“Although the Third Order is not a body of persons who are already perfect, it is principally a school of integral Christian perfection, imbued with the genuine Franciscan spirit.  For, it was instituted for this purpose: to satisfy fully the sincere desires of those who had to remain in the world but did not wish to be of the world.  Therefore, the Third Order wishes to have as members those who burn with the desire of striving for perfection in their own station in life.” 

Constitutions Franciscan Third Order, Article 39



SS. Francis and Clare Fraternity of

The Third Order of St. Francis

Welcome to the website of our Third Order Franciscan fraternity.   

Our fraternity was established in January, 2020 after a group of Secular Franciscans prayerfully discerned to leave the Secular Franciscan Order and live their Franciscan vocation in the way Third Order Franciscans lived their secular vocation for so many centuries, that is, as Tertiaries under the direction of the Order of Friars Minor.

As Third Order of St. Francis, the object and purpose of the Franciscan Tertiaries is “to form its members in Christian perfection” (ref Sacra Propediem 16).  By profession and urged by the Spirit, we adopt as our program of sanctification the rule of 1883 promulgated by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII for the Franciscan Third Order Secular. 

We live our Franciscan vocation of conforming our lives to the Gospel under the spiritual direction and guidance of the Order of Friars Minor of the Province of the Immaculate Conception.  Although our “home” is at the Shrine of Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted in Youngstown, OH, we gather in the Barberton area in OH.  We have two sister fraternities, the Padre Pio Fraternity in Youngstown, OH and the Our Lady of America Fraternity which meets in Ashtabula, OH.  We gather together for prayer, fellowship and formation in the Franciscan way of life once a month at our local fraternities and for special events such as days of reflection and retreats at the Shrine of our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted. 

In response to God’s grace, with a deep devotion to the Holy Eucharist, love of Our Lady, and with a strong fraternal bond, we pledge full communion with the Pope, bishops and priests and unwavering obedience to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and its teachings.