Our geographical fraternity is part of the Santa Maria de Las Montannas Regional Fraternity with members from southeast Wyoming and southwest Nebraska. We are Catholic men and woman who are members of the Secular Franciscan Order also known as the OFS. The secular franciscan order was founded by St. Francis in 1221 A.D.
Entering into a “form of life” such as the Franciscan form of life is not just one of the many “optional” decisions we make in our lives. It is the result of a very precise call of God to become Franciscan with a very precise purpose. ~ Benedetto Lino, OFS, Coordinator, Formation Commission, International Presidency, Rome 2008
Men and women have felt the calling to follow St. Francis from the earliest days. Some, because of their station in life, are able to follow more closely and thus chose to become members of the first, second order, 3rd order religious where they take solemn or simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Others, perhaps because they are single, married or are diocesan clergy can become members of the Secular Franciscan Order; this is who we are.
The Secular Franciscan Order is a public association of pontifical right. We are integrally connected with the whole Franciscan family and the Church. We don’t take vows but make a permanent profession to the order.
Our order is open to Catholic men and women single or married who are over 18 years of age or diocescan clergy: deacons, priests and bishops. Some popes have even been OFS.
Discerning a vocation to the OFS is a journey, not just for the one seeking their vocation but also the fraternity that helps in the discernment process. Formation is broken into different levels of discernment Inquiry, Aspirancy, and finally Candidacy. The after a period of formation (a minimum of 2 years) the candidate is invited to make a permanent, lifelong profession to the order. An OFS is a consecrated person who embraces the Francis charism in the world.
It is not an easy vocation but a beautiful one full of joy. All vocations play an important role in the life of the church and the world. OFS fraternities are formed to help Secular Franciscans to journey together through the trials and triumphs of this life.
“From the beginning, the Secular Franciscan order has had its own proper place in the Franciscan Family. It is formed by the organic union of all the Catholic fraternities whose members, moved by the Holy Spirit, commit themselves through profession to live the Gospel in the manner of St. Francis, in their secular state, following the Rule approved by the Church.”
~Secular Franciscan Rule II approved by Pope Paul Vi, June 24, 1978
There are over 400,000 OFS professed throughout the world though we are part of a very large Franciscan family made up of first order, second order and third order branches.
Are you discerning a call? Call us at 1-800-FRANCIS (372-6247) or visit NAFRA-USA
PAX ET BONUM!