Many of the
religious communities in existence today were founded for a specific purpose or to meet a
specific need in the Church.
For us, as
Franciscans of the Third Order Regular, as for Francis, this is not the case. Francis
gathered brothers around him, because of the way he lived out the mandates of the Gospel
in his life. Living the Gospel then is our reason for being and our form of life. Our
primary apostolate is precisely this living out the Gospel and being heralds of the Good
News. What ever ministry a friar is engaged in, must proceed from an intimate union with
Christ. St. Francis observed, "We give birth to Him through a holy life which should
enlighten others because of our example." Consequently, as
friars we strive to see fraternal life as essential to our apostolic endeavors, as we
witness to the Gospel values we profess to live.
In the tradition of St. Francis, the Franciscan Friars have taken a
vow of poverty. Although we have very little, we help many. Our diversified talents make
us unique in our ministries to the communities in which we serve.
Some of my brothers serve as chaplains in hospitals and nursing
homes, professors at seminaries and universities, pastors, preachers, missionaries. Our
talents are called upon to assist in local communities in need of spiritual guidance and
In the midst of this ministry, we reach out to infants and elderly,
the poor and the homeless. We know firsthand that just a few dollars can make the
difference between life and death to those living on the edge.
Through your generous support, you can take great satisfaction in
knowing you are helping the Friars to bring hope, inspiration, and comfort to Gods
When one of our friars kneels beside a hospital bed to offer comfort
and hope to someone who is sick, youre there, kneeling by his side. When one of the
friars carries the Gospel and the hope of our Lord to a remote community, you make the
journey with him, helping to deliver Gods message.
In the middle of troubles and pain, there is a promise of joy. The
threat of destruction is over and hope springs up again. God reminds people of His great
love. Ask God to fulfill the promises you are waiting on to be fulfilled. Praise God for
making such wonderful promises and let us rejoice in prayer.
Since the friars
have as their first responsibility the preaching of the Gospels, the friars of our
province are engaged in pastoral work in parishes. Through participation in this important
aspect of the Church's life and ministry, the friars try to perpetuate the zeal of St.
Francis in calling the faithful to join them in the process of constant conversion to
The staffing of
retreat centers is a major apostolate of the province. The friars of our province
staff two retreat centers, San Pedro Retreat Center, Orlando Florida, Priestfield Pastoral
Center in Kearneysville, WV.
In keeping with the
Order's beginnings, there are friars who dedicate themselves to the care of the sick as
health care professionals, doctors, nurses, chaplains. Like St. Francis they seek to bind
the wounds and heal the brokenness of their sisters and brothers who share in the physical
sufferings of Christ.
One of the important service dimensions of
our Order and Province is foreign missionary activity. Franciscans of the Third Order
Regular have a world consciousness which reflects the missionary stance of the Church. The
needs of the people are staggering and sometimes the problems of their spiritual life,
poverty, education and medical care are overwhelming. There is progress in our missions
because our missionaries believe in the reality of the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi,
LORD, WHERE THERE IS DESPAIR, LET ME SOW HOPE
|Friars of our Province are also engaged in
education. Those friars who are in this ministry seek not only to broaden the horizons and
challenge the minds of their students but also strive to bring them to personal commitment
to Christ and empower them to become instruments of peace and justice.
The Friars work closely with the
Secular Franciscan Order
Secular Franciscans as their name
implies, live ordinary lives in the world rather than in religious communities. They may
be single or married, women or men, in all walks of life. (Some are diocesan priests and
deacons.) They live the Gospel as consecrated laity in a Franciscan manner according to
their own Rule which they profess after a period of initial formation. Profession as a
Secular Franciscan is a lifelong permanent commitment. If you would like more
information on the Secular Franciscan Order,
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