third Order of St. Francis as a Christian answer to the social problems of the times. The constitution Misericors Dei Filius (June 23, 1883) expressly recalled that the neglect in which Christian virtues are held is the main cause of the evils that threaten societies. In confirming the rule of the Third Order and adapting it to the needs of modern times, Pope Leo XIII had intended to bring back the largest possible number of souls to the practice of these virtues.
Although his intentions were good, to make the rule easier to follow with hopes of growing the order in size, an increase in piety did not follow with the successful increase in numbers.
The Third Order of St. Francis as it was called then became more of a social club, a group that met for food and prayer, rather than a true order of penitents who certainly met and prayed, but must spend their lives devoted to “Living the Gospel according to the rule of St. Francis of Assisi”. (Rule 4)
The Rule of St. Paul VI approved in 1978, the “Pauline Rule”, brought our beloved order back to its roots as penitents of a true Third Order of St. Francis, renamed the Secular Franciscan Order. We wear a Tau as our “habit” and live our lives in the world, while in prayer and helping others in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.
June 24, 2018 is the 40th year anniversary of Blessed Pope Paul VI approval of the revised rule for the Secular Franciscan Order!!! So our jubilee year begins!
CIOFS our international leaders have provided a wonderful video outlining the history of our order and how the Pauline rule came about.
February 24th, 2018 Mr. Bernard Taft, OFS made his solemn profession to the Secular Franciscan Order! Bernie was joined in a Franciscan Mass of Profession presided over by Father Jim Collins of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Newton, NC. Bernie’s friends and Franciscan family were all present and the celebration continued afterward in the Holy Family Hall.
February 11th, 2017 our monthly fraternity gathering included a Rite of Admission ceremony for our latest candidate. During the ceremony the new candidate is provided a “Little Red Rule Book” of the Secular Franciscan Order and given a sign of the SFO, a wooden Tau cross worn around the neck.
Formation in the Secular Franciscan Order consists of three periods of prayerful discernment and contemplation called Inquiry, Candidate and Profession. Candidacy is generally a period of 18 months to 36 months after which a temporary or permanent profession into the Secular Franciscan Order is made.