Signs that a person MAY have a call to the Secular Franciscan Order (O.F.S.)
1. A person who is good practicing Catholic.
2. A person who has a desire to follow Jesus.
Jesus and his Gospel are at the heart of the Franciscan way of life.
3. 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.
4. A person who is hope-filled and is willing to deal with life’s issues.
Pessimists, nay-sayers, and persons who want to hide from the world are typically not good candidates for the SFO.
5. A person who realizes that we are all sinful people in need of conversion.
“Perfect” people do not need the SFO, and the SFO certainly does not need them!
6. A person who has at least some knowledge of the persons and spirits of Francis and Clare of Assisi.
7. A person who is willing and able to make a commitment to the Rule of the SFO and to live in fraternity.
Basic communication skills are needed to listen to and interact with our brothers and sisters in fraternity.
8. 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 SFO.
9. A person who has a reverence for all of creation.
Courtesy and respect are part of the spirit of reverence for all of creation.
10. A person who is willing to live the countercultural reality of a life in fraternity.
Secular Franciscans live in fraternity and are willing to share creative ideas and life with others.
Signs that a person may NOT have a call to the O.F.S.
1. A person who already belongs to a religious Order or another “Third Order” may not belong to the SFO.
2. A person who is a non-Catholic may not be received as an Inquirer into the SFO, although may be able to participate to some extent in the life of a fraternity.
Good dialogue can determine a healthy form of participation.
3. A person who has interpersonal problems, problems with relationships, or wants to escape home or family problems is not likely to be a good candidate for the SFO.
The SFO is not a therapy group/society, although we do offer our members supportive encouragement.
4. A person who is a “professional joiner” is not a good candidate for the SFO.
5. A person who forces personal devotions and ideas on others is not a good candidate for the SFO.
6. A person who is too individualistic and self-centered is not likely to be a good candidate for the SFO.
The SFO 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” (SFO Rule, art. #4).
7. A person whose lifestyle is obviously counter to the Gospel is not a good candidate for the SFO.
8. 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) is not a good candidate for the SFO.
9. A person with rigid and unbending opinions and attitudes is not a good candidate for the SFO.
The SFO does not need dictators! We are involved in servant leadership and need to work collaboratively.
10. A person who uses violence, power or prestige to control life is not suitable for a Gospel way of life.