Signs that a person MAY have a call to the O.F.S.

  1. A person with a sense of concern and compassion for others and has a spirit of dialogue in conversations/discussions.
  2. A person whose ambition is service-oriented (not dominating). A person with a good motivation for entering the Secular Franciscan Order.
  3. One who chooses to learn from others and realize one's need for learning throughout one's life.
  4. A person with good listening skills who willingly shares ideas and opinions. A person who listens well and shares as is appropriate. A person willing to grow in these qualities.
  5. A person who is a practicing Catholic.
  6. A person who desires to follow Jesus and his Gospel, which is at the heart of the Franciscan way of life.
  7. A person who has a personal faith relationship with Jesus, not simply intellectual knowledge about Him. Franciscans follow Francis’ example in loving God, our sister earth and all its people.
  8. A person who is hope-filled and is ready and able to deal with life issues, both personal and communal, no matter how difficult. Pessimists, nay-sayers, and persons who want to hide from the world are typically not good candidates for the OFS.
  9. A person who realizes that we are all imperfect and sinners in need of conversion. A person who does not judge others but finds ways to help them. “Perfect” people do not need the OFS, and the OFS certainly does not need them!
  10. A person who has at least some knowledge of the persons and spirits of Francis and Clare of Assisi.
  11. A person who has a desire to show reverence for all of creation and a sense of courtesy and respect for all people.
  12. A person with good communication skills and a willingness to dialogue with others; a person with a good sense of humor.
  13. A person who is willing to live the countercultural stance that is frequently a part of OFS life and life in fraternity. Secular Franciscans live in fraternity and are willing to share creative ideas and life stories with one another.
  14. A person who is willing and able to make a commitment to the Rule of the OFS and to live in fraternity. Basic communication skills are needed to listen to and interact with our brothers and sisters in fraternity.
  15. A person who trusts in God and realizes that God is needed in his/her life. Anyone who is prejudiced, arrogant and closed-minded will not make a good candidate for the OFS.
  16. A married person with a sacramental marriage who is continuing to grow in their spousal relationship. Divorce is not an obstacle for joining the OFS. (However, attempting a second marriage without an annulment would hinder your entrance to the OFS.)
  17. A single person who is a practicing Catholic and is willing to learnabout our Franciscan way of life.

Signs that a person may NOT have a call to the O.F.S.

  1. A person who is too individualistic or self-centered, who lacks a sense of community, or who is extremely competitive and must "win" every situation. The OFS fraternity must be united by a common goal, a sense of mission and a common desire to integrate life and Gospel, “going from Gospel to life and life to the Gospel” (OFS Rule, art. #4)
  2. A person who is self-absorbed, always trying to "get ahead" of others; who is over-extended and exhausted by too much involvement in all kinds of projects and issues.
  3. A person who is self-righteous and needs to be "right" in every situation.
  4. A person who is rigid, domineering, a know-it-all, seeks to control or manipulate others, or uses violence, power or prestige to control life. A person who expects service but never serves anyone else. The OFS does not need dictators! We are involved in servant leadership and need to work collaboratively.
  5. A person with serious interpersonal problems, has problems with interrelationships, or wants to escape home, family or work problems is not likely to be a good candidate for the OFS. The OFS is not a therapy group/society, although we do offer our members supportive encouragement.
  6. A person who talks a lot and rarely listens, a person who is too quiet and never reveals their real ideas or opinions, or a person who is overly serious or flippant.
  7. A person who already belongs to a religious Order or another “Third Order.” A person may only belong to one public association of the faithful.
  8. A person who is a non-Catholic.
  9. A person who forces extreme personal devotions and ideas on others. Dominating personalities will disrupt fraternity life.
  10. A person who is a “professional joiner”.
  11. A Catholic who is divorced and remarries without the benefit of a church annulment.
  12. A person whose lifestyle is obviously counter to the Gospel is not a good candidate for the OFS.
  13. A person who continuously gossips, or criticizes everything and everybody, or is irresponsible in family and/or work situations, or has addictions and does nothing to change (such as seeking professional help).

IF THERE IS ANY DOUBT, THE FRATERNITY RECEIVES THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT!!!

Adapted from: Lester Bach, O.F.M. Cap., Catch Me A Rainbow Too, (1999) pp 49-51, Lindsborg, KS: Barbo-Carlson Enterprises, 2005; and from Lester Bach, O.F.M. Cap., The Franciscan Journey, (2010), pp15-18, Smoky Valley Printing, P.O. Box 189, Lindsborg, KS 67456, ISBN 0-944996-40-X.

Also see earlier version of this page.