Secular Franciscan Order

Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

  • Register




DECEMBER 2012 – YEAR 3 – No.36




by Benedetto Lino, OFS


Dossier prepared by the CIOFS Ongoing Formation Team

Ewald Kreuzer, OFS, Coordinator

Fr. Amando Trujillo Cano, TOR

Doug Clorey, OFS


With this dossier, we conclude the presentation of Benedetto Lino´s lecture on the subtheme of the last General Chapter in Sao Paolo (Brazil) in October 2011 entitled "A specific vocation for a particular mission".  The following is a summary of Benedetto’s presentation. We invite you to discuss the points in the summary with your fraternities and to share your own thoughts and experiences with your brothers and sisters.

Next year, we will present a new ongoing formation theme: "The Theology of the Body" by Blessed Pope John Paul II. With this presentation, we hope to share in the implementation of one of the Conclusions of the last General Chapter which states "that Blessed John Paul II’s writings on The Theology of the Body be included in the formation programs of the OFS and YouFra in order to enable its members to rediscover the beauty of sexuality, marriage, and family, and the living of these gifts according to God's plan."


1. “Evangelised in order to evangelise”, “Vocation and mission”: two concepts which express the same fundamental reality of our being Christians.

► 2. The fundamental vocation, which is the same for everyone, precedes every specific vocation and is the basis for it. To live the fundamental vocation is essential before entering upon a “specific” vocation.

► 3. What is specific about our vocation as Franciscans and secular Franciscans: like Francis. Francis is our specificity. Francis’ vocation and its realisation is the model of ours.

► 4. Francis is “only” Christian: he conforms himself to Christ, in order to reach the Father, docile to the action of the Spirit. One is “Franciscan” only to the extent that one fully becomes totally Christian, like Francis.

► 5. Francis’ way of being Christian is characterised only by the intensity of his discipleship: radicalism, totality, permanence. In our own lives, we must trace this way of setting out to follow Christ: radically, totally and permanently.

► 6. Francis, “a Catholic and wholly apostolic man”. Our calling is to be totally Christian, without creating barriers, without boasting of any unfounded superiority, profoundly apostolic, always geared towards “going”, ready to emerge from our customary realities of fraternity, of the Order, the Family, docile to the Lord’s will. Ours is an apostolic vocation. We are the secular outreach of the apostolic religious vocation of Francis.

7. Francis is not “Franciscan”, nor did he wish to found an Order of “Franciscans”. What he wanted was to be only and totally Christian, Catholic, apostolic.  He wanted to have brothers and disciples who were totally in love with Christ, so as to live in communion with the Father, in the Spirit, in the bosom of the Most Holy Trinity.

► 8. Mission is not particular: it is total. Its particular nature resides in that totality. As with vocation, mission is the general mission of every Christian, but it too has to be lived and accomplished in a radical, total and permanent manner, with all the intensity of which we are capable. Our mission is to bring the whole Christ.

► 9. The mission revealed by the Crucifix of San Damiano is the paradigm for all Franciscans, and therefore for us Secular Franciscans. The mission is addressed to the entire Church, to the whole body of Christ, in each of its aspects, and in every place.

► 10. The Church’s mission is our mission, and the Church’s mission is to proclaim the good news of God’s love and the redemption of humanity, to give them a share in the life and holiness of God : “…“to make present the charism of our seraphic Father St Francis in the life and in the mission of the Church”.

► 11. The mission, while it must be carried out by each individual, requires concerted action, collaboration and complementarity from all members of the OFS, from all the Franciscans in the entire Family. The time has come for us to realise that we cannot live separated from others with a false sense of self-sufficiency.   God’s plan for Francis and his Family is all-embracing, and we are each working for the other, in one single mission for the Church.

► 12. Mission at the service of the Universal Church and of the local Church, according to needs that arise, as indicated by the pope, bishops and parish priests.

► 13. We are not called to be mediocre Christians, only distinguished for their devotions and attendance at Franciscan events. We are called to commit ourselves with a passion, with every fibre of our being, always and everywhere, to BE HOLY AS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, like Francis.


1. What does "Evangelisation", "Vocation" and "Mission" mean for you personally and for your OFS fraternity?

2. How does Francis of Assisi continue to inspire us as Secular Franciscans today?  In which specific ways?

3. What is our specific mission as the Secular Franciscan Order within the overall mission of the Church?