PROFESSION IN THE SFO
There is a widespread opinion among many Franciscan seculars and religious that the Profession of Secular Franciscans is a “second class” commitment, some kind of a “light” Profession.
Indeed, most people have foggy ideas on the value of Profession in the Secular Franciscan Order and because of this many Secular Franciscans do not live the “grace” of Profession for what it really is: A true nuptial alliance with Jesus Christ aimed at a further consecration to God and at accomplishing a closer bond to the Church to reach the perfection of love and the realization of Saint Francis mission.
The true and authentic answer is, instead, to be searched in history and in the very nature of our Order as the Sovereign Pontiffs have constantly affirmed:
“…, (Francis) founded a true Order, that of the Tertiaries, not restricted by religious vows, as the two preceding (Orders), but similarly conformed to simplicity of customs and to a spirit of penitence. So, he was the first to conceive and happily carry out, with the help of God, what no founder of regulars (religious Orders) had previously contrived, to have the religious life practiced by all.” (Benedict XV, Encyclical “Sacra Propediem” January 6, 1921)
“…you are also an ‘Order,’ as the Pope said (Pius XII): A Lay Order, but a Real Order;” and after all, Benedict XV had already spoken of “Ordo veri nominis”. This ancient term – we can say medieval – “Order” means nothing more than your intimate belonging to the large Franciscan family. The word “Order” means the participation in the discipline and actual austerity of that spirituality, while remaining in the autonomy typical of your lay and secular condition, which, moreover, often entails sacrifices which are not lesser than those experienced in the religious and priestly life.” (John Paul II, June 14, 1988, General Chapter, SFO)
Profession in the SFO – Gift and Commitment by Cangelosi, OPM (click to open) will open the eyes to many candidates in formation as well as to many formators and professed members of the SFO in general and will undoubtedly give a new outlook to many Secular Franciscans on what they are, or ought to be, as Professed members of the SFO and on how to live their Franciscan vocation and mission. This is a profound document and a must read for all Secular Franciscans.
VIDEO TEACHINGS on article by Fr. Felice Cangelosi OFM Cap,
“Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment”
Presenter is Fr. Richard Trezza, O.F.M
These videos are excellent!!
Ritual of SFO – Click and go to chapter 2 for profession ritual.
PROFESSION OR COMMITMENT TO THE GOSPEL LIFE
(promises and commitments made at the time of profession)
I, _________________, by the grace of God,
renew my baptismal promises
and consecrate myself to the service of his Kingdom.
Therefore, in my secular state
I promise to live
all the days of my life
the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
in the Secular Franciscan Order
by observing its rule of life.
May the grace of the Holy Spirit,
the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and our holy father St. Francis,
and the fraternal bonds of community
always be my help
so that I may reach the goal
of perfect Christian love.
(Source: Ritual of the Secular Franciscan Order)