The Secular Franciscan Order, formerly known as the Third Order of St. Francis, was founded by St. Francis of Assisi in response to a request from the laity to provide them with a form by which they could incorporate the ideals of the Franciscan way of life into their secular vocations. The care and promotion of the Secular Franciscan Order is particularly close to the hearts of all the friars.
When the friars of Sacred Heart Province sent some of their number to Quincy, Illinois, they found a number of Secular Franciscans in that city, among them the pastor of St. Boniface Parish, Fr. Schaefermeyer. Father Servace Altmicks, O.F.M., gathered these people together for the first meeting of the Quincy Tertiaries on Easter Sunday, 1861, thus establishing a fraternity. The friars of Teutopolis received the first Tertiary novices on June 9, 1863. In the next two and a half years, no fewer than thirty-two men and fifty-four women were received into the Order by Father Mathias Hiltermann, O.F.M.
Fraternities of Secular Franciscans were established in almost every location that the friars served. Today there are hundreds of fraternities throughout the United States. Sacred Heart Province has appointed Bro. Ed Arambasich, O.F.M., as the Provincial Spiritual Assistant for the Secular Franciscans. He continues to promote the Franciscan way of life through his pastoral care of the many fraternities that fall within the geographic boundaries of Sacred Heart Province.
Listed below are the friars of Sacred Heart Province who serve as local spiritual assistants for Secular Franciscan Fraternities:
Fr. Frank Folino, OFM St. Francis, Teutopolis, IL
Fr. Chuck Gunti, OFM San Jose, San Antonio, TX
Fr. Michael Jennrich, OFM St. Anthony, Joliet, IL
Fr. Charles Faso, OFM St. Clare, Oak Brook, IL
Fr. Elric Sampson, OFM Brother Jacoba, Chicago, IL
Br. Marc Sheckells, OFM Chicago – RSA – Mother Cabrini Region
Fr. Ed Tverdek, OFM Chicago
Fr. Justin Belitz, OFM Sacred Heart, Indianapolis, IN
Fr. Michael Grawe, OFM St. Peter, Belleville, IL
Fr. Carroll Mizicko, OFM Monte La Verna, Granite City, IL
Fr. Larry Dreffein, OFM Des Plaines IL
Fr. Pio Jackson, OFM RSA – St. Clare Region
Fr. Theodore Haag, OFM Parma, OH
Fr. Michael Haney, OFM Indian River, MI
1. Secular Franciscan Order
2. Local Fraternities - a comprehensive list from the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order
November 10, 2014
An SFO elective Chapter was held in Assisi yesterday (Nov. 8, 2014). During the course of the chapter the following were elected: general Minister: Tibor Kauser (Hungary), vice-general Minister: Chelito de Núñez (Venezuela), other counselors: Ana Fruk, Attilio Galimberti, Ana María Raffo, Silvia Diana, Jenny Harrington, Augustine Young, Michel Janian and Andrea Odak. They will hold their posts for the next sexennial session (2014-2020).
The new presidential Council officially assumed their newly mandated responsibilities with a Liturgy of the Eucharist in the Upper Basilica of San Francesco presided by the TOR general Minister Friar Nicholas Polichnowski, who had presided over the elective Chapter of the international Sister/Brotherhood.