Do Secular Franciscans make religious vows?
Although Secular Franciscans make a solemn public profession, they are not bound by religious vows as are those religious orders living the evangelical counsels in community. The Third Order Regular (TOR), which grew out of the Third Order Secular, do consecrate themselves through religious vows and live in community.
The Secular Franciscan Order, formerly known as the Third Order of St. Francis, is an official Order within the Catholic Church, established by St. Francis of Assisi himself early in the thirteenth century.
Ordinarily, we do not live in community; rather, we live with our families and perform our jobs out in the world, gathering in fraternities on a regular basis. By profession, we promise to follow a Rule of Life approved and confirmed by Pope Paul VI in June of 1978.
“The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans is this:
to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi,
who made Christ the inspiration and the center
of his life with God and with people.
May this too be your way of life.”*
In these fraternities the brothers and sisters, led by the Spirit, strive for ongoing daily conversion, to turn away from sin and to be faithful to the Gospel. We seek, with and only with God’s grace, perfect charity in our secular state, helping one another in this journey closer to Christ, following in the footsteps of Ss. Francis and Clare.
from the Rite of Admission into the Secular Franciscan Order