"Our Community is a collection of people that in some form belong to each other. We have become companions on a journey of faith and love."
"Our Community is a collection of people that in some form belong to each other. We have become companions on a journey of faith and love. Our journey is one that inflames our hearts with the love of God and neighbor and urges us to be aware of the less fortunate.
We receive encouragement from each other, sometimes correcting each other as we honor the renewing rhythms of prayer, work, study, recreation, and hospitality.
We are Companions for as Scripture tells us: "Two people are better than one, for they get a better return for their work. For if one flags, the other gives support; but woe to the solitary person who falls and has no one to provide support. One alone is easily overpowered; two provide protection for each other; and a rope of three strands is not easily broken.”
The Franciscan family, as one of many spiritual families raised up by the Holy Spirit in the Church, unites all members of God’s people, clergy and laity, who recognized they are called to follow Christ in the footsteps of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi who made Christ the inspiration of their lives.
Christ called us to follow this Way of Life so that He may send us, like Francis and Clare, to offer all that we have and all that we are. We shall strive that be witnesses that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for we are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28); that there are no barriers of gender, race, or of nationality in God’s family.
The Franciscans of the Holy Spirit, are women or men, single or partnered in a committed relationship/marriage, ordained or laity, who feel called by the Holy Spirit to a lifelong covenant under our Rule of Life and vows.
This Community is open to both those who are called to an observance of the spirit of the evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience and of those who are called to the strict observance of these three Counsels in throughout their lives.
Our Community is organized into Local Communities. A Local Community is formed when at least two (2) Companions live in close geographical proximity to each other. Each Local Community is to elect a guardian from its professed members, who serves as guide for the community.
In all that we do within our Local Communities, within our Community, and within the local church we strive to be instruments of God’s peace and minsters of love, welcome, and reconciliation among all peoples.
As a Community, we are part of the Diocese of Florida and as such we ". . . embrace the Franciscan charism through the lens of the Catholic tradition of faith that is both ecumenical and relational." (Rule of Life)
As a dispersed Community of vowed companions we are presented with new challenges that lead us to a better understanding of the common life. As Franciscans, we embrace all opportunities for communal life in all its forms. Our understanding of communal life is very different from that of traditional religious communities. We affirm and believe that communal life does not come from our living together, but rather from our living Our Rule of Life, Constitution and statues.
There are going to be difficulties that come from our way of life, but traditional religious life comes with its own set of difficulties. Difficulties are in fact opportunities for growth and in our Franciscan tradition that is a very good thing. As inheritors of the customs and traditions of the Order of Penance, we believe that conversion is and should be an essential part of our lives. Fr. Francis reminds us that part of our mission is "to be totally converted" to the Lord; to shape our lives to mirror that of Christ.