Any Secular Franciscans here?

For the past couple of years I had been thinking about joining the Secular Franciscans but they were just passing thoughts. Anyway, last month I just happen to go to where they were meeting…it just happened and I asked to join their group. Tomorrow they will be meeting and I will be attending my first meeting.

I was told that the discernment is about 2 years long…anyway, I am kind of curious as to what to expect and I was hoping that those who are involved could share some of their experiences and wisdom with me.

Thank you!

Lainey -

Peace and all good!!

Well, I will be the first and speak out as being an SFO member.

Though I am am on the other half of the Country welcome to your first meeting and I hope GOD will guide you and you find your home in the Franciscan community.

In our fraternity the period of discernment was about a year and our formation is 2-3 years. We have no real set times for initial formation, it is completely lead by the Holy Spirit. Keep in mind that profession is not the goal and formation will be ongoing the rest of your life if this is your calling.

I live in an area where we have many fraternities and I have discovered all fraternities have their own unique flavor. They are all different however they are bound by a common spirituality.

To me my fraternity meetings are a time when I can recharge my Spiritual batteries. I can talk of my challenges and goals with others and I have support when needed and more importantly they will correct me if I am off base.

Being a member of any Lay Order if different then any Ministry in your church. Whatever you volunteer to do in church is what you do. Being a Franciscan is what you are.

I will be praying for you. Feel free to ask any questions or PM me if you prefer.

Pax et Bonum,



Hello and God’s peace.

I’m a candidate for profession in the SFO. It’s been quite a journey. I think (you other SFO’s correct me if I’m wrong) the formal times for each stage in the SFO are as follows:

Visitor = minimum 3 months or 3 meetings.
Inquiry = minimum 6 months.
Candidacy = minimum 1 year followed by profession for life.

So usually two years.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me too. May God bless you in your discernment.


These are minimum times but not the usual amount. Normally we use 3 months for Visitor, 1 year for Inquiry, and 2 years for candidacy. It is up to the local fraternity to set the length as long as it is more then the minimum.



I have also thought about this for myself, and family. A good friend of mine is a major “player” in the Franciscan community here on the East Coast. His name is Father Linus DeSantis. Not sure if any of you know him or not.

Either way, a “profession” is something I haven’t heard of in the secular Franciscan community. I will call Fr. Linus and ask him about it, but can one of you please explain to me what that means?

Linus won’t be able to talk to me till Monday. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks everyone! I just got back from the monthly meeting-one of the first thing that amazed me is that they remembered me from last month and not only that-they were happy to see me! I’m usually one of those very forgetable people.

I didn’t realize that the meeting was so long…but it was pretty good. And I do feel quite comfortable w/everyone there. I am looking forward to next month.

The woman who is guiding and teaching me has been professed for 56 years! I don’t think I have any questions right now…the group I’ve attended is called St Padre Pio SFO in Jensen Beach, FL


The franciscan relationship is a family relationship. This goes between 1st , 2nd, and 3rd orders.

You will find that the time of the meeting is really important since you will only meet the fraternity once a month most likely.

I will continue to pray for you.

Profession is something common in all Catholic Religious Orders. It is your promise to live my the Order’s rule and a deeper commitment to your Baptism promisses.

Pax et Bonum,


I figured as much, just wasn’t sure. Thanks

Our fraternity has been just what has been mentioned so far, except we have had 3 members go on to holy orders…2 priests and a permanent deacon. This spirituality was an important part of their formation in holy orders.:thumbsup:

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