Concerns about a new SFO group I am in


There is a newly forming group in my parish. It is the Seular Franciscan Order. I was invited to join and other things have pointed me in this direction. St. Francis and his walk with the Gospel has always intrigued me.

The group is very new. I have been discerning for about 2 months and it has been great. We won’t be “welcomed” until the end of June. Mind you, the road from beginning to professed has just started and there are several years before final profession.

Some concerns have popped up and I wanted to get some input, if anyone has any.

The general meetings and formaton meetings have remained fairly traditional, which are my leanings. This weekend several of us went to a talk from Fr. Murray Bodo. It was a really nice experience. I couldn’t help notice though, many of the people there were throwing around language that sounded kind of New Age-y. On our car ride to the talk 2 people in our group were talking about Fr. Richard Rohr and several of his books. I, personally, am uncomfortable with Rohr and his books and retreats but of course I certainly do not have to read them. Some of the people I met were talking about Oprah and her show and Rohr and other things that sounded a little “off” to me.

I had worried when I first started the group about them espousing Rohr and New Age type teaching. We are reading from Murray Bodo’s Francis, The Journey and the Dream and it is a wonderful book. The group is rather small with only 2 professed that are leading it. I don’t have really any concerns at the meetings but just with several of the people and then my experience this weekend.

I went down the New Age path after college and that led me straight out of the Church and into the New Age movement and all the ridiculousness that teaches. I do not want to get involved with contemplative prayer via Rohr or New Age stuff that seems to have crept into the Church.

Another thing is the music director at our parish pulled me aside several weeks ago. I have known her for 2 years and trust her. She said she was a Franciscan and that I might want to rethink the SFO and she told me about another group of sisters that followed the Gospel more closely. But she did say I had to follow where the Holy Spirit was leading me though but to consider not joining this newly forming group. I thought that was odd but it has stuck with me.

Sorry to be so wordy but I am just feeling confused. Part of me wants to go talk to our pastor for some direction but then I think I do not want to throw red flags up regarding a newly forming group that might be just fine and I am being silly. But I also do not want to get farther into this group only to find out that Rohr and a more New Age reading is required reading for formation. I hope this makes some sense.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Please take your concerns to the persons in charge of the group itself, and ask for clarification. Keep the other lady’s advice on the backburner, just in case things ‘go south,’ as is said, with this group, although I am rather taken aback by her lack of charity.

There’s nothing more annoying to persons trying to start groups than having the rumor mill try to shut it down. If these persons were talking New Age, the leadership needs to know about it so they can tactfully address the issue. Let the leadership know your personal experience with New Age. If they are indeed including that, then you may have been put in their path to dissuade them.



I, too, would have concerns about the subjects you mention.

May our Lord, His Blessed Mother, and St. Francis lead you to where you should be!


Thank you both for the advice. I hope the concerns are not warranted. We only meet twice a month so I think I will most likely send an email and go from there. I dislike raising concerns but I dislike more just letting it go and people getting led astray.


Besides bringing your concerns to the professed members of the community, one question that you have to ask yourself is if you’d be able to spend years with those people who are fond of New Age stuff in that SFO community, for first impressions are sometimes lasting impressions. And, if so, if you are also called to reform them and bring them back to orthodoxy.

Christus resurrexit!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit