St.Francis of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Franciscan Fraternity
Who are the Secular Franciscans?
We are a group of Catholics, mostly lay people, who have promised "to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi." We meet monthly for ongoing formation and throughout the month engage in a variety of apostolates to support the marginalized in our city and beyond.
Why are we called Secular?
When most people hear the word secular, they might think of something like worldly or non-spiritual. But, the term secular, in our case, means that we do not live in a spiritual/religious community like friars and sisters do. We live in the world with our families, going to work and raising our children while we live our Rule. In the past, we were called the Brothers and Sisters of Penance and later, the Third Order of St. Francis.
What we do.
First, we meet monthly as a fraternity. This is a time when we meet to engage in ongoing formation. We have discussions about how we can live our lifestyle more fully; we hear a variety of talks on various elements of the Franciscan life and our commitments to peace and justice.
Outside of the meetings, we have a common apostolate (community activity) in which many members choose to participate. But, we also have our personal apostolates, such as service in our parishes or with other community organizations.
Most importantly, we care for one another. We are brothers and sisters and ensure that everyone is cared for.