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Statutes of The Franciscans of San Damiano Based                             on the TOR Rule of 1982

S - 1                                                                           Our Identity

1.The Franciscans of San Damiano is a public association of the Christian faithful based in the diocese of Albany, New York, approved by the Most Rev. Howard J. Hubbard, Bishop of Albany, on 2014, We are comprised of Roman Catholic men, both married and single, committed to the Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, who live independently, are financially self-supporting and are striving for Spiritual Perfection by following the Gospel life as exemplified by Saint Francis of Assisi. 

2. We conform our lives to the Third Order Regular Rule as delineated by our Statutes and Directory, and we promise to honor, reverence, respect and obey our Holy Father the Pope and the Diocesan Bishop, while living in the spirit of Poverty in the world as either Chaste/Married or Chaste/Celibate followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.


3. United with all Christians who wish to attain eternal salvation, we commit ourselves to a life of constant conversion. Metanoia is the root value of our Franciscan tradition and flowers forth in poverty, minority and contemplation.

D - 1                                  Our Identity

1. As the Church enters its Third Millennium, it expresses an ever- growing need for committed Servants of the Word to bring Jesus, the Word of God, to His people, especially the poor, aged and infirm. In response to that need, the Franciscans of San Damiano embodies a new form of evangelical life offered to both married and celibate Roman Catholic men desiring a life of conversion and intimacy with Jesus in an Evangelical Covenant in the Franciscan tradition.

2. We were incorporated in the State of New York on June 22, 1998 as

The Franciscans of San Damiano, Inc. with a corporate address of 211 Florence Dr. Latham NY 12110.


3. We promise reverence and respect for Our Holy Pontiff, the Bishop of Rome, and the Diocesan Bishop where each Brother lives and performs his individual ministry. We requested and were granted a Spiritual Assistant from the Friars Minor, Province of the Immaculate Conception, for the purpose of guiding our community and providing opportunities for counsel and confession.


4. We currently gather for a Community Day at least once each month. The prescribed Ordo for our Community Day can be found in Chapter Three of this Directory entitled The Spirit of Prayer

S - 2                       Acceptance Into This Life

1. The FSD brothers welcome any man having the required qualities and who is in full communion with the Catholic Church. We invite him to visit for Community Days, make application and, upon acceptance by the Consensus of life professed, he begin a period of formation with his mentor.


2. The mentor brothers gathers information by application and observance to determine a candidate’s genuine calling to our Community life and its mission as defined by these Statutes.


3. The applicant’s mentor ascertains that the applicant has remained faithful to his Baptism by engagement in the sacramental life of the Church. The Mentor is charged with the responsibility of explaining to the candidate’s aspects of our life of continuing conversion to the candidate.


4. After completing a period of Postulancy of at least six months, and at the mutual agreement of the candidate and the

 community, a period of Novitiate will begin, lasting at least a Year.

5. Upon completion of the novitiate and at the mutual agreement of the candidate and the  community the novice promises


to observe the Third Order Regular Rule of Saint Francis, living the Gospel life while embracing the Spirit of the


Evangelical Counsels of Obedience, Poverty and Chastity, in accordance with these Statutes, as set forth in the Directory


of the Franciscans of San Damiano. The Formula for Profession of Covenant Promises is as follows:

  Since for the Glory of God,

The Lord has given me this grace,

Of living more perfectly and with firm will

the Gospel of Jesus Christ,

I, Brother (your name)

In the presence of the assembled Brothers

and into your hands promise for (one year / the entirety of my life )

To live in obedience and in chastity,

seeking nothing for myself according to the Third Order Regular Rule and the statutes and Directory of the Franciscans of San Damiano. Therefore, with all my heart,

I give myself to this brotherhood

That through the work of the Holy Spirit,

Thee Intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Our Seraphic Father Francis and all the saints, And with the help of my brothers

I may fulfill my promises in the service of God,

the Roman catholic church, and this community.

This I promise, Amen.


6. First Profession will be made for a period of three years and then, at the mutual agreement of the Brother and the community, the Brother may request Life Profession. This is granted or denied with the decision rendered by the consensus of the community.

