Franciscans of the Holy Cross

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The Franciscans of the Holy Cross (O.F.C.) a self-governing (Independent/Autocephalous) Ecumenical Franciscan Order in North America. We are not under the jurisdiction of the Roman Church, or any other Church, but are fully Catholic in faith and tradition.

We are Franciscans men and women, who live and work together in a common journey of faith and service. We're building a new Franciscan family, and are seeking people who desire a deeper relationship with God and humanity through a life of prayer, fraternity and devoted service to Jesus Christ. We are a open and loving Order that does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, racial, ethnic or national origin, physical capabilities, marital status, sexual orientation/personal affection, employment or work history, education, or social status. We believe that we are the Children of God and are all equal in God's eyes. In every way, we strive to be an open and welcoming Franciscan family.

Our Order is generally a non-residential Religious Order, which means that most of our Franciscans do not all live in a monastery, friary or convent. We do not require our members to give up their jobs, or move away from their home, friends and families, or make a financial or life changing sacrifice to belong to our Order. In doing so, our Franciscans remain self-supporting and live, work and perform their individual Franciscan mission within their own hometown communities surrounded by their friends and family.

Our way of life is proscribed in our Rule of Life, which is based on the Original Rule, established in 1221, for the First Order of Franciscans (originally called the Order of Friars Minor). We strive to lead our lives according to the words and works of Jesus Christ, and by the example, ideals and spirituality of our fraternal father Saint Francis of Assisi.

We endeavor to live the evangelical life of the Gospels of Jesus Christ as proscribed by our Founder, St. Francis of Assisi under the vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. These are the traditional three vows of most Catholic Religious Orders and we take them very seriously and yet interpret them in a modern way. We are obedient to the Rule and Constitution of The Franciscan Order of the Holy Cross (O.F.C.) and to those officers and administrators who we elect as servant leaders to help guide our work and ministries within the Franciscans of the Holy Cross (O.F.C.) as outlined in our Rule and Constitution.

Therefore, our traditional Vows can be understood by the following:

POVERTY equals SIMPLICITY of life in all things.

CHASTITY equals LOVE. All Christians are called to be chaste in their relationships.

OBEDIENCE equals JOY. We find great JOY in living the Rule of our Order, and being obedient to our elected servant leaders in the Franciscans of the Holy Cross (O.F.C.). We know that such leaders come "Not to be served but to serve" for the good of the Order. We, therefore, do not take titles in Religion other than 'Brother or Sister" to show our equality in Christ Jesus and in the Franciscan Way of Life!

As Franciscans living in today's World, our mission is to continue the work which began when Our Lord spoke to our fraternal father, Saint Francis of Assisi as he prayed before the cross in the ruins of the Church of San Damiano, and said:

"Repair My House, which has fallen into disrepair."

We strive to reach out and serve all of God's Children and to overcome the many problems which have divided Christians and people of all faiths. Our goal is to build a community where all are welcomed. All members of OFC are seen as equals, as they are in the eyes of God. We look forward to the day that all of God's Children can live in harmony, peace and faith.

The Franciscans of the Holy Cross is a self-governing Ecumenical Order open to all Christians that wish to be a part of our Franciscan Chrism.


Br.+Jack Isbell O.F.C., Minister General

The Franciscan Order of the Holy Cross

For more information, contact Brother Jack Isbell, O.F.C. at: