Franciscan Friars of the Renewal

Last updated

The Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (abbreviated as "C.F.R.") is a religious institute in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. It follows the Capuchin Franciscan tradition. Originally formed as a mendicant congregation in the Archdiocese of New York, it has been recognized as a religious institute of pontifical right under the governance of the Holy See since 2016.

Contents

Foundation

The congregation was founded in 1987 by eight Capuchin priest friars, including Benedict Groeschel, Stan Fortuna, Robert Stanion, Glenn Sudano, Bob Lombardo, and Andrew Apostoli.

The purpose of the community is to strive to a return to the authentic Capuchin way of life and the renewal of the Catholic Church. In addition, the friars are known for their fidelity to the pope. The Community characterizes itself as Catholic, Franciscan, Capuchin, contemplative, prophetic, apostolic, fraternal and pro-life.

Sudano told a reporter about the motive behind forming the community "We were concerned about the effects of secularism on religious life [among the Capuchins] and a lack of clear and explicit fidelity to the Church. That secularism is less prevalent today, thank God, but was very much the case in the 1970s and 80s. What we were observing then were not so much sins of commission, but omission. A pastor, for example, [might] not speak out against the Holy Father, but neither would he speak in support of him. He [wouldn't] condemn adoration of the Blessed Sacrament or the Rosary, but he [wouldn't] promote them either. We worried that many of the traditional expressions of the Faith were not appreciated or practiced." [1]

Sudano said that it was their feeling that "Because of this secularism, men weren't attracted to life in religious communities. ...[Potential candidates] wanted to participate in the traditional forms of religious life, and wanted traditional signs, such as wearing the habit." [1]

Initially it had not been their desire to break away from the Capuchins. Sudano related, "We recognized that things were not going well. Our desire was to stay in the Capuchin community, but to be a renewal community. We wanted to bring back adoration and traditional devotions and practices, such as wearing the habit. Our superior in Rome was interested in our idea, but the provincials in the United States were not. We were allowed to begin in New York, but after three years of fraternal discussions, it was clear that our order was not interested in our style. So, we decided to continue our work under the archbishop of New York. Leaving our community was not easy. We didn’t leave our confreres because we thought they were evil, but because we had a difference of opinion. Some of our confreres were upset with us, but leaving was something that had to be done." [1]

Apostolate

The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal always operate in harmony with the local bishop and serve according to the needs of each diocese. Their website states that the mission is twofold:

First "...is to serve the materially poor, most especially the destitute and homeless. Friaries not primarily focused on formation should have one or more facilities to provide for the needs of the poor, for example, a shelter, soup kitchen, food pantry and/or clothing room. Each of these works must be directed by a friar to preserve the Catholic and Franciscan character. Every member of the community is to be personally and directly involved in “hands on” work with the poor. All service to the poor is given completely free of charge." [2]

Second is evangelisation "...through preaching and teaching the Holy Gospel, and by sharing the rich treasures of our Catholic faith with all. This can take many forms so that every friar may assist in his own way. Some expressions of this apostolate are: providing missionary centers for the poor, street evangelisation, parish missions, retreats, days of recollection, pilgrimages, spiritual direction, pastoral counselling, religious education and sacramental ministry." [2]

Religious habit and training

The friars wear a grey religious habit with a hood, a cord, and sandals. Beards are also characteristic for members of the congregation. The rope worn as a belt around the waist symbolises being girded with Christ and is tied in the three characteristic Franciscan knots which signify the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience which are taken upon becoming a member of the community.

Those interested in becoming members of the community go through various stages: postulancy lasting ten months, followed by a year-long novitiate after which simple vows are taken. The newly professed members then spend a year or more living in one of the friaries. Final vows (life-time) are not made until a person has been a member of the community for at least five years. Those who feel called to the ministerial priesthood pursue their studies at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers; during this time, the students live in a nearby friary. [3]

Locations

The community is diverse, with friars from various countries and regions, including the United States, Canada, Australia, South Korea, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Poland, Nigeria, Lebanon, Guatemala and Mexico.

Varia

The group was established as a diocesan institute by Cardinal John O’Connor in 1999. [4] The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal were involved in caring for those affected by the events of the September 11, 2001 attacks in Manhattan. [5] The following day, September 12, a group of friars walked along subway tunnels to reach Manhattan.

The friars were also used as extras in a scene on a subway car for the pro-life film, Bella, which won the "People's Choice Award" at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006.

In 1988, the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal were established. They are based in the Bronx, New York City.

Official Papal Recognition

On June 13, 2016, João Cardinal Bráz de Aviz, Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and his Archbishop Secretary, José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, signed a decree of recognition. [6] On December 8, 2016, the group announced that Pope Francis officially recognized the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal as a religious institute of pontifical right, meaning that it will now depend immediately and exclusively on the Vatican in the matters of internal governance and discipline. [4]

Related Research Articles

Franciscans group of religious orders within the Catholic Church

The Franciscans are a group of related mendicant religious orders within the Catholic Church, founded in 1209 by Saint Francis of Assisi. These orders include the Order of Friars Minor, the Order of Saint Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis. They adhere to the teachings and spiritual disciplines of the founder and of his main associates and followers, such as Clare of Assisi, Anthony of Padua, and Elizabeth of Hungary, among many others.

Order of Friars Minor Capuchin

The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is an religious order of friars within the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans. The worldwide head of the Order, called the Minister General, is currently Friar Roberto Genuin.

Religious order (Catholic) Type of religious community in the Roman Catholic Church characterised by its members professing solemn vows

In the Catholic Church, a religious order is a type of religious community characterised by its members professing solemn vows. According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, they are classed as a type of religious institute.

