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Opinions expressed in this Blog do not necessarily represent views of the Bishop for OFE,  Abbot General for OFE, the OFE Board, the Abbey Board, the OFC Advisory Board, or any other members of OFE, OFES, COFE, Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi, Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests,  and OFE Charters.
 

Three Branches of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical

The Three Branches of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)
 
A friend who has expressed interest in our order has asked this question: What are the differences between the three branches of your Order?
 
The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) and the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) are of priests who are married as well as celibate Roman Catholic priests and who were ordained by a Roman Catholic bishop.
 
The second branch is the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES) of Roman Catholic laypeople and wives of married Roman Catholic priests.
 
The third branch is the Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (COFE) comprised of married and celibate Catholic autocephalous (ecclesiastically independent) bishops and priests who are of the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” and who were not ordained by a Roman Catholic bishop.


Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Rule of Life

Rule Life
 
A rule is the most straightforward description of a religious way of life. The Rule of 1223  A.D. was written by Saint Francis of Assisi, approved by Pope Honorius III. The Friars, Brothers, and Laity of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical commit to the General Rule, a modern interpretation of the 1223 A.D. Rule of Saint Francis of Assisi is this:
 
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
To live a life of commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ and to serve him faithfully.
To acclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and the study of the Scriptures.
To keep the Eucharist and the Gospel at the center of our lives. 
To acquire knowledge and inspiration of the Franciscan spirituality of our patron Saint Francis of Assisi.
To infuse our daily life with compassion, service, community, simplicity, reverence for creation, dignity of human persons, peacemaking, prayer, and support of family unity.
To welcome celibate and married Roman Catholic priests and laity.
To be respectful to the Pope, Patriarchs, Bishops, Abbot General, Minister General, and members of our Order.


Forgiveness Prayer

Loving Father, hear my prayer as I am now experiencing deep hurts,
anger, resentments and bitterness in my heart.
Thank you for the grace you have given me to humbly acknowledge my pain.
Touch all the areas of woundedness in my heart and fill it with your love and peace.
Change my aching and broken heart with a new heart coming from your Sacred Heart.
Because it is only through this that I will receive the grace to forgive even if it is
the hardest thing for me to do.
Let me give all this pain and deep hurts to you as an offering of love
and give me the grace to see all the blessings that have come
from this experience of pain and suffering.
Grant me the virtue of humility to acknowledge my own mistakes
and failures and desire to ask for forgiveness in the future.
Only by your grace, your strength and your love can true forgiveness
and reconciliation happen.
But I believe that nothing is impossible with you so long as the desire to forgive
is there in my heart and people will continue to persevere in prayer for me.
Bless me and plant in my heart this desire to forgive and lead me on
with patience and perseverance in my healing journey
I believe that in time, true forgiveness will happen.
All these I pray in Jesus’ name through Mary and all the angels and saints.
Amen.


Why friaries?

 Why the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) has friaries?

A priest who has voiced interest in our Order (Order of Franciscans Ecumenical) has asked this question: Why friaries? Our friaries are places to minister to married and celibate Roman Catholic and Catholic priests by offering them a welcoming home, support, acceptance, affirmation of their marriages, and validation of their lives and ministries. It also welcomes laity who support married and celibate priest. The friary is a place where we are called to live the Franciscan “Rule of Life” and to assist the Order to accomplish its mission, goals, apostolic works, and charism. The friary is where all are welcome to celebrate Eucharist and other sacraments.



Guardian Angel Prayer

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love
commits me here,
Ever this day,
be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide.
Amen.


Saint Cyril of Alexandria (Church Father)

“Christ said indicating (the bread and wine): ‘This is My Body,’ and ‘This is My Blood,’ in order that you might not judge what you see to be a mere figure. The offerings, by the hidden power of God Almighty, are changed into Christ’s Body and Blood, and by receiving these we come to share in the life-giving and sanctifying efficacy of Christ.” (Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, [26, 27], (c. 428)

 

(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), p. 21)


Act of Love (Prayer)

O my God, I love Thee above all things with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and I ask pardon for all whom I have injured. Amen.


Act of Hope (Prayer)

My God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.


Act of Faith (Prayer)

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God, in three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man and died for our sins and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.


Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen)

Hail, holy Queen, mother of Mercy.
Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping
in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile, show unto us
the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet virgin Mary. Amen.


Saint Ambrose of Milan (Church Father)

“You perhaps say: ‘My bread is usual.’  But the bread is bread before the words of the sacraments; when consecration has been added, from bread it becomes the flesh of Christ.  So let us confirm this, how it is possible that what is bread is the body of Christ. By what words, then, is the consecration and by whose expressions?  By those of the Lord Jesus.  For all the rest that are said in the preceding are said by the priest: praise to God, prayer is offered, there is a petition for the people, for kings, for the rest.  When it comes to performing a venerable sacrament, then the priest uses not his own expressions, but he uses the expressions of Christ.  Thus the expression of Christ performs this sacrament.” (The Sacraments (De Sacramentis), Book 4, Ch. 4:14.)

 

(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), pp. 17-18)


Act of Contrition (Prayer)

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In His name. My God have mercy. Amen.


Saint Leo I (Church Father)

“When the Lord says: ‘Unless you shall have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man and shall have drunk His blood, you shall not have life in you,’ you ought to so communicate at the Sacred Table that you have no doubt whatever of the truth of the Body and the Blood of Christ.  For that which is taken in the mouth is what is believed in faith; and in doing those respond, ‘Amen,’ who argue against that which is received.” (Sermons, [91, 3], c. 461)
 
(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), p. 25)


Abbot Father Sean Anderson, CFC

“We [Celtic Franciscan Companions] seek to become the hands, feet, and heart of Christ within creation and towards all whom we meet along the way.” 


Saint Basil the Great (Church Father)

“What is the mark of a Christian?  That he be purified of all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit in the Blood of Christ, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God and the love of Christ, and that he have no blemish nor spot nor any such thing; that he be holy and blameless and so eat the Body of Christ and drink His Blood; for ‘he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself.’  What is the mark of those who eat the Bread and drink the Cup of Christ?  That they keep in perpetual remembrance Him who died for us and rose again.” (The Morals, [Ch. 22])
 
To communicate each day and to partake of the holy Body and Blood of Christ is good and beneficial; for He says quite plainly: ‘He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life.’  Who can doubt that to share continually in life is the same thing as having life abundantly?  We ourselves communicate four times each week, on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; and on other days if there is a commemoration of any saint.” (Letter to a Patrician Lady of Caesaria, [93], (c. 372)
 
(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), p. 19)



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