Rule of the Order

 

"Christ acts like a loving mother. 
To induce us to follow Him, He gives us Himself as an example and promises us a reward in His kingdom."
Saint Anthony


The General Rule of the Order


The Three Aims of the New Order of St. Francis & St. Clare (NOSF) are:
To make our Lord known and loved everywhere. By word and example, Brothers & Sisters witness to Christ in their daily lives.  By prayer and sacrifice they help forward God’s work, wherever they are called.

To spread the spirit of fellowship
By working happily with people regardless of race, color, creed, gender identity, education and opportunity, Brothers & Sisters seek to break down the divisions in the world. They try to live in the spirit of the Franciscan prayer: “Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.”

To live simply
Acknowledging that everything belongs to God, Brothers & Sisters seek to use God's gifts wisely acting as good stewards of this fragile earth, never destroying or wasting what God has made. They provide the things necessary for themselves and their families without demanding luxuries. They seek never to forget the needs of others.


Chapter One: Ecclesiastical Oversight

The New Order of St. Francis & St. Clare (NOSF), is an Ecumenical Catholic Religious Order of the World wide "Ecumenical Catholic Church of Christ".
Membership is open to everyone, seeking a spiritual life in community, regardless of ones gender or sexual orientation, living side by side.


Chapter Two: Stages of Commitment
Each member will progress through the following stages of commitment:

  • Novitiate - The Brother or Sister, will be assigned a spiritual director who will help examine the charisma of Franciscan Spirituality and help the Novice determine if the Order is a positive step for them.
  • Temporary Profession - The Brother or Sister will live under temporary vows for a period of one year. The brother or sister will use this initial year to discern if this is indeed a path of life they wish to follow.
  • Final Profession - The temporarily vowed Brother or Sister can, after a year of discernment, make a permanent profession of vows at their own written request to the Episcopal Protector. Permanent vows are a lifetime commitment to be joined to the Order and to follow the Rule of St. Francis.


Chapter Three: Daily Life
The Brothers & Sisters of the Order in Monasteries shall wear their habits, and dress simply when in secular clothing. They seek to live a life that is unencumbered by excessive material possessions and one of peace and harmony with all humankind and nature.

The Brothers & Sisters should live according to their individual state of life.  They should refrain from meetings, that are dangerous to one's spiritual well being. They should avoid unholy conversation - always mindful of the life all Christians are called to.

Each Brother and Sister is encouraged to be actively involved with issues of the environment, children's education, the elderly, the poor, race relations, human rights, etc. This involvement may be expressed either as involvement with groups relating to these issues, personal work with individuals or by intercessory prayer.



Chapter Four: Abstinence, Fasting and other penitential disciplines
All Brothers & Sisters shall observe a strict fast on all Fridays of Lent.  Any Brother or Sister may substitute abstinence and fasting with any other specific behavior which, for them, will require sustained and meaningful discipline to maintain. Other acts of charity or penance such as visitation to the sick and infirm or additional time of prayer and meditation are greatly encouraged.


Chapter Five: Prayer
All Brothers & Sisters are to pray the Daily Office of the Church consisting of, at least, Morning, Evening, & Night prayer.  In addition, they are to prayerfully read and ponder the daily Mass lectionary especially the Gospel reading each day. All ordained clerics are to pray the Office of Readings in addition to the other offices.


Chapter Six: The Sacraments, Other Matters
All Brothers & Sisters are to make a confession of their sins through the Sacrament of Penance at least once a year, unless they have committed grave sin in which case confession should be sought as soon as possible.

Brothers & Sisters are to receive communion daily if available. Those ordained as Priests or Bishops should make every effort to celebrate the Eucharist daily.


Brothers & Sisters are not to take up lethal weapons, or bear them against any person unless it is part of their secular occupation.

Brothers & Sisters are to refrain from formal oaths, unless necessity compels for peace, for the Faith, to refute slander, and in bearing witness.



Chapter Seven: Correction, Dispensation and Officers
Each Brother or Sister owes obedience to Almighty God, to the “Rule”, and to all duly elected officers of the Order as it pertains to a members spiritual growth and well being.

Here ends the Rule of the New Order of St. Francis & St. Clare.   

”All powerful, all holy, most high and supreme God, sovereign good, all good, every good, you who alone are good, it is right that we must give all praise, all glory, all honor, all blessing: to you we must refer all good always.  Amen”