The term "Third Order" signifies, in general, lay members of religious orders, who do not necessarily live in community and yet can claim to wear the habit and participate in the good works of some great order. Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism all recognize Third Orders. They were a twelfth century adaptation of the medieval monastic confraternities.

Order of Friars Minor Conventual organization

The Order of Friars Minor Conventual, commonly known as the Conventual Franciscans, or Minorites, is a branch of the Catholic Order of Friars Minor, founded by Francis of Assisi in 1209.

Felix of Cantalice Roman Catholic saint

Felix of Cantalice, O.F.M. Cap., was born on 18 May 1515 to peasant parents in Cantalice, Italy, in the central Italian region of Lazio. Canonized by Pope Clement XI in 1712, he was the first Capuchin friar to be named a saint.

Solanus Casey American Capuchin friar and priest

Solanus Casey, born Bernard Francis Casey, was a priest of the Catholic Church in the United States and was a professed member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. He was known during his lifetime as a wonderworker, for his great faith, and for his abilities as a spiritual counselor, but especially for his great attention to the sick, for whom he celebrated special Masses. The friar was much sought-after and came to be revered in Detroit where he resided. He was also a noted lover of the violin, a trait he shared with his eponym, Saint Francis Solanus.

Conceptionists

The Order of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Conceptionists, are a contemplative religious order of nuns. For some years, they followed the Poor Clares Rule, but in 1511 were recognized as a separate Catholic religious order, taking a new Rule and the name of Order of Immaculate Conception.

The Third Order of Saint Francis, is a third order in the Franciscan order. The preaching of Francis of Assisi, as well as his example, exercised such an attraction on people that many married men and women wanted to join the First Order (friars) or the Second Order (nuns), but this being incompatible with their state of life, Francis found a middle way and in 1221 gave them a rule according to the Franciscan charism. Those following this rule became members of the Franciscan Third Order, sometimes called tertiaries. It includes religious congregations of men and women, known as Third Order Regulars; and fraternities of men and women, Third Order Seculars. The latter do not wear a religious habit, take vows, or live in community. However, they do gather together in community on a regular basis. "They make profession to live out the Gospel life and commit themselves to that living out the Gospel according to the example of Francis."

The Little Brothers of St. Francis were members of a Roman Catholic institute of Religious Brothers founded in the Archdiocese of Boston on September 8, 1970, by Brother James T. Curran, L.B.S.F.. Canonically designated as a Private Association of the Faithful, the community was spiritually affiliated to the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Order of Friars Minor. Striving to be poor in spirit, they worked to serve the needs of the homeless primarily through prayer and presence. They followed a contemplative life based on the Rule of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, also influenced by the Rule for Hermitages written by St. Francis of Assisi. The community disbanded in 2013.

The Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Penance is a mendicant order rooted in the Third Order of St. Francis which was founded in 1447.

Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word

The Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word is a Public Clerical Association of the Faithful, located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama. They were founded in 1987 by Mother Angelica, who also founded the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.

In the Catholic Church, an association of the Christian faithful or simply association of the faithful is a group of baptized persons, clerics or laity or both together, who, according to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, jointly foster a more perfect life or promote public worship or Christian teaching, or who devote themselves to other works of the apostolate.

Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate organization

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is a Roman Catholic institute of consecrated life with Pontifical Right established by Pope John Paul II on 1 January 1998. The F.F.I. was founded by two Franciscan Conventual priests on 2 August 1970 and is a reformed Franciscan Conventual religious institute living the Regula Bullata of Saint Francis of Assisi according to the Traccia Mariana.

Jeremiah of Wallachia O.F.M. Cap., was a Romanian-born Capuchin lay brother who spent his entire adult life serving as an infirmarian of the Order in Italy. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 30 October 1983, the first of his nation to be so honored. Born Ion Costist or Ioan (John) Costişte, he emigrated to Naples during his adolescence. Also known as Geremia from Wallachia, he became noted for his careful attention to the merciful works and to the care of the poor. His vision of the Blessed Mother resulted in one of the best known images created of him.

The Franciscans of Primitive Observance (FPO) is a Roman Catholic community of men, founded in 1995, that lives a strict observance of the Rule of St. Francis. In church law they are established as a Lay Association of the Faithful under the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

Carlos Armando Bustos Crostelli, O.F.M. Cap., was an Argentinian member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, who became a victim of that nation's dirty war during the 1970s. He was arrested on the street by members of the police force on 9 April 1977, and was never seen again.

Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters of the Immaculate Conception

The Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters of the Immaculate Conception are members of a Roman Catholic religious institute of consecrated women, which was founded in Portugal in 1871. They follow the Rule of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis. and, as the term “hospitaller” indicates, focus their ministries on a spirit of medical care. Their charism emphasizes hospitality and service under the model of the Good Samaritan. In this congregation, the postnominal initials used after each Sister's name is "F.H.I.C."

Bethlehemite Brothers

The Bethlehemite Brothers are a religious institute founded in Guatemala in 1653 and restored in 1984.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Jim Graves (June 19, 2014). "The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal: Evangelizing Amid Poverty and Secularism". Catholic World Report.
  2. 1 2 FFR Apostolates Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine
  3. FFR Vocations
  4. 1 2 http://www.catholicworldreport.com/NewsBriefs/Default.aspx?rssGuid=franciscan-friars-of-the-renewal-granted-pontifical-recognition-10335/
  5. http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/9-11-10-years-later/
  6. Franciscan Friars of the Renewal granted pontifical recognition