National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order - USA

(revised 1998)

The mission of the Family Commission of the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States of America is to witness that the family is a sanctuary of acceptance, support and respect which encourages the total growth of its individual members and nurtures them in the spirit of peace and love, enabling them to be aware that they are children of God, and enabling them to let this peace and love flow out to others.

For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another... we have gifts that differ according to the grace given us. (Romans 12:4-6)

This mission is consistent with the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order which proclaims that:

In their family they should cultivate the Franciscan spirit of peace, fidelity, and respect for life, striving to make of it a sign of a world already renewed in Christ.

By living the grace of matrimony, husbands and wives in particular should bear witness in the world to the love of Christ for His Church.

They should joyfully accompany their children on their [human and spiritual] journey by providing a simple and open Christian education and being attentive to the vocation of each child. (The Rule of the S.F.O., art 17)

The Family Commission encourages the sisters and brothers to unite in prayer for the restoration of the family, to respect and value all life, to foster human interaction and human development and to extend this mission to their own natural families, to the Franciscan family, to the Church family, the community family and to the family of the world.


Goal 1: To encourage the sisters and brothers, single and married, widowed, single parent or divorced, to cultivate a spirit of prayer, peace, fidelity, and respect for life at every stage of human development within their own families, their fraternities and in the community at large.

Goal 2: To help the brothers and sisters who are married to live the grace of matrimony in such a manner that they witness to the world that marriage is a sacramental commitment and a holy union blessed by God.

Goal 3: To challenge those sisters and brothers who are parents to be especially attentive to the Christian education and vocation of each child while recognizing them as unique sons and daughters of God.

Goal 4: To ensure that all Secular Franciscans understand that because Christ showed special love for children, they must respond to the needs of children not only within their own families, but also in their churches, in their communities and in the world.

Goal 5: To challenge each fraternity to strive to become for its members a real family in every sense of the word.

Goal 6: To encourage each fraternity to minister to the lonely, the sick, and the discouraged among its own members and to reach out into the world to help poor and hurting families.

Goal 7: To provide input to the National Executive Council on ways to address these issues.