There's a saying among the Franciscans: if you've met one friar, then you've met one friar.
As Franciscan friars, we come from a wide spectrum of backgrounds and experiences, countries and cultures. Our ministries are varied – from pastoral roles to education, social ministry, administration and manual trades. As itinerants, we are constantly moving from ministry to ministry. We live in cities, suburbs and rural areas. Some of us wear the traditional brown Franciscan habit, while others wear business casual attire or work clothes.
There are many things that make us different, but our primary identity comes from our vocation. All of us – whether we’re perpetually professed brothers or priests – are friars. It is our commitment to being a friar that defines who we are and how we live, and brings us together as a vibrant, diverse brotherhood dedicated to sharing Christ’s love with the poor.
Each of our nearly 300 friars brings unique gifts and experiences to our brotherhood. Franciscan ministry has always been flexible – its guiding principle is to witness the Gospel according to the real needs of people within the context of their individual culture. Our friars are accomplishing this through their work as chaplains, spiritual directors, justice and peace advocates, counselors, pastors, teachers, painters, tradesmen and musicians, among other occupations.
No matter what we do, our message comes from and is strengthened by our witness to fraternal life. Living in community is one of our core values and helps us to keep things in a more “down to earth” perspective. The phrase “all are welcome” is at the core of Franciscan hospitality.