ABOUT OUR FRANCISCAN COMMUNITY
Simply, we are a community united in the Christian tenants of love, mercy, and compassion. The foundation of our fraternal lives comes from one thing: prayer. Prayer is the dialogue between us, God's divinely made people, and our Creator. It is the conversation that feeds us and nourishes our beings. By rooting our lives in prayer, we discover the need to evermore expand our spiritual selves. As such, our community lives by vows made to the church and to God, in an effort to live more healthy, holy, and moral lives.
What is a Franciscan Friar?
Friars are simply those who have taken vows promising to live according to the Rule of Life of their community. Franciscans follow the life and example of Saint Francis of Assisi, striving to constantly conform our lives into the image of Christ. Francis believed in living out these vows daily, striving to be more genuine in faith and life. Fruitful works of mercy, active repentance, faithful stewardship, sincere relationships, and joyful inclusiveness are just a few ways friars live this life.
What is Ecumenical Catholicism?
Ecumenism at its core is the belief that all are welcome to the Lord's table to participate in the sacraments, regardless of who they are, what they look like, who they love, or where they come from. Being Ecumenical Catholics means striving towards unity among all Christians, and opening our doors to the world. To be ecumenical is to welcome the stranger as if they are Christ Himself. To be ecumenical is to oppose divisive or alienating behavior among ourselves. To be ecumenical is to follow our informed conscience in living an authentic, genuine, and holy life.
A Spirituality for Every Hour
"Could you not watch one hour with me?" -Matt. 26:40
The vows lived out by the brothers are truly and literally lived out. Below we mention what a typical day may look like for a brother, and how our lives are structured, but the spirituality for this living is much deeper. This deep spiritual component comes from the belief that by taking vows to the church, it is not a life lived for ourselves, but for others. The divinely made people of God are the reason we continue to strive to live the vows daily. To be simple in life, to better serve others. To be pure in intent, to love more perfectly. To show fidelity, in order to live authentically.
As Franciscans we have a unique call to reach out to those on the margins. As such we serve the people of God in many ways. We serve in assisted living facilities offering the Mass to the people. We minister to those in hospitals, visiting the ill, and anointing the sick. We visit the imprisoned and offer reassurance for a better life. We console those during times of grief and loss. We offer spiritual direction and life coaching to those who need help discerning their next life step. As Catholics, we are called to embrace those who come to our doors, and reach out our hands to those in need!
Sometimes, we hear people say, less is more. In a lot of cases, we find this to be true. The Friars live this vow by considering their own needs last, and considering all others first. Our spirituality is only strengthened when we start to live a life for others instead of our own desires. It is a daily action to say, "No, I have enough." Especially in a materialistic society such as ours, it is so important to put aside anything that distracts us from God.
The world today can seem very hedonistic at times. As such, it is our duty as Christians to live lives pleasing to God. How do we do this? We must strive to love others as we love ourselves, just as Jesus loved his flock. In the attempt to follow our Saviors example of purity, we strive to live moral lives, free of vices and unhealthy excesses.
As a religious community we elect and trust a Guardian to provide leadership to the order. In the spirit of Christian charity we should always be open to anything asked of us by our superiors. Even more so, we are open to those who ask anything of us, especially others in our religious community. Being loyal and faithful to a cause, is a call all Christians have by virtue of their baptisms.
"A Day in the Life"
While there is definitely no typical day for a friar, most of us have routines that are the same. Each of the brothers are meant to support themselves. Therefore, many of us work secular jobs while living out our vows to our community. This does not mean however, that one cannot support themselves through ministry. Many of our brothers hold chaplain positions and as such are compensated for providing these services. For all the brothers the day begins and ends with the same thing: prayer. We say the morning office when we arise before starting our day, to give us direction for the tasks God brings to us. Then, after a day of work, before we retire for the evening we say evening prayer to ease our minds.