How Do I Join the Secular Franciscan Order?
To become a Secular Franciscan involves a three year study program, once a month, normally on the third Sunday of each month at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, DC. The day starts at 9:30am with class, 11:15am Mass, and ends at approximately 3pm after holding a social gathering and fraternity meeting.
After three years of study and formation, a person professes publicly as a Franciscan, taking the promises (not vows) of poverty, chastity, and obedience to the Holy Roman Magesterium of the Catholic Church. Once a person is professed, they may not join another order, such as Carmelite, Benedictine, Dominican, etc. It is considered a permanent profession.
After profession, the person is expected to still attend monthly formation gatherings, as well as become active within the fraternity. Each order has their own special charism, and our charism is to live Gospel to Life, Life to Gospel in imitation of our founder, St. Francis. We are called to be both contemplative and active, but mostly we are called to be evangelists, bringing Christ to the world in our home and workplace.
Each October, we hold an Open House for those who are interested in joining the Order. If you are interested, please contact the Minister in August, who will be happy to send you more detailed information regarding dates and time of the Open House. Applications will be available in October at the Open House if you wish to apply to the Lay Order; and if accepted, Orientation would begin in January at the Monastery in D.C. Until then, you may wish to read books on the lives of St. Francis and Clare to familiarize yourself more with the charism of the Franciscan way of life; consult our reading list.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me. You may also check out further information about us at this web site or at the National Fraternity web site. Thank you, and have a blessed week!
J Patrick Enderson, OFS
Mt. St. Sepulchre Fraternity
Franciscan Monastery, Washington, DC