The Ecumenical Franciscan Order, was established in Sydney, Australia in 2003.Br Luke is the current Brother Shepherd. Our our brothers and sisters are drawn from Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions and also from those of Alternate Spiritual Pathways.
Structure of the Order
The EFO has no First, Second or Third order distinctions. The world in which we live is in a constant state of change. We only have to look around us to see, that what was available and relevant yesterday, is probably not going to be so tomorrow. To survive in this shifting world requires us to be flexible. So we have structured the order to reflect this flexibility.
- EFO members
- Must be over 18
- be of either gender;
- be single or partnered;
- live in EFO community houses, or in their own homes;
- have a short (up to 5 years) or long term (life) profession;
- retain secular lives, jobs and relationships. We do ask that where possible, members have jobs that are with not-for-profit organisations.
The emphasis of the order is on a practical apostolate where the intention is to model the compassionate example of Christ. And following St Francis xhortation that we are to: “Preach everywhere, if necessary using words”. The following are the main focuses of the EFO:
Parish work, presently the EFO are guardians of the Blue Mountains Franciscans Church, a non-denominational Christian Community.
Development and encouragement of Franciscan Spirituality. The use and advocacy of Spiritual Direction.
Welfare services – as required by local community. Community Service – working with and for local neighbourhood centres. Social Justice – advocacy for the marginalized
We believe that the contemporary nature of the Order are encompassed in the following general principles: There is no distinction made between male or female members (such as a First Order for men and Second Order for women). All members generally share the same formation process – with some discretion for individual variations. People who are partnered, may be considered for membership. Each person/couple will be dealt with on a case by case basis. However, given the nature of communal living, caution will be exercised when considering journeying with any partnered people who may wish to live communally. We would expect that where partnered people wish to live in communal houses, both partners will be joining the Order. If this is not the case, then it would be expected that these couples will live in their own homes. Members can make a short term (promised or vowed) commitment to the Order, and then return to secular (non-religious) lives. There is no special status or designation for ordained clergy, other than what is automatically inherent in being ordained. All ordained members are referred to as either Brother or Sister as appropriate.