OFH - Contemplative Franciscans
As our OFH Mission describes, All Associates and Members of the Order of Franciscan Hermits are to "“Rebuild the Church” and Promote World Peace through contemplative prayer, compassionate dialogue, fraternal interaction, nonviolent action, and performing the good works asked of us in the Gospel, striving to Build and Unite the Body of Christ which suffers from many divisions, fostering a more perfect life, and exercising other works of the apostolate (Canon 298). As Hermits, we cherish substantial silence, substantial solitude, prayer and penance." This is difficult in our modern world, without a commitment to the contemplative dimension of our vocation.
The following resources are important tools to learn about Contemplation...
The Order of Franciscan Hermits (OFH) is a federally recognized 510(c)(3) Nonprofit Religious Charitable Organization (designation letter) that was originally founded in 2015 and has grown to have Associates and Members in over 90 countries worldwide. We are a Contemplative and Active Franciscan Community Promoting World Peace and LOVE through the Teachings of Christ and the Spirituality of Sts. Francis and Clare of Assisi. We live a life of substantial silence, substantial solitude, contemplative prayer and penance - choosing to "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). We have ministries in the Franciscan tradition of helping the poor and marginalized for the betterment of humanity. Domestic and International efforts support Ecumenical and Interfaith communications; peace and social justice; clean water and food security; clean energy and environmental sustainability; health and human services; education; spiritual development and associated support groups. We support & promote programs aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
a. The Mission or Calling of the OFH Members and Associates is the same as St. Francis given by the Crucifix of San Damiano, to “Rebuild the Church” and Promote World Peace. The OFH accomplishes this through contemplative prayer, compassionate dialogue, fraternal interaction, nonviolent action, and performing the good works asked of us in the Gospel, striving to Build and Unite the Body of Christ which suffers from many divisions, fostering a more perfect life, and exercising other works of the apostolate (Canon 298). As Hermits, we cherish substantial silence, substantial solitude, prayer, and penance.
b. We choose to focus on what UNITES us as Franciscans and Christians, rather than what Divides us, as St. Paul "begs" of us in Ephesians 4:1-6:
"therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all Humility and Gentleness, with Patience, bearing with one another in LOVE, making every effort to maintain the Unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace. There is One Body and One Spirit, just as you were called to the One Hope of your calling, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father of All, who is above All and through All and in All."
St. Francis’ “Rule for Hermitages”
[Translation of Greagóir Ó Seanacháin (1997)]:
“Those who want to remain in hermitages to lead a religious life should be three brothers, or four at most; of these, let two be "mothers" and have two "sons," or one at least.
The two that are "mothers" should maintain the life of Martha and the two "sons" the life of Mary, and have a single enclosure, in which each may have his cell to pray and sleep in.
And they are always to say Compline of the day immediately after sunset. And they should make sure to keep the silence. And they are to recite their Hours. And they are to get up for Matins. And let the first thing they seek be the kingdom of God and his justice.
And let them say Prime at the appropriate hour and, after Terce, conclude the silence so that they can speak and go to their "mothers," from whom, when they want to, they can beg an alms, like little paupers, for love of the Lord God.
And afterwards, they are to recite Sext and None and, at the appropriate hour, Vespers.
And as to the enclosure where they stay, they may not allow any person either to enter or to eat there.
Those brothers who are the "mothers" are to make sure they keep their distance from people and, on account of the obedience due their minister, shield their "sons" from people, so that nobody can get to speak with them.
And those "sons" are not to speak with any person other than their "mothers" and their minister and custodian, when he wishes to visit them with the blessing of the Lord God.
The "sons," nonetheless, should now and then take over the duty of the "mothers," according to what arrangement they have come to about taking turns at intervals.
As for everything above-mentioned, let them earnestly and carefully endeavor to observe it.”