Our life as secular Franciscans in built upon what are commonly referred to as: “The Four Pillars.” These pillars (Spirituality, Formation, Fraternity and Apostolate(s)) provide us with opportunities to live out our Franciscan charism, within our secular community and the greater world.
The interplay among the Four Pillars addresses the content, the approach, the living, and the sharing of the Secular Franciscan life.
The various pieces which constitute the Spirituality Pillar are aimed at providing the materials for a Franciscan identity and mindset. With this material, the Formation Pillar is intended to mold and shape the individual progressively throughout Orientation, Initial Formation, and Ongoing Formation. The Fraternity Pillar is the interactive piece aimed at living this formed spirituality with those who are on the same journey. The Apostolate(s) Pillar has a twofold intent: working with fellow Franciscans in a cooperative, collaborative manner, embracing the gifts and person of each member of the group; and offering service to the community as a Gospel response. While this is in and of itself laudable, there is an added factor that this service is done by a group who is of “one mind and one heart,” communicating an example of the life of the early Christian community. The idea is to recognize the gifts God provides in the sisters and brothers, forging a bond among them and bringing forth from this community of sisters and brothers not only the ministering of gifts to the needs of others, but also the witnessing of the Franciscan identity by the Gospel response through which this ministry is realized.
The Four Pillars give us developed focus to live authentically The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order.*
The rule and life of the Secular Franciscan is this:
“To observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of Saint Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people.
Christ, the gift of the Father’s love, is the way to him, the truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us, and the life which he has come to give abundantly.
Secular Franciscans should devote themselves especially to careful reading of the gospel, going from gospel to life and life to the gospel.”
— The Rule, Article 4
Click on a pillar to learn more about that particular area of our life!
* Adapted from materials of the Brothers and Sisters of Saint Francis Region; http://sirokibrijegofs.org/four-pillars/