What is a Lutheran Franciscan, and Why I am One

By Rev. Chris Markert, OLF

Lutheran FranciscansThe Order of Lutheran Franciscans is an ELCA religious order of vowed women and men following the Simple Way of St. Francis of Assisi. As part of the worldwide Franciscan family, the OLF’s mission is to rebuild Christ’s Church through spiritual renewal, solidarity with the poor and marginalized, ecumenical bridge building, and care of creation.

“I am drawn to being Franciscan because it is radical – in that it goes to the roots of what it means to lose oneself in order to find oneself.  This Franciscan thing is not a solo ‘spiritual’ journey or exercise; it happens in community.”  Carolyn Swenson, Postulant

“Francis is a master of subtraction; and if ministry really is about being lesser than, I don’t know any more effective math than the equation of holy poverty: to live toward being less so that God can be more.”  Brother Joseph Byrd

“It is said that, as he lay dying, St. Francis asked that his garments be removed and that he be placed directly on the earth… I think this is what it means to be a Franciscan: to lay everything at the feet of God, to let nothing get it the way, not position nor possession. This is why I am seeking to follow the Franciscan path, I want to strip away my ego, layer by layer, so I can get closer to God.”  Linda Marie Hearst, Postulant

“A Franciscan follows the humble teachings of blessed St. Francis in his or her own personal way. It is imprecisely personal. I am a Franciscan because I am called, like Francis, to rebuild the Church of Christ.”

Brother Ian Boden

“For me, Franciscans live simply so that they may simply live – in service and love to ‘the least of these.’”  The Rev. Jeff Brown, Postulant

“A Franciscan is somebody who takes on the challenge of aligning their life with Christ. The Franciscan way to go about this is simplicity, holiness, and accountability (i.e. poverty, chastity, and obedience). I am a Franciscan out of spiritual conviction. I see the Spirit offering me ways to simplify my life and teaching me how to center myself around Christ in deep and profound ways.”  Brother Mike Patterson

“A Lutheran Franciscan embraces grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I am called through my baptism to follow the Christ through the example of Saint Francis of Assisi.”  Brother Don Helfer

“A Franciscan believes Jesus meant what he said. I believe Jesus meant what he said.”  Mary Youngerman, Postulant

“To be a Franciscan is to live into a simplicity in one’s life that looks past all of the material things that draw our attention away from God… It is my desire to get to know God on a deeper intentional level, and in turn, my own inner self. Being a Franciscan is one such path to do so.”  The Rev. Alex Steward, Postulant

“The Franciscan Vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience are a compass to keep me headed in the right direction, and the process of formation has opened me to more deeply explore what it means to follow Christ through the examples of Francis and Luther.”  Brother Martin Johnson

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