7. The brothers dress simply, wearing the San Damiano Cross. The brothers have a recognizable habit.  

8. Transitioning: A man may seek admission to the FSD who has made either a Novitiate in another institute or who is professed in the Secular Franciscan Order. He however in order to become a successful candidate is expected to follow the ordinary pathway for becoming a member of the FSD. 

D – 2                     Acceptance Into This Life

1. Guests may be invited to attend Community Gatherings normally held with Liturgy or a communion service. An agenda for the day usually consists of Morning Prayer, business meeting, communal lunch, prayer and reflection (which may include the Franciscan Crown) and ending with Evening Prayer. Once a potential candidate has had the opportunity to gather with the community on three separate occasions, a formal request may may be submitted for consideration. 

2. The period of postulancy lasts a minimum of six months. During this period of formation, with the guidance of his mentor brother the postulant is assigned a series of assignments/questions to be answered and returned for the communities review in order to make further decision regarding the postulant's movement towards novitiate.

3. Upon entrance to the novitiate, a candidate may take a religious name if he wishes and receives the habit of the Franciscans of San Damiano. The ORDO for the reception of the habit is found in the ceremonial of the Franciscans of San Damiano. The educational program, with the assistance mentor brother continues during this period of formation of at least one year.

4. When the Council determines that the novice is ready he is invited to place in writing his reasons why he would like to become a professed member of the community. This request is submitted to the guardian and reviewed by the Council for final determination.

5. First Profession may be made after a Novitiate of one year. The brother lives in the Spirit of Poverty, In conformity with the Third Order Regular Rule of Saint Francis and the community Statutes and Directory.  

6. The FSD are self supporting and each brother determines what he is able to contribute on a monthly basis.

7. Brothers are reminded that when we gather the San Damiano Cross should be warn.

8. POSTULANTS  should dress appropriately wearing, the San Damiano Cross. 

9. NOVICES & PROFESSED BROTHERS normally wear the habit at all community functions.


10. THE HABIT consists of a dark brown tunic with the Franciscan Crown on a white-knotted cord, and the San Damiano Cross. It is worn on all formal community gatherings. A Franciscan ring made of hammered silver is received as a part of the habit at the time of First Profession.


11. If a Brother is separated from the community,  he is encouraged to to donate the habit back to the community. 

S – 3                           The Spirit of Prayer

1. The Franciscans of San Damiano commit themselves to daily personal prayer and meditation. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit they develop an interior life in union with God’s will. Each brother should set aside a considerable time for daily prayer.

2. God’s gift of salvation is celebrated throughout the day by uniting the brothers in the Liturgy of the Hours. The community commits itself to the recitation of Morning and Evening Prayer, as a means of strengthening their bonds. The Franciscans of San Damiano are an active-contemplative Community, relying on those members who lead a more contemplative life, to support through prayer the work of our members who have a more active apostolate.

3. Interior silence renders possible our conversations with Jesus Christ. There are those moments when silence with God culminates in his creatures. In the solitude of a retreat we are renewed by intimately meeting with Jesus. These essential moments must therefore be set aside. The community is encouraged to do frequent acts of penance and to avail themselves of the sacrament of reconciliation.

4. Living the Gospel Life requires the study of Scriptures and meditation on the Gospels of Jesus, seeking the gifts of understanding and wisdom through the light of the Holy Spirit.

5. As Jesus exhorts us in the Gospel of John (6:54-58), the brothers believe that union with Christ in the Eucharist is necessary to achieve union with Him in heaven. The brothers are encouraged to participate in the Liturgy of the Eucharist as frequently as possible.

6. The brothers are instructed by Our Seraphic Father Francis to praise, honor, and adore the Lord, living with us in all the tabernacles of the World, until the end of time. As followers of Christ intent on living His Gospel message, they must never lose total and supreme reverence for the Holy Name of Jesus, as well as for His Sacred Teachings.

7. The brothers gather for Community Prayer during the regular

Community Days, and set aside two weekends per year for Spiritual Renewal, either in Retreat or Chapter.


