This moment changes everything

The moment of Profession is a specific moment. It doesn’t just happen. It is prepared for and is joyfully anticipated. It is specific, so that we know exactly what is happening and why. It is a moment not to be forgotten, whose impact is transformational and dictates all we do and say from the moment of profession on. Fr. Felice [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Fr. Felice Cangelosi OFM Cap in Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment] says that it is the “foundational moment in the identity of the Professed.” This moment changes everything.

~ Fr. Richard Trezza, O.F.M., “Profession and the Secular Franciscan: Theological and Liturgical Foundations” (FUN Manual)

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Radical, light-filled and joyful

Profession in the Secular Franciscan Order, as a promise to live the gospel in the manner of St Francis, aims to put before us the radical, light-filled and joyful style in which Francis listens to the gospel and commits himself to live it.

~Fr. Felice Cangelosi OFM Cap, Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment

The school of Christ

Profession in the Secular Franciscan Order commits a person to study in the school of Christ, who is “the book of Wisdom, written from within the heart of the Father, since He is the art of almighty God; it was written externally, when it became flesh” (St. Bonaventure).

~Fr. Felice Cangelosi OFM Cap, Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment

Totally conformed to Christ

Francis had one dominant thought, one unquenchable desire, one constant intention: to become totally conformed to Christ. Discipleship in love has no other purpose except to “christify” the whole person. It is entirely geared towards transforming the lover into an image of the beloved (LM XIII, 2). Francis was “indeed always occupied with Jesus: Jesus he bore in his heart, Jesus in his mouth, Jesus in his ears, Jesus in his eyes, Jesus in his hands, Jesus in the rest of his members. How often, when he sat down to eat, hearing or speaking or thinking of Jesus, he forgot bodily food” (1Cel 115).

~Fr. Felice Cangelosi OFM Cap, Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment

Inwardly specifies

Therefore, from the moment of profession onwards,  it is the gospel which inwardly specifies the life of the Secular Franciscan and commits him/her to the observance of the gospel: profession implies  “the will to live the gospel”.

~Fr. Felice Cangelosi OFM Cap, Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment

Make themselves entirely available to God…

To celebrate Profession within the Eucharist expresses the sacrificial dimension of self-giving inherent in the Profession of the gospel life in the Secular Franciscan Order. In Profession, manifested in the presence of the Fraternity and the Church, the true nature of the candidates as priests and victims is made manifest. They, by promising to live the gospel life, make themselves entirely available to God and place their own bodies (persons) on the altar of Christ’s sacrifice as a holy victim pleasing to God. 

~Fr. Felice Cangelosi OFM Cap, Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment, Part 6: Profession and Eucharist

Secular Franciscan Profession

There is a widespread opinion among many Franciscan seculars and religious that the Profession of Secular Franciscans is a “second class” commitment, some kind of a “light” Profession. Indeed, most people have foggy ideas on the value of Profession in the Secular Franciscan Order and because of this many Secular Franciscans do not live the “grace” of Profession for what it really is. A true nuptial alliance with Jesus Christ aimed at a further consecration to God and at accomplishing a closer bond to the Church to reach the perfection of love and the realization of Saint Francis mission.

~Preface to Profession in the SFO: Gift and Commitment, Fr. Felice Cangelosi OFM Cap