was an integral value in both Francis and Clare’s lives as they moved beyond the status quo of their times. Born into wealth, Francis and Clare each were compelled to divest themselves of anything that would lead them away from Christ. They did this by following in the footprints of Jesus. This entailed a profound conversion—a complete surrender of their lives to God and God’s service!



is fundamental in a Franciscan’s life—prayer that flows from the depths of an inner life. For Francis and Clare all of life was rooted in prayer: ministry, community, solitude and silence, joy and pain. Embracing this value, we are called to love, honor, adore, serve, praise, bless, and glorify God in our lives. 



for Francis and Clare was a mirror image of Jesus’ poverty because Jesus had “nowhere to lay his head.” Thus, we are called to live our complete dependence on God through identifying with people around us who are poor, living a simple lifestyle and sharing all things in common. Our poverty extends beyond material poverty to an “attitude of the heart.” Embracing this attitude we strive to identify with the needs of the poor ones in our world and share our gifts, talents, ideas, resources and prayer life with them.



in the times of Francis and Clare referred to a socio-economic status. Although born into wealth, each of these great saints made a conscious decision to become one of the minores (the lesser ones). Each had a keen awareness of “God’s little ones”—those who are marginalized, oppressed, helpless and unwanted—and actively reached out to them in loving service. Today, we are called to do no less—to search out the “lesser ones” in our midst and live our lives in solidarity with them


The Rule of Life and the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis. (1982, 1997). American-English Commentary written by Margaret Carney, OSF and Thaddeus Horgan, SA. Washington, DC: Franciscan Federation

    Our Main Charism

    What is the distinctive mark or charism of Franciscan Teriary life?  The answer is to be found in the earliest designation of the Order: The Order of Penance of Francis of Assisi. The Order of Penance in the church did not begin with Francis; it actually predated him by centuries.  Initially instituted for sinners who were publicly alienated from the church and were seeking restoration, it eventually welcomed those who wished to enter upon a life of penitence, even though they were guilty of no serious public sins.  This Order of Penance had its highs and its lows through the centuries, but received a renewed impetus in the middle ages, especially through the efforts of Francis...

    But what did this penitential life consist of?  To a considerable extent the term "penance" had come to be identified with acts of mortification and self-denial. It was external forms of penance such as fasting, abstinence, and self denial that were at the forefront, and not the biblical notion of a basic change of life...[After the Second Vatican Council] it was felt that any revision of the Rule had to see penance as the central value.  This was seen primarily in the sense of a "turning around" in life. The Greek verb metanoein rendered the Hebrew shub that in its most concrete sense meant a "turning around" on the road.  This meaning carries over into the New Testament's call to conversion of life, which signified a change in direction in life or in the Pauline assertion of setting aside the "old person" and walking in a newness of life. 

    Fr. Roland Faley, TOR. "Recapturing a Vision: Conversion," in History Of The Third Order Regular A Source Book (2008).  


    TOR Ordination - July 2020