There are some relationships we should be aware of regarding out identity as Secular Franciscans:
A very important chapter found in the FUN formation manual, “Our Identity as Secular Franciscans” by Anne Mulqueen, OFS, spells this out,
in particular, the following portion:
“The OFS General Constitutions, further define our status in Article 1.5 and states:
The Secular Franciscan Order is a public association in the Church. It is divided into fraternities at various levels: local, regional, national, and international. Each one has its own juridical personality within the Church.
“The Secular Franciscan Order differs from other Third Orders in significant way, and
it is important that we be aware of the characteristics specific to the OFS.
♦ The OFS shares a common founder with the First and Second Order—
St Francis of Assisi.
♦ The OFS is not associated or affiliated with the First Order or TOR—it is
autonomous and self-governing.
♦ The OFS shares in vital reciprocity with the other branches of
the Franciscan family and has equal dignity.
♦ The OFS was given the same charism and mission as the other
branches of the Franciscan family. In our secular state, we, too,
continue the mission of St. Francis to rebuild God’s Church.
♦ Our Rule and Constitutions are approved by the Holy See and not by the
Ministers General of the First Order and Third Order Regular.
♦ Members of other third orders may belong to more than one third orders.
Secular Franciscan may not.”
All OFS fraternities that are Canonically Approbated (the goal of all fraternities) function under a special relationship with friars. "Altius moderamen" is a Latin term used in Canon 303 to mean that the friars of the First Order and Third Order Regular are to guarantee the fidelity of the SFO to the Franciscan charism, communion with the Church and union with the Franciscan Family, values which represent a vital commitment for the Secular Franciscans. (General Constitutions of the Secular Franciscan Order, Article #85.2)
Secular Franciscan Order
Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis
Our Local Fraternity:
Divine Mercy Fraternity
Vero Beach, FL
Officers as of 1/10/2016
Fred Schaeffer, OFS
Helen Caldarone, OFS
Mary "Jean" McGovern, OFS
Donna Haro, OFS
Councillors at Large:
Jack Reddy, OFS
Fred Schaeffer, OFS