Secular Franciscans are a community of Catholic men and women in the world who seek to pattern their lives after Christ in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. We believe that as human beings and Christians, we have such a sublime vocation that we cannot fulfill it alone. In our common response to the Gospel, we work together in community toward communion with all people. Building relationships is our way of life.
We are NOT a club or society. We are united in an international ORDER – the third order founded by St. Francis of Assisi 800 years ago. There are over one thousand Secular Franciscan fraternities in the United States. Secular Franciscan formation usually lasts three years (Orientation, Inquiry and Candidacy phases) culminating in the Rite of Profession which is a Permanent Commitment to the Gospel Life as written in our SFO Rule.
800 years ago in Assisi, a man named Francis was called by God to “rebuild my Church.” The times were difficult, war and greed were rampant. Francis chose the Life of Christ (the Gospels) as his guide. People began to follow him by embracing his values of poverty, joy, simplicity, gratitude and love of all God’s creatures.
This Franciscan family grew to include regular Religious and Secular men and women, known as the Third Order. At present there are over four million members of our family worldwide.