Secular Franciscans

Date Established:
Original founding over 800 years ago
St. Francis of Assisi Fraternity founded in 1987
Brother Leo Fraternity founded in 2004

History

The Secular Franciscan Order was established by St Francis himself over 800 years ago.

St. Francis of Assisi Fraternity, Cornwall, PE is a fraternity within the Secular Franciscan Order. This fraternity was established in 1987 with the permission of Bishop James MacDonald who was the local ordinary at the time.  Membership comes from various Island parishes although the fraternity is established in and associated with St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Cornwall.

A second fraternity was established in St. Mary’s Parish in Montague in 2004. This fraternity  which is known as Brother Leo Fraternity consists of members from parishes in the Eastern part of the province.

Identity

While living and working in the world, members of the SFO follow a way of life as outlined in their  Rule and Constitutions which encourages members to go from gospel to life and life to gospel. Seculars are committed to the Church and to the world. They are particularly concerned with peace-making, promoting justice, and care of creation.

Organization

Local fraternities are the foundational units of the order. All local fraternities are also part of regional, national and the international fraternity. There are over 500, 000 Secular Franciscans in 110 countries around the world. Many countries also have Franciscan youth groups (Youfra).

Fraternities at every level are guided and animated by a council which is elected every three years. Fraternities receive spiritual assistance from the First Order.

Membership

The Secular Franciscan Order ( SFO) is a public association within the Catholic Church made up of men and women who desire to live the gospel in the spirit of St. Francis. The SFO is the secular part of the larger Franciscan Family which includes the First Order, the Poor Clares and the Third Order Regular.

The vocational call to become a member of the Secular Franciscan Order is both a gift of the Holy Spirit and a commitment to live out the baptismal promise within the context of fraternity. Members make profession to the gospel way of life after a period of initiation and formation. They commit to monthly fraternity meetings as well as to participation in the fraternity apostolate

One important characteristic of fraternity is its diversity. Members are single people, married people or diocesan clergy. They come from all walks of life and have rich and varied religious perspectives; yet the fraternity is a family, united in its desire to follow Christ in the footsteps of St. Francis. This is a powerful sign of the spirit at work in our times.