I am interested in the different types of Franciscan friars. What is the difference between First Order and Third Order friars? Furthermore, what is the difference between the various types of First Order friars, such as OFM, Capuchin, and Conventual friars? How do their ministries, prayer lives, and charisms differ?
I think you should read St Francis of Assisi’s writings:
St. Francis of Assisi - Works of the Seraphic Father
As far as the first order there was a split early in Francis order which was I believe mainly over poverty. The Capuchin wanted to follow Francis more closely. I forget but I believe the Conventuals could own property whereas the OFM and Caps could not.
Francis second order is the Poor Clares.
Francis 3rd order are the Secular Franciscans which are also comprised of the TOR’s. I am a professed Secular Franciscan. The 3rd order is for males and females, married or not who are Called to live the Gospel as St.Francis did. We have a rule, constitution and statutes. Diocesan Priests and deacons can be Secular Franciscans as well.
As you can see I need to brush up and reread the book by Maurice Carmody called the Franciscan Story.
Peace and all good!
From a similar thread (these are the contemporary distinctions):
As to the TORs and Secular Third Orders, I must admit I’m still confused about that myself. If you search for “TOR” and “Brother JR” you’re bound to find something.