| Franciscan Documents &
gratefully acknowledge permission to use excerpts from the following in this edition
prepared for use in the formation programs of the Order:
of St. Francis from the booklet Franciscans on Pilgrimage used with the permission of Fr.
Roch Niemier, OFM, Director, Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs.
for Reading the Writings of St. Francis from Workbook for Franciscan Studies, Fr. Damian
Isabell, OFM, Franciscan Herald Press, 1979 (out of print), pp. 225 - 235, with permission
of Franciscan Press, Quincy, Illinois, holder of copyright.
Un metodo per
pregare: la Lectio Divina from II Messagio della Santa Casa, no. 3, Marzo, 1991, p.
69 - 72. Permission to translate and print from the author, Marcello Montanari, OFM Cap.,
Congregazione Universale della Santa Casa, Loreto (AN) Italia
from the editor to translate and edit Fr. Luis Cuesta Nozal's "La Regla de la Tercera
Orden de San Francisco," Pastor Bonus, no. 83, General Curia T. C., Roma 1990, pp.
received from the Franciscan Federation of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order
Regular (USA) for the use of the outline of "Conversion Experience" from
Guidelines for Instruction to Third Order Franciscans on the Origins, Development and
Spirituality of the Penitential Life and Rule, pp. 2-3; and for the use of the graphic by
Sr. Christopher Marie Wagner on page 142 of Traces.
acknowledgement to our TOR confreres for the use of articles from the Analecta TOR, Pace e
Bene, and to Fr. Nicholas Sastre TOR for permission to translate from his manuscript Breve
Historia de la Tercera Orden Regular de Penitencia de S. Francisco, Mallorca, 1988.
conscientious attempt has been made to obtain permission to reproduce articles, or
portions of articles, published in other sources. The editor regrets any unintentional
omissions and requests notification of anything that can be improved in future editions of
the TOR Resource Manual.
TERZO ORDINE REGOLARE DI S. FRANCESCO
00 186 ROMA, VIA DEI FORI IMPERIALI, I
Dear Brothers and
the Chapter of 1983, it was resolved that a resource book, or workbook of TOR materials
useful for the presentation of our history and penitential spirituality be composed for
use in our Formation Programs.
modest edition is presented to the brothers and contemplative sisters of our Order as an
initial response to that resolution. As Novice-Master I was always on the look-out for
practical helps in introducing the novices to our history and traditions. This was the
criterion I used in making selections or translations for the workbook. So the book is
basically a collection of texts, in great part translations of articles, which have
appeared in the ANALECTA over the years. Many of our younger Provinces and Vice-Provinces
do not have available to them the complete collection of this valuable journal. This
workbook makes accessible to our English speaking members some of the riches of studies on
our traditions and spirituality.
thank all who have encouraged me in this project and have offered their suggestions and
criticisms to make this book more useful. I hope that like a good Franciscan of Penance
this workbook will undergo a process of continual conversion! A further hope is that
someday the friars of the Spanish Province will be able to provide translations of the
text or to substitute equivalent texts already published in Spanish. This would be a
another step towards the goal of having the same basic text for all our novitiates and for
those of our cloistered T.O.R. sisters.
Our Father St. Francis,
Seraphin Conley TOR
of the Stigmata of St. Francis,
September 17, 1990
THE SECOND EDITION
TERZO ORDINE REGOLARE DI S. FRANCESCO
00186 ROMA, VIA DEI FORI IMPERIALI, 1
Dear Brothers and
response to the first draft of the TOR Resource Manual from Formation Directors, Friars
and also Sisters of various Franciscan Congregations was very positive and gratifying. The
material has been used in classes, conferences and symposia, and for personal enrichment.
With this encouragement and under the patient guidance of our resident computer expert,
Fr. Michael Higgins, TOR, I decided to do a "new and improved" version so that
it would be in a format easier to read and easier to use.
I would like to thank all those who offered suggestions and encouragement and a special
word of appreciation to Fr. Michael for all his time and effort.
Seraphin Conley, TOR
General Secretary for Formation
of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
POPE JOHN PAUL II
TO THE CAPITULAR FRIARS
Thursday, 15 June, 1989, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, received all the friars who were
participants in our 107th General Chapter of the Order, in the Apostolic Palace, Vatican
City, and delivered the following discourse.
am filled with Franciscan joy at meeting you, members of the General Chapter convoked to
update the Constitutions and to elect the officials of the Order. Through you I intend to
greet all your confreres, present and active in various parts of the world with all the
richness and originality of your penitential charism.
of all, I greet the Minister General and his Definitors, wishing them all happiness and
success in the service of the Order, an abundance of good works and fruits of holiness.