8. Each Brother is urged to plan an individual Day of Recollection on a regular basis.

D – 3                      THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER

1. The Community is united in many ways, especially in prayer, celebrating the Liturgy of the Hours. The Professed Brothers promise to pray Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer daily. In our personal Morning Offering, the day’s activities are offered for the intentions of the community. Likewise, the brothers remember those who have asked for prayers as listed in our Book of Remembrance (described in Chapter 9.) The brothers recite the Community Prayer taken from "A Letter to the Entire Order" by St. Francis.




3. In addition to Morning and Evening Prayer, each Brother is encouraged to examine his conscience within the context of Night Prayer before retiring. The Divine Office concludes with the prayer  “WE ADORE YOU O CHRIST"

4. Daily participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and sharing the Eucharist is strongly encouraged, as are frequent Confession and private acts of penance and mortification. Each Brother is asked to abstain from meat on one day a week and, if possible, restrict himself on that day to having one main meal and two very light meals with no solid food between meals. We sanctify our mortification with quiet joy.

5. The brothers are encouraged to recite the Franciscan Crown once each week, for the intentions of the Holy Father and the community. Praying a decade recalling one joy of Mary each day beginning on Sunday is highly recommended. In Community, the brothers generally pray the Crown in common.

6. Each Brother must have his own Spiritual Director outside of the Community, and is urged to participate fully in the Sacramental Life of the Church.

7. Each Brother is to set aside some time each day to spend in quietlistening to the Holy Spirit as well as performing structured exercises in Meditation and Spiritual Reading. Use of an oratory or a Prayer Room is recommended when and where possible.

8. In addition to sharing The Word of God in Scripture and in The Eucharist, the brothers share a great devotion to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and should adore Him frequently in His Real Presence.

9. Striving to remain in the presence of Jesus throughout the day, the brothers are urged to remember His Incarnation and Mary’s humble “fiat” by praying The Angelus at Noon. If time permits, the "Little Hours” or Daytime Prayer from the Breviary is encouraged.

10. The Brothers set aside a day of recollection, monthly if possible, to live in the Lord in a contemplative atmosphere of prayer, meditation, spiritual reading and tending to matters of the Community. It would be most beneficial to have this day mid-way between Community Days.

11. On two weekends each year the brothers gather from Friday through

Sunday for Retreat and Spiritual Renewal as well as for our Annual Convocation.

12. The brothers are asked to remember All those who have requested remembrance in our community prayers.

S -4                                       Chastity


1. The promise of Chastity in Celibacy or Chastity in Matrimony enriches and consecrates human relationships and friendships. It enables us to treat others with a disciplined love that springs from a reverence and respect for all God’s creatures.


2. As the Father sees in every person the features of His Son, the first born of many brothers and sisters, the Franciscans of San Damiano, with a gentle and courteous spirit, accept all people as a gift of the Lord and an image of Christ.


3. Being mindful that in every thought, word and deed the brothers are called to act in all ways as Franciscan Christians, they live the Gospel of Jesus simply and humbly as exemplified by our Seraphic Father Francis. As bearers of peace, the brothers seek ways of uniting in fraternal harmony through dialogue; trust in the presence of the Divine seed in everyone and in the transforming power of love and pardon.


4. At the exhortation of St. Francis the brothers hold the Blessed Virgin Mary in highest esteem as the Mother of Jesus, Our Lord and Our God, and the Queen of Franciscans. Our lives should be constantly inspired by Mary’s words, "Behold the handmaid of The Lord, let it be done unto me according to Your Word." (Luke 1:38) As an expression of our devotion to Mary the brothers display the Franciscan Crown as part of the habit and recite it frequently.


5. The FSD pray for the guidance and grace constantly for the openness to receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit as they love tenderly, act justly, and walk humbly.

D – 4                                   Chastity

1. Yearning for union with Jesus Christ, Divine Intimacy, the Brothers offer themselves... heart, mind, body and soul to the One True God, Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier.

2. At Profession, the married Brothers, along with the support of their spouse, enrich their marriage vow as they  Promising Conjugal Chastity, as they give themselves totally to Jesus through the loving embrace of their matrimonial spouse.

