Secular Franciscan Order

Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

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OFS Active Presence in the World Survey

OFS National Fraternity of SPAIN



1.       Project Description

The Association The Road to Emmaus is a path open for the poor and marginalized in general. The main objective of the Association is to ensure the integral formation of persons who are accepted as residents.
Here are the specific objectives:
-    Moral and spiritual formation
-    Socio-professional and cultural formation
-    Vocational training
-    Job placement
The vision of this association is to become: "A caring atmosphere of understanding and love," "a place of residence." It is promoted this way: “At last, a way to encounter Christ and our brothers”.


OFS National Fraternity of New Zealand

Assistance to Monte Cecilia Housing Trust


1. Project Description

Monte Cecilia provides a housing residential program for homeless families which includes services such as: Adult Education classes, budgeting, playgroup for children, household management. It also provides advocacy support and housing advice to the community. The OFS fraternity assists this program’s families with financial help and regular donations of food.


Active presence of the SFO in the World - 2011 Questionnaire

National Fraternity of France

Bro. Pacific Local fraternity - PVC Region

1.     Project CIRCLE OF SILENCE AT VERSAILLES: My undocumented brother and sister

2.     Description

DSCN1896.JPGDSCN1896.JPGThe Circle of silence, non-violent action, is aimed at informing people of Versailles (like those of 200 cities in France) of the lack of respect for the dignity of the person, of the growing number of laws that favor humiliation of those seeking political asylum or requesting residence permits, or simply renewing their residence permit. It is a network formed by people from numerous social or charitable structures, etc., as well as Protestants. It is being held every 2nd Thursday of the month, from 5pm to 6pm, at the flower market in Versailles (near the Prefecture), since 2008.

3.     A little history

In our city there are many immigrants, including many Muslims (there is a mosque), and Christians from over twenty countries and from various cultures. Many immigrants, undocumented or in precarious situations (difficulties to renew a residence permit, temporary permit of residence without permission to work ...), also go to a CIMADE’s office where some members of the fraternity volunteer. Finally, there is an Immigration Detention Center in town with room for 32 people. We have seen that in front of the prefecture, people seeking to do their paper work stand in line beginning in the evening prior to the office opening the following morning. Many people spend the night thus, standing in line on the sidewalk, with no shelter in the rain and in the cold during the winter. There are no toilets nearby, not is it possible to obtain hot drinks (or cold). Recently high school students come to offer coffee some mornings. The network members observe the lines and talk with the people, then take stock of the situation (over several months). Contact is established among the associations and movements participating in the circle of silence as well as (occasionally) with the Prefecture.

4.     Project Coordination

At the local fraternity, the project is coordinated by Michel-Claude Girard and Patrick Gérault.

5.     Impact on Society


IMG_1589.JPGIMG_1589.JPGOur actions have lessened the hardships of the conditions in which immigrants are lining up outside the prefecture. There has been growing awareness of the local media and especially the inhabitants of Versailles, by the presence of the Circle of silence that brings together 50 to 120 people in the same place, once a month, since 2008. Every month, 350 copies of the Circle of silence Newsletter are distributed to passers-by. The bulletin is also sent by internet to various organizations, parishes and several people who have provided their email addresses, as well as to the French network of circles of silence. We have established ​​contact with a Member of Parliament. The local bishop participated once at the Circle of silence. We have also had the warm support of the "network Gubbio".

6.     What we learned

Being silent for an hour allows Christians to pray and all those watching or joining us to internalize. The strength of silence and immobile presence inspire respect for the circle. Pedestrians or passersby go around in silence.

Not everyone understands “you are brothers” in the same way: there are several "levels" of brothers, there is a big gap between the words of the gospel and the reality of our lives, between “you visited me in prison” and I visit the undocumented, I welcome them, I take risks for them.

We have also come to learn the conditions under which migration occurs and the various texts / laws governing migration.

Versailles 12 September 2010 v5.jpg

Versailles 9 12 2010 v5.jpg


7.     Multimedia / Documentation available

The numerous laws on the subject are a recurring topic on the radio, on television and in newspapers. The Versailles regional newspaper occasionally deals with the subject.

8.     Contact person        Email                     Telephone

Patrick Gérault This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01 30 55 54 66

Michel Girard This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01 30 54 05 87