SFO General Constitutions: Profession into the Secular Franciscan Order
Our Permanent Commitment

Article 8

1.    The Secular Franciscans commit themselves by their profession to live the Gospel according to Franciscan spirituality in their secular condition.


2.    They seek to deepen, in the light of faith, the values and choices of the evangelical life according to the Rule of the SFO:

—   Rule 7:  in a continually renewed journey of conversion and of formation;

—   Rule 4, 3:  open to the challenges that come from society and from the Church's life situation, "going from Gospel to life and from life to Gospel;"

—   in the personal and communal dimensions of this journey.


Article 12

1.    Gaining inspiration from the example and the writings of Francis and, above all, filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, each day the brothers and sisters faithfully live the great gift which Christ has given: the revelation of the Father.  They should bear witness to this faith before all:

—   in their family life;

—   in their work;

—   in their joys and sufferings;

—   in their associations with all men and women, brothers and sisters of the same Father;

—   in their presence and participation in the life of society;

—   in their fraternal relationships with all creatures.


Article 42

1.    Profession is the solemn ecclesial act by which the candidate, remembering the call received from Christ, renews the baptismal promises and publicly affirms his or her personal commitment to live the Gospel in the world according to the example of Francis and following the Rule of the SFO.


2.    Rule 23: Profession incorporates the candidate into the Order and is by its nature a perpetual commitment.  Perpetual profession, because of objective and specific pedagogical reasons, may be preceded by a temporary profession, renewable annually.  The total time of temporary profession may not be longer than three years.[1]


3.    Profession is accepted by the minister of the local fraternity or by his or her delegate in the name of the Church and of the SFO.  The rite is carried out according to the norms of the Ritual.[2]


4.    Profession does not only commit those professed to the fraternity, but also, in the same way, it commits the fraternity to be concerned with their human and religious well-being.


5.    The act of profession is registered and preserved in the records of the fraternity.




What is the meaning of the SFO Profession and what are the consequences?

http://www.ciofs.org/per/2005/lca5en25.htm  Taken from CIOFS list: The International Fraternity

Secular Franciscans make a Profession, the promise to lead an evangelical life. They don’t enter an association but rather join a school of sanctity through a Profession accepted by the Church. Profession is a public celebration of a personal consecration and commitment to God.

Through the Profession one corresponds to Christ’s call. Through Profession the Secular Franciscan seeks the perfection of charity. Such a Profession is by its nature perpetual. From this moment the professed are linked and bound to the Order. They become part of a specific Fraternity; their life acquires meaning within the Fraternity; they serve their brothers and sisters. The Profession is the basis of opening one’s heart, taking on activities and service to the advantage of the Order, of society and of the Church. Evidently, to make the Profession means assuming a continual pledge of evangelic conversion. The perpetual professed, according to their capability and possibility and in the light of the interests of the Order, cannot be exempt, except for serious motives, from accepting the positions or functions asked of them at any level in the Fraternity whenever requested.

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[1]     See Ritual SFO, Preface n. 18.

[2]     See Ritual SFO, Preface n. 13 ff.; Part I, Chapter II.