The celebration of the general chapter is an event of grace; its source is the Holy
Spirit, who enlivens, disposes hearts, forms minds, and confers the necessary driving
force. A sign of unity in charity (cf. can. 631, par.1), the general chapter has the task
of identifying and deepening the characteristic values, preserving the historico-spiritual
patrimony of the Order, and promoting an appropriate renewal in harmony with the
changeable demands of times and places.
Constitutions, revised in the spirit of the Rule and Life of the Brothers and Sisters of
the Third Order Regular of St. Francis approved by me on 8 December 1982 and in conformity
with the new Code of Canon Law, should safeguard the dynamic fidelity to your charism,
without regrets and compromises, with full confidence in the Spirit.
The evangelical identity and ecclesial mission of your Order require sensitivity and
discernment, in order to guarantee the primacy of the spiritual life and to choose
priorities in the spheres of being and doing.
Church takes care that Institutes can grow and flourish according to the spirit of their
founders (cf. Lumen Gentium, 45) and sound traditions. (cf. can. 578)
You are aware that your Founder and Father, St. Francis of Assisi, was a man of the Gospel
and an apostle of the penance taught by Christ. Receiving effective stimuli from previous
and contemporary ecclesial experiences, the Poverello loved to be known as the
"penitent of Assisi" (cf. Three Companions, 37) and preached penance with
enthusiasm (cf. I Cel. 23).
his initiative, under the clear movement of the Spirit, the Franciscan Order of Penance,
afterwards called the Third Order of St. Francis began, and was gradually organized into
secular and regular. You belong to the latter, and in later times, hundreds of institutes,
male and female, became part of it.
his followers in the Order of Penance, in 1215 and again in 1221, St. Francis proposed a
form of evangelical life centered on metanoia, or conversion of heart. Blessed are
those - the Saint exclaimed -- who bring forth worthy fruits of penance (I Letter to
the Faithful 1, 4).
brothers, you are the fortunate heirs to this penitential spirituality, which has given
the Church so many fruits of holiness in every age.
Also characteristic of your charism is the commitment to charitable works, as a service to
the neighbour's body and soul, that is, to the whole person. Today, as yesterday, you are
challenged by new forms of poverty and margination. Be attentive to the cry of the poor
with all your generosity, being more and more converted to the living God and to your
neighbour. The "work of conversion" is inseparable from sincere penance.
Your life of penance, with its inseparable duality of interior conversion and the practice
of good works, is called today to make itself the voice also of those who turn away from
God, as the prophet laments (cf. Hos. 11:17), who are closed in the narrow horizon of
egocentrism, and immersed in temporal preoccupations. As St. Francis admonishes, you are
bound to do more and greater things (cf. 2 Letter to the Faithful 36).
In this respect, I sincerely congratulate you on your missionary commitment and on the
evangelic dynamism which animates your Order, working with humility and sincere faith.
Always and everywhere fulfill the sweet words of Our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Letter to
the Faithful 2). Give preference to the poor and weak, the sick and the
destitute (cf. Rule and life, n.21). Give constant witness to evangelic
conversion, and preach first of all by deeds as St. Francis exhorts.
However, do not forget that St. Francis, when proposing the guidelines of the life of
penance to his followers, made the gospel commandment of love the foundation of his whole
spiritual edifice (cf. I Letter to the Faithful 1, 1 ). There is no true conversion
if love does not form your hearts before being radiated to others. Also, your many
activities will not truly be apostolic, nor can your socio-charitable works be called
works of mercy, if they do not come from a heart which loves as God loves. Love each other
therefore "in deed and in truth" (l Jn 3:18); always act as brothers, and show
by your deeds the love which you have for each other, as your Seraphic Founder directed.
cannot conclude without recalling an event of particular importance for your Order and for
all Franciscans. Seven centuries ago, on 18 August 1289, my predecessor, the first
Franciscan Pope, Nicholas IV, promulgated the Bull Supra Montem concerning the
"Rule and life-style of the brothers and sisters of the Order of Penance," thus
officially approving the penitential Franciscan movement.
various celebrations of the happy anniversary will help to define better your distant
historical and spiritual roots, while inspiring renewed projects of witness and apostolate
in accordance with sound traditions.
Many of you are preparing to return to the quiet of your respective religious
fraternities, and to resume the work assigned to you by Providence through the will of
your superiors. On the other hand, the members of the new General Curia, with a deep sense
of fidelity and responsibility, will be occupied in putting into effect the chapter
the Spirit of truth and love always assist you, through the special intercession of St.
Francis and the maternal protection of the Madonna della Salute, who for centuries
has been keeping watch over your generalate.
apostolic Blessing accompanies you, and is extended to each and every friar in the Order
N. 28 - 10
July 1989 - Page I I
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