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What is a Secular Franciscan?

The Secular Franciscan Order (SFO), also known as the Third Order of St. Francis, is an official Order within the Catholic Church established by St. Francis of Assisi in the early 13th century. Members live their everyday lives in the secular world, but gather together in fraternity on a regular basis.


The members of the San Damiano Fraternity gather together every Wednesday at 12:10PM in the St. Clare Auditorium in St. Peter's in the Loop Catholic Church. Simply join us on any Wednesday that suits your schedule.

After a period of "Inquiry", you enter a period of "Candidacy" designed to guide you through a prayerful investigation of the life of a Secular Franciscan. Your journey as a full member of the SFO-San Damiano Fraternity, begins in a ceremony of "Profession", celebrated with friends, family, and the Friars of St. Peter's in the Loop. A typical timeframe from Inquiry to Profession is 36 months.


Becoming a member of the Secular Franciscan Order is a lifetime commitment. Secular Franciscans follow a rule originally written in the early 13th century: "To observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, by following St. Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and People." 

Secular Franciscans vow to move from "gospel to life, and life to gospel" in their everyday dealings with those they encounter.

The full text of the Secular Franciscan Order can be found at this link from the National SFO Fraternity.


In addition to the weekly Wednesday meetings where we strive to deepen each other's faith in the Secular Franciscan Order, we perform various acts of charity (hosting homeless lunches, delivering food to the poor), and strengthen each other in our daily living of a Franciscan way of life. Each Inquirer, Candidate, and Professed member brings his or her unique talents to our Fraternity. We dedicate these diverse set of talents to the furtherance of God's kingdom on this Earth.

For a good overview of how we strive to celebrate the Rule of St. Francis, access this link describing the 40 Years of The Rule, created by the National SFO Fraternity.


Join us at 12:10PM every Wednesday in the St. Clare Auditorium at St. Peter's in the Loop

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