Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady

Franciscan Associate Movement

Franciscan Associates and Franciscan Companions are men and women who wish to embrace Franciscan spirituality in the tradition of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady (FMOL). Inspired by the vision of St. Francis and St. Clare, Associates/Companions develop a life of prayer, fostering their relationship with God who became fully human in Jesus. Mirroring Christ and following in the footsteps of Jesus, both form and foster within themselves and their community unity, peace, harmony and reconciliation; unconditional and universal love, and an attitude of humility, availability, simplicity and joy. They maintain their daily lifestyles in the home, growing together in the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady charism.

The process of becoming an Associate/Companion involves a period of introduction and formation in Franciscan spirituality called Candidacy. During this period of introduction and formation, persons discerning to join the Franciscan Associates are called Candidates. Candidates participate in regular times of prayer, didactic and discussion sessions and retreats focused on the lives of Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Movement and the history and tradition. Candidates may progress in their spiritual journey to either Franciscan Associate or Franciscan Companion.

Reason for Franciscan Associates

The Franciscan Associates and Companions exist to promote the Gospel values and Catholic social teaching through the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Charism. Inflamed with God’s love the Associates/Companions seek to edify the world through their personal example of the Franciscan evangelical life, which is gospel living. They are committed to establishing bonds of peace and reconciliation, unity and communion. They respond to the pressing needs of the poor in their local community and throughout the world according to their means and state in life. For Associates/Companions, the poor are not merely those who are materially poor. The poor are also those who are spiritually poor, those who do not see their own or others dignity, or that of all creation.

Relationship Between the Sisters and the Franciscan Associates

The Sisters and the Associates or Companions provide mutual support for each other in faith, life, and ministry. The Sisters provide spiritual support by inviting the Associates and Companions to join them for communal prayer, retreats and conferences. In this way, the Sisters share and pass on their Franciscan tradition and way of life. Both provide support to the Sisters through prayer, service, occupations, financial assistance and in other ways they are able. They also support the Sisters by continuing the Sisters’ way of life in the lay state.

Ministry of the Franciscan Associates

Each discerns his or her ministry with other Associates and Companions and the Sisters. Since they are in different stages of personal and professional life, each one is to discern his or her desire in God and develop a ministry that is appropriate. Associates/Companions can choose to participate in one or several committees which are the Advisory, Prayer and Education, Service and Hospitality or Formation Teams. Associates may contribute to their ministries through financial support, spiritual support and/or physical presence. Through the communal activities, Associates/Companions will learn to listen, pray, think and act on their deepest desires in God. In St. Clare’s words they will learn to gaze, consider, contemplate and imitate Christ.