“We . . . called to follow Christ in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, in order to provide for the life of the Order and specifically for its organization and function, do establish and adopt these Statutes.”
These words, from the NAFRA National Statutes, remind us of the need for rules and policies and procedures even in our spiritual setting. We gather in one faith, one body, yet we bring many backgrounds.
To ensure that we all focus on our common goals, society offers us guidelines by which to act. The Secular Franciscan Order is no different; made of many people, we too have our own rules and policies to help us live out in charity, peace and respect our Franciscan vocation, so as to provide “life” to the Order and its various organizational parts and pieces.
These rules and policies place those of us in our local fraternity (Il Poverello) under two larger fraternities: the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States of America, and the overarching International Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order. These fraternities have their own “constitutions” or “statutes” (spiritual guidelines) to help apply the Rule to its own particular life, spirituality and mission.
But the one “rule” that takes precedent over our individual lives as Secular Franciscans, always and since the time of Francis himself, is “The Rule.”
Below you will find the Rule, the NAFRA National Statutes, CIOFS International Statutes, and CIOFS General Constitutions: