What is a Third Order Franciscan?
The Third Order is an "Order" within the Franciscan Family. This ‘family’ includes the First Order Brothers and Sisters, a ‘women’s only’ Second Order called the Community of St Clare - and the Third Order.
Unlike the First and Second Order who live a celibate life in their respective communities and who strictly uphold their vow of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, the Third Order comprises people who find the life of Saint Francis attractive, and who feel a call or vocation to live by the principles he lived by.
Third Order members come from all walks of life. We are a dispersed community of women and men, some married, some single, living in our own homes and doing our own jobs. We are a community in that we pray for each other, we meet when we are able, and we encourage one another in living and witnessing to the Christian life. We are a community in that we share the greater calling to follow Jesus in the way of Francis.
While being an autonomous order in our own right, we are closely linked to the Franciscan Brothers and Sisters of the First Order and Second Orders. In the Anglican Church, members of the Third Order are known as Tertiaries.