Franciscans are simply persons who follow the way of St. Francis and St. Clare -- and thus of Jesus and the Gospel. The Rochester Franciscans live according to the Rule of St. Francis, a document based largely on Scripture. Most important for us today is bringing the spirit of St. Francis into the 21st Century. The essence of living our life is our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Who was St. Francis? St. Francis of Assisi lived humbly as a poor man, and is perhaps the most widely-known and universally-loved saint in history. He changed from a wealthy playboy to a sensitive, caring, gentle man, who became so like Christ as to bear in his body the wounds of Christ. St. Francis was exuberant in praising God and lived life to the fullest. He had tremendous reverence for each person and all of creation. St. Francis is the author of The Canticle of Creation.
Who was St. Clare? St. Clare of Assisi was often called the "first Franciscan woman." She was born in 1193 in a feudal society as a woman of the aristocracy. By the time Francis received oral approval of his Rule in 1209, Clare's formation was well underway, as she was raised in a household of women who prayed together and gave alms and food to the poor and hungry of Assisi. On Palm Sunday, in 1212, Clare consecrated herself to God before Francis. Founder of the Order of the Poor Ladies (Poor Clares) at San Damiano, Italy, in 1215, she was the first woman to write a rule for religious women.
Who is a Sister of Saint Francis?
A Sister of Saint Francis is a woman who is responsive to the needs of others and has the ability to invite and enable others to use their gifts. She is attracted to the Franciscan charism (way of life). She journeys to freedom from attachment and to care for all of God's creation. The Rochester Franciscan Sisters have a long history of going where there is need, living the Gospel life of Jesus and spreading the Good News. That spirit continues today. They are committed to God and others through vows of poverty, consecrated celibacy and obedience in Community.
How does one become a Franciscan Sister? Click here
Who are Cojourners?
A "Cojourner" is a lay affiliate who identifies with the Rochester Franciscan Congregation in the spirit of shared mission and vision based upon common Franciscan values and concerns. Approved in 1984, Cojourning describes a relationship in which the Sisters of Saint Francis of Rochester, Minnesota, and lay individuals walk together exploring their lives, mission, and ministry. They do this in the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, and our foundress, Mother Alfred Moes.
Cojourners are men and women, single and married, vowed and ordained, of various faith traditions and walks of life, who desire to grow in spirituality, relating with the Rochester Franciscans, and mutually sharing life's journey. They share common values: belief in God, reverence for life, interdependence of all the universe, concern for the poor, care for the earth, commitment to justice and peace, and friendship with each other.
The expressions of this life are as varied as the individuals who choose to walk this journey.
How does one become a Cojourner? Click here