Two people make final professions in Secular Franciscan Order Print
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Dec. 01, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- They shall live their lives “observing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following the example of St. Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people” (Rule 4).

This is part of the rule that two parishioners in the Diocese of Madison recently professed to live. Eloise Anderson, OFS, and Richard Lavold, OFS, made their final profession in the Secular Franciscan Order (in Latin, Ordo Franciscanus Saecularis, abbreviated OFS) on Sunday, Nov.13.

The Secular Franciscan Order is part of the Franciscan order established by St. Francis of Assisi over 800 years ago for lay men and women. He founded it as the Third Order, also known as the Order of Penance. It is a community of laity seeking to live their lives according to the Gospel of Christ, in the spirit of St. Francis.

Anderson and Lavold had a period of formation of two and a half years that included studying the life of St. Francis, the way of life or “Rule” of the Secular Franciscan Order, and the charisms and spirituality of the order.

Life-long commitment

Their profession is a life-long commitment to living the Gospel in fraternity with other Secular Franciscans, and to living out those charisms of St. Francis in the Catholic Church.

Those charisms include living a life of prayer, devotion to Christ in the Eucharist, devotion to the Blessed Mother, participation in the life and mission of the Church, serving the poor, ongoing conversion, and seeking to encounter the living person of Christ in every person they meet in their secular lives.

Secular Franciscans do not live in community; rather, they live with their families and perform their jobs out in the world, gathering in fraternities on a regular basis.

As explained by the national minister of the Secular Franciscan Order, “In these fraternities the brothers and sisters, led by the Spirit, strive for ongoing daily conversion, to turn away from sin and to be faithful to the Gospel. We seek, with and only with God’s grace, perfect charity in our secular state, helping one another in this journey closer to Christ, following in the footsteps of Sts. Francis and Clare.”

Anderson and Lavold, with their final profession, join other Secular Franciscans in Madison as part of the St. Francis and St. Clare cell, which is part of the St. Paschal Baylon Fraternity in Wind Lake, Wis.

They meet the second Sunday of the month for prayer, fellowship, and ongoing formation.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Secular Franciscan Order is welcome to attend. Email Elizabeth Tumpach, OFS, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.