The Order of Franciscan Penitents

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Franciscan Chapel
903 Old Hwy 63
Columbia, Missouri 65201

Saturday Mass: 5 p.m.
Tues. & Thurs. Mass: noon
Wed. Evening Prayer: 6 p.m.

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Welcome to the official web site and information pages of the Order of Franciscan Penitents. Pictures, reflections, news and notes regarding the community and the CEC will be posted here regularly. We hope you find this site helpful, and that you will visit often. Whether you are discovering us for the first time, or visiting as an old friend, we wish you peace and all good as you view this site.

So who are the Franciscans? The Franciscans are members of a religious order that follows the rule of Saint Francis of Assisi. The first Franciscans, called the Order of Friars Minor, followed an ideal of total poverty; they possessed nothing in common or individually. Forbidden to accept money, they lived from day to day by working and begging. When they began studying and living at universities, however, they had to modify their strict ideal of poverty. By the time Saint Francis died (1226), the order had spread from Italy to England, the Holy Land, and all of Europe. Soon after Francis established his order for men, Clare of Assisi embraced his teachings and began to follow the rule, establishing a Franciscan order for women. The teachings and traditions of Franciscan spirituality continue to this day, as thousands of Christians across denominations have embraced a Franciscan rule of life rooted in prayer, service, and evangelism. Preaching, teaching, foreign missions, and parish work remain the work of the Franciscans today.

Traditionally, the Friars and brothers constituted the First Order. The women, or Poor Clares (Franciscan nuns) the Second Order. The Third Order comprised lay men and women who took vows and followed a rule of life. However, The Order of Franciscan Penitents was established in a unique and different way. There is no tiered membership in the OFP - all professed members are considered equal. One member is chosen as the Guardian by the rest of the community, and assumes responsibility for the administration of the Order. All members of the Order are under the authority of the Bishop.

We hope that you enjoy reading through the information presented here. If you are in the area of Columbia, Missouri, please join us for worship. We welcome you anytime! For more information about the Order or becoming a member of the OFP, please contact the Guardian.