Franciscan Order of Friars Minor vs. Franciscan Third Order Regular

What’s the major difference between these religious orders? I know the differences in the law, but what are the differences in the life a member of each order would lead?
Also, where do these Franciscans live? Do they live in friaries? I know that they take a vow of poverty, but do they have their “own” houses anyway?
Thank you in advance. (:

The answer to your question is that it really depends on which specific group you are talking about.

The Franciscan First Order is made up of the following branches:

  1. OFM
  2. OFM Conventual
  3. OFM Capuchin

Most of the groups have friaries associated with them. The life each would leave would depend on their charism and the ministries of the particular group.

Franciscan Third Order Regular is even more complicated because they are usually founded around particular ministries (i.e. hospitals, Pro-life, poor outreaches, etc.) Whether they live in community or not depends on totally on the mission of the Third Order.

Yes all these groups take a vow of poverty. I suggest looking through all the posts in the following thread to get an idea of the different branches of the Franciscan Order. The main purpose of the thread is talking about SFO but it given a good explanation of all of the groups.

The “First” orders (Friars Minor OFM, Capuchins OFM Cap and Conventuals OFM Conv) follow the Rule of St. Francis, and the Third Order Regulars follow the Third Order Rule.

Good luck in your discernment! They are both amazing Orders, though I am partial to the OFM Conventuals.

Yes, the rules and histories are different. Because of this the charisms are also slightly different.

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