Secular Franciscan Order

Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

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Prot. 2939                                                                                                       Rome, February 24, 2017

To all OFS and Franciscan Youth International Councilors
To all OFS National Councils
To all Franciscan Youth National Councils

Dears brothers and sisters OFS and YOUFRA,
Peace and all good:

Trusting in the Lord, and as we continue to be encouraged in our service to our OFS brothers and sisters in the world, the Family Commission of the CIOFS Presidency sends its greetings in this new year, hoping that together we can fruitfully carry out our work on the theme of the "Family," following the directive we have received from our General Chapter 2014 whose conclusions has the "family" as one of its priorities.

Because of the directives of the General Chapter, we are now proposing some material for our local fraternities to reflect on:

“To make OFS Fraternities places of caring and support for members living in particular difficulties or challenging family situations.”

The following is our annual theme for 2017:

With the theme that we propose, we are trying to pay the most attention on the faithful who find themselves in complicated situations, on the children, on the elderly, on the sick, on those that have no family and on others who find themselves in fragile situations that we often encounter in our families and who require our special attention. We refer often to the post-synod Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” regarding this theme.
We remind you that one of the proposals set forth at the March 2015 meeting of the Presidency (CIOFS) is to celebrate OFS/YOUFRA Family Day on April 28 of each year (or a date close to that date). It is the feast day of Blessed Luquesio and Buonadonna, the first Secular Franciscan family. To celebrate it, we want to encourage you to have a meeting, a day, a convivencia (a time together), receive the Eucharist together with your families and the YouFra family. For this reason, we are publishing material every two months on the website, so that the brothers and sisters can know the Conclusions Document of the Synod. 

The theme for 2017 is meant as an orientation and each fraternity must evaluate and reflect on it, according to its own needs. We recommend that the initiatives taken by the various fraternities as a result of this proposal be made known to the CIOFS Secretariat for the Family Commission before October 2017.
May the Lord bless you and may the Holy Family accompany us in our initiatives for the sake of the family.

Silvia Diana
Council of Presidency
Family Commission


FAMILY COMMISION:Silvia Diana, Jenny Harrington, Fr Francis
Dor OFMCap.
Translation: Mary Stronach OFS

Our General Constitutions say:

In the fraternity:

- the spirituality of the family and of marriage and the Christian attitude towards family problems should be a theme for dialogue and for the sharing of experiences;
- they should share the important moments of the family life of their Franciscan brothers and sisters and they should give fraternal attention to those - single, widows, single parents, separated, divorced - who are
living difficult situations; […] art. 24,2.


We have conceived a work dynamics made up of three parts: SEE, JUDGE AND ACT.

1. Questions to share in fraternity... (see)
a. What situations of frailty do our families experience today?
b. How can we assist in these situations?
c. How are we involved in the pastoral initiatives of our local church in support of the family.

2. Enlightenning ourselves in fraternity... Material for reflection. (judge)
a. The faithful who find themselves in complicated situations
b. The children.
c. The elderly.
d. Those Without a Family
e. Those in poverty

a. The faithful who find themselves in complicated situations:
Accompanying, discerning and integrating weakness:
- Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation AMORIS LÆTITIA 291-292.
The discernment of “irregular” situations:
- Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation AMORIS LÆTITIA 29
The divorced who have entered a new unión:
- Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation AMORIS LÆTITIA 298.
The logic of the integration of the baptized and civilly remarried :
- Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation AMORIS LÆTITIA 299.
The great variety of situations does not allow for a new general norm of
canonical nature:
- Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation AMORIS LÆTITIA 300,301.
The logic of mercy…
- Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation AMORIS LÆTITIA 312.

b. The children:
- Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation AMORIS LÆTITIA 51.

c. The elderly:
- Apostolic Exhortation FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO 27
- Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation AMORIS LÆTITIA 191,193.

d.Those Without a Family:
- Apostolic Exhortation FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO 85

e.Those in poverty:
- POPE FRANCIS- GENERAL AUDIENCE Wednesday, 3 June 2015.

3. Committing ourselves in the fraternity …(Act)

a. After having been enlightened by the teachings of the Church and our sharing, ¿what attitude can we change in the presence of these situations of frailty?
b. May brothers and sisters in irregular situations participate in our fraternity? (Interpretation practice of art. 53.5 of the General Constitutions Circ. 35/02-08)
c. What concrete contribution can we make to the pastoral initiative of our Church and community?

Let us share the prayer to the Holy Family