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Adult Faith Formation

This page is for an Adult Faith Formation class at St. John the Evangelist, Oxford, MS.


The Journey and the Dream


The purpose of this study is to present a short overview in four sessions about:

  • The lives of Saint Francis and Saint Clare
  • Franciscan Spirituality
  • The Secular Franciscan Order
  • The call to the Secular Franciscan Order

PRESENTER:  Ouida L. Tomlinson, OFS, born in Oxford, MS, and moved away after 7th grade to return many times later.  Is a widow with two adult children and three grandchildren.  Completed a BA degree at Ole Miss in 1977 and a MSJA degree at the University of Denver School of Law in 1978.  Was an “Episcobapterian,” having been baptized Baptist and later a member of a Presbyterian Church and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford.

Converted to the Catholic faith in April 1994 in Slidell, LA, and became a professed Secular Franciscan on January 25, 1997, with Our Lady of the Angels fraternity in Picayune, MS.  Member of Our Lady of the Pearl fraternity in Kiln, MS.  Designed and maintain website for the fraternity:  www.ourladyofthepearl.com .  Served as assistant to the Formation Director, elected Secretary and then Formation Director until fall 2015.  Now serving in advisory capacity to Formation Director.  Moved back to Oxford in March 2014.

TEXT:  The first text recommended is Francis The Journey and the Dream by Murray Bodo, published by St. Anthony Press, copyright 2011,  ISBN: 9781616360641.  Paperback on Amazon (including used book section) with ISBN Nos:  ISBN-13: 978-1616364106 ISBN-10: 1616364106.  https://www.amazon.com/Francis-Journey-Murray-Bodo-O-F-M/dp/1616364106/ref=mt_paperback?_encoding=UTF8&me=

The Journey and the Dream  is required reading for all individuals entering formation to become a Secular Franciscan.  The book is their introduction to the life of Saint Francis and his spirituality.   Our class may use it for meditation and spiritual reading; recommended for adoration and contemplation.

A second text is a biography, The Perfect Joy of Saint Francis by Felix Timmerans, published by Ignatius Press (November 2, 1998), ISBN-10 0898706661; ISBN-13 978-0898706666.  It has been recommended by Benedict Groeschel, CFR, who said about the book:  “One of the classic lives of St. Francis.” https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Joy-Saint-Francis/dp/0898706661/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284911207&sr=8-1 .  Check used book section on amazon.com .

WEBSITE:  A primary resource for this study is Our Lady of the Pearl website, named for my fraternity:  https://ourladyofthepearl.com/  .  The website was published with the aim of presenting Franciscan information, particularly on Saint Francis, Saint Clare, Franciscan spirituality and theology, and the Franciscan Orders, especially the Secular Franciscan Order.


Each class session will be opened with this prayer of Saint Francis:

Almighty God, and You my Lord Jesus Christ,
I pray you to enlighten me and to dispel the darkness of my spirit;
give me a faith that is without limit,
a hope that is ever unfailing,
and a love that is universal.
Grant, O my God, that I may really know You
and that I may be guided in all things
according to Your light and in conformity with Your will.
(St. Francis of Assisi)

Lesson One:   Introduction and the Life of Saint Francis.  Class preparation for Lesson One:  Read about Francis by clicking Saint Francis from the menu found at the top of each page.  Also click on Introduction to Life of Saint Francis which is a subpage under Saint Francis.  Also, see subpage to Adult Faith Formation,  Lesson One (click).

Lesson Two:  The Life of Saint Clare.  Class preparation for Lesson Two:  Read about Clare by clicking Saint Clare from the menu found at the top of each page.   Also, see subpage to Adult Faith Formation,  Lesson Two (click).

Lesson Three Franciscan Spirituality.  Class preparation for Lesson Three:  Click on Franciscan Spirituality from the menu found at the top of each page.  In addition, click on the five subpages (Crib, Cross, Cup, Creation, and Lady Poverty).  Also, see subpage to Adult Faith Formation,  Lesson Three  (click).

Lesson Four:  The Secular Franciscan Order and The Call to the Secular Franciscan Order.  Class preparation for Lesson Four:  Click on Secular Franciscan Order from the menu found at the top of each page.  In addition, click on the two subpages (The Portiuncular and The San Damiano Cross).  Then read by clicking The Call on the menu and its four subpages.  Also see subpage to Adult Faith Formation, Lesson Four (click).


Chronology of Political, Social and Religious Milieu from 962 A.D.  to 1255 A.D. with Primary Focus on Central Italy and Assisi in Particular

Chronology of the Lives St. Francis and St. Clare

CLICK Time Line



In 1215 Pope Innocent III called the Fourth Lateran Council.  This was six years (1209) after Pope Innocent III orally approves Francis’ rule.  This was three years (1212) after Clare leaves her home on Palm Sunday night to meet Francis and his brothers to begin her Franciscan journey.  To read all the constitutions, go here:   FOURTH LATERAN COUNCIL .

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