3. Widowed and single Brothers promise Celibate Chastity, giving up the joy of the married state in preference to serving their God solely and directly, allowing the radiance of that union to shine forth in Peace, Joy and Love for all the people of God.

4. If a married Brother becomes widowed, he immediately amends his Promise to continue his earthly life in the Celibate state.

S- 5                             Minority in the World

1. The brothers work in the spirit of poverty whenever possible, offering manual labor of love with meekness and joy.

2. They work to support themselves and those in their care. As generous servants of God they offer their time and talent wherever they can be used. Each member contributes to the support of the community. 

3. Living in peace with humility and gentle joy, the brothers radiate God’s love to all of His creatures. Humility fosters that serenity of soul that is required to receive the wisdom of the Spirit.

D – 5                 THE WAY TO SERVE AND WORK

1. As Francis exhorts us to be humble servants in our every encounter with the people of God, the Franciscans of San Damiano often perform hospital and nursing home ministries, as they bring Jesus to the poor, aged and infirm.

2. A Franciscan Spirit of joy and peace should pervade our secular work, as well, witnessing to the true joy that comes from an increasing dependence on God as they surrender more and more to His Divine Will. Our individual lifestyles should be brought into harmony with that of the poor, Franciscan servant.

3. Since the brothers are self-supporting, they contribute to the community each month, offered  in any acceptable manner. They should periodically make a donation to support other ministries or help fill special needs in the greater community. If a Brother receives money in the name of the Community, it should be given to the Treasurer. If a Brother receives an honorarium while facilitating ministry in the Name of the Franciscans of San Damiano, it is required that said Brother donate a tithe of 10% of said honorarium to the treasury of the Franciscans of San Damiano.

S - 6                                     Poverty

1. Poverty of Spirit means freedom from attachment to anything God has created for our use. It keeps us in that state of being dependent on God for our very existence.

2. Each brother strives to form a right conscience in determining what level of material poverty he is capable of achieving, given individual secular responsibilities. Brothers should strive to avoid excess, being mindful of sharing their time, talent and treasure with the poorest of the poor.

D – 6                                    Poverty

1. As in Our Identity, poverty of spirit is a necessity in a life of penance and metanoia.... a root value of our Franciscan tradition. As Jesus emptied Himself, living a life of evangelical poverty ultimately for us, it is incumbent upon us to empty ourselves for Him to the fullest extent that individual secular responsibilities tolerate.

2. The promise of poverty further exhorts us to share the fruits of our penance  with all whom we come into contact. 

3. Following Christ after the example of Francis, the brothers should strive to strip themselves of the desire for worldly possessions, cultivating a deeper sense of stewardship for God’s poor. Whenever possible, a brother should avoid attachment to those people and places that draw him into the mire of materialism and self-indulgence, instead focusing that energy into observing the Holy Rule and seeking time for prayer, meditation and tending to the things of the Lord.

4. In order to become more detached from worldly affairs, Francis urges his brothers to increase their trust in the Lord, being confident of His promise of salvation. Avoiding a preoccupation with temporal affairs requires a deeper reliance on Divine Providence. Resting in the Hope of the Lord, the brothers acknowledge their poverty in Charity. The spirit of poverty also demands that the more they realize material poverty, the greater their duty to accept it with serene patience, humbly thanking Jesus for opportunities to follow his life more intimately

S - 7                                  Fraternal Life

1. Whether living apart or together, each brother must be constantly aware of manifesting his fraternal relationship with Jesus through the love and respect he shows each brother in thought, word and deed. Mindful of this responsibility, a brother demonstrates this through daily prayer, by giving each other what is needed as companions on the journey.

2. Whenever the brothers are together, mindful of the Franciscan Charism they should be humble and non-judgmental with each other. At all times, the brothers should exercise honesty and gentleness when discussing differences of opinion. Matters of great concern are brought to the attention of the Guardian and upon the advice of the professed brothers, the Guardian then deals with the matter with utmost compassion.

D – 7                                 Fraternal Life

1. A Community Gathering is held generally once a month. Once in the Fall and again in the Spring the brothers gather for a weekend of spiritual renewal. In addition, they gather for special occasions such as Transitus or other communal celebrations.  

