Secular Franciscan Order SFO
The Secular Franciscan Order belongs to the Franciscan Family and is “formed by the organic union of all the Catholic fraternities, whose members, moved by the Holy Spirit, commit themselves through profession to live the Gospel after the manner of St. Francis in their secular state following the Rule approved by the Church”.
“The rule and life of the Secular Franciscans 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 centre of his life with God and people…They should devote themselves especially to careful reading of the gospel, going from gospel to life and life to the gospel.”
According to the latest statistics the SFO has about 400,000 professed members.
The Third Order was active in Dublin during the medieval period. After a period of persecution Fr. Francis Fleming got permission to re-erect the Third Order in Dublin on 20 February 1759. He opened a register for brothers and sisters in 1760 and published a handbook in 1762. The Third Order began to flourish in Dublin once more. A group of brothers from Merchants Quay began teaching the poor in Milltown in Dalkey in 1817. They became the Franciscan Brothers of the Third Order Regular, Mountbellew. A renewal of the Third Order in Dublin began around 1860. More reforms took place in Dublin in 1885-91. Frs. Louis Cassidy and Anthony Hyland adapted a building for use by the tertiaries. It had an oratory and a lending library. Matt Talbot joined the Third Order in Merchants Quay in 1888. In 1918 the Third Order in Dublin was split into fraternities for men and women. Each had two monthly meetings – a morning mass and an evening session. Fr. Philip Murphy was in Dublin in 1921-24. He helped Frank Duff to found the Legion of Mary in 1921. 9 Merchants Quay was turned into a Third Order Centre with rooms where tertiaries could meet and relax,. The members of the Third Order in Dublin became very active in social reform. In 1962 there were seven monthly meetings to accommodate the numbers. Six hundred tertiaries met in Dublin in 1971 to celebrate the seven hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the order. The Franciscan Year in 1982 was a great event for all followers of St. Francis in Ireland.
The Secular Franciscan Order (Third Order of St. Francis) can offer you the means to live the Franciscan Way of Life in your own home and family surroundings. Its Rule of Life has helped so many in the living of their Christian lives. Membership includes students, professional people, housewives, tradesmen, secular clergy and some with no occupation.
Secular Franciscan Meetings:
Every month on the second Saturday of the month at 12 noon Mass and on a Tuesday following the second Saturday of each month at 1.05 pm. mass