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Franciscans Charism Presented by Leonel Aruajo, OFM and Joseph Koh, OFM Kairos 2005

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Franciscans Charism Presented by Leonel Aruajo, OFM and Joseph Koh, OFM Kairos 2005. Content. What is Charism? Story of Francis Story of Clare Symbols of Franciscans Franciscans in Oceania & E.Timor Ministries in Modern Times Conclusion. What is Charism?. In General

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Presented by

Leonel Aruajo, OFM and Joseph Koh, OFM

Kairos 2005

  • What is Charism?
  • Story of Francis
  • Story of Clare
  • Symbols of Franciscans
  • Franciscans in Oceania & E.Timor
  • Ministries in Modern Times
  • Conclusion
what is charism
What is Charism?
  • In General
    • Indicates a personal gift of the Holy Spirit used for the good of the Church.
    • To participate in the official mission of the Church to make Christ present in the world.
franciscan charism
Franciscan Charism
  • Franciscans contribute their particular charism to the Body of Christ.
  • When writing the Rule or "Way of Life" for the first Order, Francis wrote:

"The Rule and Life of the Friars Minor is this, namely, to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."

franciscan charism1
Franciscan Charism

The charism of Franciscans was simply to live the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

franciscan charism2
Franciscan Charism
  • The essence of this Franciscan life remains the same today, despite changes in times and circumstances through eight centuries of history.  
franciscan charism3
Franciscan Charism
  • The Franciscans continue:  
  • to share the Good News of Jesus Christ,
  • in fidelity to the Church,
  • living in brotherhood,
  • in poverty, chastity and obedience,
  • working for those in need and for justice,
  • for the respect due to all people and to all creation,
  • promoting harmony and peace
life of clare
Life of Clare
  • Assisi (1194-1253)
  • Noble Class
  • 1212, heard Francis’s preaching
  • Asked to be received as a nun, following the life of Francis in absolute poverty
life of clare1
Life of Clare
  • During Middle Ages, impossible for nuns to go begging i.e. without property
  • Francis sent her to a Benedictine monastery to keep her safe
  • Clare’s sister and mother joined her
life of clare2
Life of Clare
  • Francis gave the nuns a Rule of Life
  • Pope Innocent IV gave Clare the approved Rule at her death bed
poor clares
Poor Clares
  • The life of all those who follow in the footsteps of Saint Clare are

…filled with security and peace, knowing that the Divine Child dwells among them in the Most Blessed Sacrament and He will always defend them. 

poor clares1
Poor Clares
  • "There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long, to live in the House of the Lord all the days of my life, to savor the sweetness of the Lord, to behold His Temple" (Psalm 26:4).
  • Francis called his followers fratres minores, or lesser brothers.
  • Chief concern was being brothers, in a lowly and poor way, a minoritas
  • Minoritas is subordinated to and directed towards the fraternitas, i.e brotherhood
  • Francis called it “Order of Friars Minor”

How did it begin?



prominent young man with bright future

Sinful man

The Leper

Poorly dressed, ugly, deformed

no social status

God in him

  • translate his meeting with the leper into an ideal or spirituality of poverty
  • realised that since the Lord met him in the person of a leper, it was clear the Lord did not attach any importance to social status for its own sake
  • learnt to regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord [Phil 3:8].

it is only in emptying ourselves as Jesus did that God can enter our lives, and fill the emptiness with his love and goodness.

  • Tau Cross
  • San Damiano Cross
  • Habit
tau cross
Tau Cross
  • The Tau - the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet,
  • For Francis it\'s significance lay in the mention made in Ezekiel "Go through city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the forehead of everyone who is distressed and troubled because of all the disgusting things being done in the city." (9:4)
tau cross1
Scholars speculate that Francis attended the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) where he heard Pope Innocent III use the Ezekiel reference in the opening liturgy.So it is basically a call to repentance and support for those who are troubled. The symbolism seems as apt today as it was in the time of Saint Francis and all the way back to Ezekiel. Tau Cross
san damiano cross
San Damiano Cross
  • While gazing at the Cross, Francis saw the lips of Jesus move and he heard the words, "Francis, go repair My House which, as you see, is falling completely to ruin". Francis responded, "gladly will I do so, Lord".
san damiano cross1
San Damiano Cross
  • an icon of the paschal mystery of Messiah, a visual reminder of the tenets of our Faith.
  • invites us to reinforce our Faith and thus help repair God\'s Church today, as Saint Francis did centuries ago
  • Peasants’ clothing in Middle Ages
  • Originally coarse like in sackcloth, as a symbol of repentance
  • Also symbolises the Cross
  • White cord with three knots, representing the three vows, e. Poverty, Chastity and Obedience
franciscans in oceania
Franciscans in Oceania
  • 1788 – Louis Le Receveur first arrived in Australia with the French explorer La Perouse
  • 1839 – Bonaventure Geoghegan, Irishman arrived in Australia
  • 1854 – Peter O’Farell began minstering in Sydney
franciscans in oceania1
Franciscans in Oceania
  • 1879 – community in Waverley began with three Irish friars
  • 1904 – first Australian entered the order
  • 1939 – Australia became independent province
franciscans in oceania2
Franciscans in Oceania
  • 1860 – Italian and Irish friars arrived in Aotearoa
  • Worked with the fledging European settlement around Auckland and as missionaries among the Maori
  • 1880 – withdrew from New Zealand
  • 1937 – returned to New Zealand
franciscans in oceania3
Franciscans in Oceania
  • End of WWII, strong push for friars to work as foreign missionaries
  • 1946 – first missionaries sent to Aitape region, northern Papua New Guinea
  • 1969 – assumed responsibility for the order presence in Singapore and Malaysia
  • 2000 – a community in Kuching, East Malaysia
franciscans in oceania4
Franciscans in Oceania
  • Friars in this province have worked as missionaries in various parts of the world, such as Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Zambia
franciscans in east timor
Franciscans in East Timor
  • Belonged to the province of Indonesia, which was founded by Dutch Franciscans
  • 1982 – Friars arrived in East Timor from Indonesia
  • Currently, an independent Franciscan entity
franciscans today
Franciscans Today
  • 1st Order (Male Order) OFM, OFMCap, OFMConv
  • 2nd Order (Female Order) Contemplative Nuns, OSC, PC
  • 3rd Order (Male and Female religious, eg. FMM, FMDM, OSF, TOR) and seculars (Secular Franciscan Order)
  • Others – Anglican Franciscans
  • Peace & Justice – JPIC
  • Human Rights – Franciscans International
  • Poor, Schools, Prisons, Immigrants, Missionaries, etc
  • The variety of charisms reflects the universalism of the Gospel.
  • Each charism serves a portion of the kingdom\'s gifts to humankind. The Body of Christ finds expression in a variety of groups. Together they build the kingdom and make the Body of Christ present to our world.
  • The call to Franciscans is to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the manner of St Francis.