2. “Community”, is an important element at the very foundation of the Franciscans of San Damiano. It is fostered by remembering the brothers in prayer and communicating frequently. 

3. After each Community Day, minutes are sent to the community reviewing the events of the gathering. Periodically the Guardian may send communications to the Community, when he deems appropriate.

4. If possible, the Community will be notified upon learning that a brother is seriously ill, and if possible, gather for the Anointing of the Sick. If a brother dies, the Community will immediately begin reciting the Office of the Dead for Morning and Evening Prayer, be prepared to conduct a Wake Service, act as pallbearers at the Mass and conduct a service at graveside with the permission of the local priest.

S - 8                                   Obedience

1. A brother emulates the example of Christ and Francis by conforming his will to that of the Father. Seeking His will, the Brothers help one another to live according to the Rule mutually observed. The Brothers support one another rather than dominate; serving each other with ever-increasing love and humility.

2. One of the brothers will serve the community as Guardian accepting the responsibility for implementing the will of the community. Let the Franciscans of San Damiano raise up one of the community to be Guardian; and let the brother humbly accept the responsibility of implementing the legislation of the affairs of the community, aided by the Vicar and the community. Fidelity to the rule is of the essence in the guardian’s exercise of ministerial duties.

3. It is the right and responsibility of the Guardian to care for the needs of the brothers and to promote unity among them. Let the Guardian embrace each brother, with charity and kindness, always ready to help him in his Franciscan journey. Whether it be the role of Guardian, Vicar, Secretary, Treasurer or any other role of particular service that a brother assumes, it should be carried out with the greatest dedication, matched only by one’s spirit of detachment from that role when it is assumed by another.

D – 8                                  Obedience

1. True dialogued obedience offers the opportunity for an exchange of opinions, in an effort to discern God’s will for the common good of the Brothers. The brothers  agreed to follow  directives as they pertain to the common interest of the community.

2. The brothers respond to the call of penance by embracing the Franciscan value of Metanoia causing a true conversion of heart. Brothers work in the world with the determination to bring spiritual centeredness to that experience. The brothers, guided by the Holy Spirit through the gift of discernment, surrender their wills to the will of the Father and to that of the brothers who serve in positions of leadership.

3. The Community embraces the Third Order Regular Rule of Saint Francis as our blueprint for conversion, putting its values into tangible expression by our adherence to the Statutes and Directory of the Franciscans of San Damiano. In addition, our conduct is informed by the Law of the Church.

S - 9                                 Apostolic Life

1. As Franciscans, our commitment to conversion of the heart (Metanoia) compels us to live the Gospel Life in constant union with Jesus as we radiate His love by our very being.

2. The brothers strive for harmony with their companions for the journey, reflecting the inner harmony we have with God. In everything we do, we exhibit poverty of spirit, humility, simplicity and gratitude to the Lord, in constant thankfulness and joy.

3. As instruments of reconciliation, the brothers announce God’s peace by personal presence and by a spirituality manifested in deeds.

4. Brothers are urged to share their time and talents, offering prayerful support to the apostolate of the community.


1. As brothers we share in the apostolic life of the church. This includes prayer intentions for both the living and the deceased as well as liturgical and paraliturgical exercises.

2. Living separately varied ministries are performed. These may include...

work in parishes, hospitals, nursing homes or soup kitchens demonstrating our connectedness to the works of mercy.

3. Francis teaches us to develop a strong prayer life. Through that prayer life each brother is energized to reach out to the living body of Christ and take action. In these contemplative moments of silence and meditation, we become animated to real compassion. As humble servants joyfully heralding the Peace and Mercy of Christ with childlike meekness, broadened by years of experience in the world, the brothers commit themselves to respond as Francis, making a profound difference in the world.

S – 10                                GOVERNMENT

1. A Convocation is held bi-annually (even years), to which all members of the Community are invited. At this convocation, following the reading of the Third Order Regular Rule, the Statutes and Directory of the Community are read. Any points of revision, addition or deletion previously discussed by the counsel and offered to the community are subject to consensus. The revised Statutes will be printed and distributed to all members of the community.

