The Principles of the Order
The Principles by which we aim to live are set out over a monthly reading cycle.
That God calls us to be a community who strive to be Lesser Brothers of great diversity. Committed to God and to each other through prayer, education and ministry. Witnessing in many ways to the Gospel of Christ and the vision of St Francis.
We aim to be agents of transformation both for each other and for the wider society through our ministries and simplicity of lifestyle.
that our Province of SSF is a community where the brothers:
- show acceptance through respect, forgiveness, dialogue, trust.
- are generous through hospitality, openness, tolerance.
- learn through personal growth, education, prayer, mixing with others, following current affairs.
- witness to justice through relationships, governance, opportunities, prophecy.
- are minores through identity with humility, love, joy.
the Church is:
- rebuilt through our commitment to Francis’ vision of walking in the footsteps of Christ.
- strengthened through our modelling of community.
- challenged through our expression of Gospel values.
- enriched through our ministry of prayer, spiritual direction, retreat conducting, etc.
- helped to an understanding and acceptance of the Religious Life through our living out our principles.
- led to a better understanding of itself through our being fully evangelical / catholic / liberal / conservative.
- reminded of its prophetic witness through our living on the margins.
- encouraged to develop styles of ministry through our understanding of the relationship between ordained and non-ordained ministry.
those we serve:
- are empowered through our acceptance of them.
- are helped to achieve fullness of life (reach for / attain /seek to attain) through our service to them.
- experience redemption and kinship in society through their experience of community.
- are enabled to become ministers (inspired and visionary servant leaders) in their own right through our support of them.
- discover they belong together and that we belong to other groups through our solidarity with them.
- those who believe themselves to be in exile are supported sacramentally through our willingness to welcome and support all comers.
- are accepted irrespective of creed or faith “not as a bribe but as a reflection of the love of Christ” (Principles 21) through our sharing of the supreme treasure of Christ’s power to give newness of life (see Principles 22).
- experience hope through our work in social justice.
- learn through experience.
- empower through opening up opportunities.
- teach through sharing their experience /skills / wisdom.
- serve through servant ministry.
- guide through walking with others.
- listen through openness to God and others.
- love through giving of themselves and receiving.
- are humble through being with people and in their situations.
- are joyous through their love of Christ.
- make decisions in a way which reflects Gospel values.
- are faithful through prayer.
- are prayerful through faithfulness.
- foster the development of new leaders and allow them to exercise leadership.
- befriend the brothers in their loneliness.
our work and ministries:
- challenge unjust structures through advocacy, life-style choices, campaigning, education, politics and culture.
- change lives through preaching, counselling, direction, intercession, teaching.
- give hope through our care, nourishment and acceptance of others as they are.
- express gospel values through feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the prisoners, being an advocate for the weak or powerless, praying with and for the sick.
- give welcome and acceptance through hospitality, sharing our life with others.
- assist others in their ministries through enabling other “ministers”, lending our brothers and resources to assist others.
- change our lives through education and being challenged by change, experiencing sympathy, developing empathy