We are Catholic Christians, living our vocation in a secular [lay] state as members of the Franciscan family.
As Catholic Christians, [We] have been made living members of the Church by being buried and raised with Christ in baptism . . ."In our secular [lay] state, we go forth as witness and instrument of her mission among all people proclaiming Christ by our life and words."1 We are to be the leaven in the dough, the salt for the earth, the light for the world. We are to show that God is in the world and the Gospel can be lived.
As members of the Franciscan family we hear the call to rebuild the church in union with the religious and priests . . . ― we recognize that we are called to follow Christ in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi. Reflecting on the way the Franciscan charism can be lived by secular [lay] persons,
I quote Anselm Romb, OFM Conv., who seems to have captured the essence of Franciscan spirituality in one short paragraph.
"St. Francis would insist we stand against our times and take
the Gospel at the full and really trust God . . .Francis
would tell us to accept the crosses we cannot reasonably
escape and emphasize the Spirit over legislation and policies
. . . to prefer the poor and realize [our] effectiveness derives
from grace and not [our] own efforts . . . and to love the
Church in order to preserve the community of faith."
This is the face we present to the Church, the world and the Franciscan family.
From the OFS, F.U.N. Manual; "Our Identity as Secular Franciscans" by Ann Mulqueen OFS