DECATUR — Recently, Gloria Guy of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Decatur; George Menard of Immaculate Conception Parish, Shelbyville; and John Shields of Holy Cross Parish, Champaign made their profession as Secular Franciscans in the Secular Franciscan Order at St. Mary’s Hospital chapel in Decatur. Father Dennis Koopman, OFM, celebrated the Mass with the assistance of Deacon John O’Brien.
Profession in the order is the culmination of three years of study. They promised to follow the Rule of Life of the Secular Franciscan Order and to live the Gospel in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. Their goal as Secular Franciscans is to live the Christian call to holiness in their individual lives — in their homes, with their families and neighbors, at work, in their parishes, in their communities, in their fraternities and in the world. A fraternity is a group of Secular Franciscans in an area who meet regularly for prayer and study and encourage one another to live their commitment. The name of the Decatur fraternity is Our Lady of the Angels.
St. Francis of Assisi wrote the first Rule of Life over 800 years ago for the married women who wanted to follow Clare of Assisi into the cloistered convent and the married men of his time who wanted to follow him. Francis instructed these couples that God did not want them to separate and leave one another and their families.
Today, the Secular Franciscan Order is comprised of lay women, married and single; lay men, married and single; and priests and deacons. Members live by a revised Rule of Life approved and promulgated by Blessed Pope Paul VI on June 24, 1978. The fraternity members meet once a month. For more information, please contact Gloria Guy, OFS at (217) 412-0740 or Sister JoAn Schullian, OSF at (217) 877-4404.