Throughout the history of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis a common unifying theme can be seen in the importance placed on service to the people of God. The brothers and sisters of the Third Order have always been guided by their individual and collective awareness of the needs of the Church and formed by their willingness to respond to those needs. From the earliest recorded experiences of the "regular" branch of the Third Order, the sisters and brothers have worked in hospitals and hospices, educational institutions of various kinds, in spiritual direction and in any number of other areas in which people were in need of prayerful and loving service.
The history of the two provinces in the United States, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Conception of Mary, are two uniquely "American" expressions of this Franciscan tertiary spirit and commitment. Both provinces were born out of a genuine and prayerful desire to be of service to the people of God, and both continue to struggle to be responsive to the ever-changing needs of the Church in the United States.
Fr. Michael J. Higgins, TOR
Fr. Arnold Petrosky, TOR