2. Leadership positions in the community are determined by prayer, discernment and consensus. The position of Guardian is determined by prayer, discernment and consensus. Brothers are nominated for their position through the consensus of the community. The Guardian holds his position at the will of the community.  

3. A Vicar is appointed to represent the community in all official matters. These include relationships with all bishops and other religious communities. The Vicar oversees the work of the community and is the official representative of the community when needed. The Vicar is selected by the consensus Life Professed Brothers.

4. The positions of Secretary and Treasurer are  selected by consensus of the life professed brothers. The secretary provides written minutes of all community meetings and assists the Vicar in handling community correspondence and records. The

treasurer is responsible for following the guidelines of the financial Disclosure, maintaining accurate financial records and publishing a monthly financial statement for all life professed brothers to review. He is also responsible for filing annual taxes.

6. Any brother who cannot complete his entire term must submit his resignation in writing to the Vicar. The community then discusses the course of action to fill the unfinished term of office.

7. Subcommittees for the community include: 

SPIRITUALITY Urging all brothers to continually advance their own prayer life, suggesting spiritual reading/discussion topics, calling for emotional support when perceived as necessary.

RETREAT establishes localities, dates, registrations timelines, speakers and collating the binder materials necessary for these events.


EDUCATION Works with the Spirituality Subcommittee to help provide the brothers with the means to access advancement in Franciscan Spirituality, especially in the light of new research and commentaries on his life, and the best ways of implementing a true enlightenment for every brother.

RULE, STATUTES AND DIRECTORY The way the community adapts

the Rule for independent living needs, by its very nature, to evolve in order to stay healthy and focused. When we have our semi-annual convocations, the R-S-D Committee should leave it with issues, reports, findings and in particular areas that need further discussion, and report on their suggested agenda to the community. 

S – 11                                   Separation

1. Separation from the Community, whether initiated by the Brother or the Council, must follow the conditions for notification, dialogue and resolution as set forth in the Directory of chapter 11.

2. Make the Spirit of God evident in everything you do, as you live the Gospel Life according to the Holy Rule. Be faithful to Franciscan humility and poverty, living in ever-increasing dependence upon the loving compassion of God.


D – 11                                   Separation


1. Initial association with the community begins as candidates receive the San Damiano Crucifix and enters into the Formation Program and participate actively in the life of the community. Formal membership in the FSD Community is realized when the brother makes his Life Profession.


2. If, at any time should a member express the desire to leave the community, that request is placed in writing and presented to the Council by way of the Guardian and with the consultation of the General Minister and Council the decision is made for the brother to petition the General Minister to be relieved of his current standing in the community. The brother will be notified in writing of the decision and the procedures to be followed as defined in our Statutes and Directory.


3. If an individual brother is thought to have violated the sacred trust as a member of the Franciscans of San Damiano, he is called before the Council to explain the matter in question. The Brother is notified of the action of the Council by the Vicar within three days of the Council Meeting. this notification is to be in writing and the official affixed.

4. The Secretary shall provide a document to be signed by the Brother, the Guardian and a witness, agreeing on the dissolution of his Promises. Copies of that document, his Profession certificate and the Guardian’s letter of prayerful closure and assurance of perpetual remembrance will be sent to the brother along with notification to any Diocese in which the brother represented The Franciscans of San Damiano. Since the Franciscans of San Damiano is supported by the donations of its membership, monies paid in advance will be given to the departing brother. If that brother wishes to donate it to the Community, it shall be so noted in the Guardian’s letter of closure and given to the Treasurer as a donation.




Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God grant us in our misery, the grace to do for You alone
what we know You want us to do, and always to desire what pleases You. Thus, inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened, and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footprints of Your beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. And by Your grace alone, may we make our way to You, Most High, who live and rule in Perfect Trinity and simple Unity, and are glorified God all-powerful, forever and ever. Amen

This is an official FSD document. That supplants any and all previous versions.
Changes are only made within the context

January 15, 2014

of the brothers meeting in Chapter.

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