The Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) shares in the common charism of the Franciscan family, and within the various ministries of our Order the SFO has a prominent role. It is the responsibility of the Friars to give SFO members adequate spiritual assistance and impart to them the spirituality of St. Francis.

The pastoral care of the Secular Franciscan Order is entrusted to the First Order and TOR. In India, all four Obediences are actively involved for the development of SFO. The beginning of the SFO in India goes back to 1872. It is interesting to read from the history that the spiritual assistance of the first fraternities was attached to the Conventual Franciscan Friars, though there was no presence of any of the Friars. It was on 5 October, 1949, that the Capuchin Friars took over the pastoral assistance of all the fraternities in Kerala. Eventually came all other branches of the First Order and TOR.

We began our first fraternity at Kolbe Franciscan Ashram, Aluva, in 1994. In the same year a fraternity at Franciscan Ashram, Nattakkal, was also established. Later, in 1999, the fraternities in the diocese of Kanjirappally had been handed over to us by the Capuchins. There has been a tremendous revival for the SFO during these last four years. Mainly: a) The number of fraternities increased, b) more Friars were interested to work in this field, c) the awareness regarding the autonomous nature of the SFO and its juridical status in the Church, are some of the important elements of growth and development of the SFO.

In 1999, the Conference of the Spiritual Assistants of all the four Obediences was formed and this Conference, which meets occasionally, evaluates and animates SFO in various levels. In this steady growth and development for SFO in India, we Conventual Franciscans play an important role. As per the norms of the National Statutes and the Directions of the National Council, for better functioning the units under our pastoral care were divided in the National Chapter held at Assisi Shanthi Kendra, Karukutty, on 23 January 2005. Accordingly, there are three regions; Kanjirappally region, Kolbe region, Assisi region, and a fraternity which is attached to Franciscan Ashram, Nattakkal, under our pastoral care.

At present the three OFS regions have 700+ members.

God Dwells In Our Midst,
In The Blessed Sacrament
Of The Altar.

It Would be considered a theft on our part if we didn't give to someone in greater need than we are


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