franciscan

Becky Goodwin (right), O.F.S. from St. Joseph Parish in Palmyra and Robie Orf, O.F.S. from St. Clement Parish in Bowling Green made their permanent Profession into the Secular Franciscan Order. (Contributed photo)

Becky Goodwin, O.F.S. from St. Joseph Parish in Palmyra and Robie Orf, O.F.S. from St. Clement Parish in Bowling Green made their permanent Profession into the Secular Franciscan Order. 

The Secular Franciscan Order, formerly known as the Third Order of St. Francis, is an official Order within the Catholic Church, established by St. Francis of Assisi early in the 13th century.

There are approximately 12,000 members of the O.F.S. in the United States. 

Orf and Goodwin promised to follow the Rule of Life of the Secular Franciscan Order, pledging themselves to live the Gospel in the manner of St. Francis by means of this Rule. 

St. Francis himself wrote the first Rule of Life for members of the Secular Franciscan Order. Since Vatican II, that Rule has been updated but remains true to the vision of St. Francis of Assisi. 

This rule calls Secular Franciscans to live out their calling to the Franciscan life in a particular way in their homes and families, at work, in their parishes, and in the world.

The Profession celebration took place during the 11 a.m. Mass at St. Francis Solanus Church, Quincy, Ill. Sunday, July 15. 

Orf and Goodwin’s profession was the culmination of almost three years of initial formation and study about the Franciscan way of life. 

The Fraternity’s Minister, Rosanne Roy, O.F.S. in the name of the Church and the Secular Franciscan Order received their Profession into St. Elizabeth of Hungary Secular Franciscan Fraternity. 

Fr. Don Blaeser, O.F.M. served as the Ecclesial Witness. 

Goodwin and Orf join the approximately 30 active Professed members of St. Elizabeth Fraternity located in Quincy.

Members of the Secular Franciscan Order live their everyday lives in the world as single or married laypersons.  

The Order is also open to diocesan clergy. The brothers and sisters of the O.F.S., led by the Spirit, strive for perfect charity in their own secular state. 

They gather together on a regular basis for prayer, ongoing formation, ministry and fellowship. 

Secular Franciscans join a local fraternity – a living active Christian community – and truly become a spiritual family. 

As brothers and sisters they help one another in living out their call to the Gospel life.  Secular Franciscans are not expected to be perfect imitators of Christ in order to qualify for admission. 

Rather, conversion and conformity to Christ is a lifelong process, carried out daily because of our human frailty. The Rule of Life and the support of the fraternity are great helps as Secular Franciscans seek daily to follow Christ and live out their Franciscan vocation.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary Fraternity was canonically established in 1861 and welcomes your inquiries about the Secular Franciscan Order. 

For more information or to explore a possible vocation to the O.F.S., contact our Formation Director, Thérèse Ream, O.F.S., FormationDirector@prairiestfrancis.org