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MilesChristi

Franciscans of the Primitive Observance

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MilesChristi
For the past couple years I've been developing an interest in Franciscan spirituality. While continuing to discern my vocation, I've glanced around at various orders. A while back I read a brief article on a group called the Franciscans of the Primitive Observance. Apparently, they're a small group which split off from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in order to live an even more intense interpretation of the way of St. Francis.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any other information about them. As far as I know, they don't have a website, and I haven't been able to find any other contact information. I was wondering if any of you out there have heard of them, met one of the friars in person, or know how I might get in contact with them?

Thanks! :)

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SarahB
[url="http://www.themountainecho.com/media/paper565/news/2003/12/03/Religion/Franciscans.Of.Primitive.Observance.Come.To.The.Mount-570823.shtml"]Franciscans of Primitive Observance come to the Mount[/url]

My mom and I talked to them for a few minutes at orientation when I was going there. They seemed awesome. I'm not sure if they're still there, but maybe you could contact the seminary at the Mount and see if they can give you any info.

God bless,
Sarah

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Guest anselmi05
I am so grateful that I stumbled across your message!! I am joining the FPO's this July. Please contact me so we can talk about the community. Trust me, they are the real deal, no doubt. I looked at the CFR's first, then, as His Providence provides, heard by word of mouth about this small, "hard-core" group of Franciscans. You might want to try googling "Franciscans of Primitive Observance." You are correct in that they have no website, but several papers in Boston and Maryland have devoted news feature stories depicting the life of an FPO including pics. You might find this helpful. Please though, I look forward to hearing from you, I'm truly stoked.

Matthew Anselmi

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MilesChristi
Wow, I look for some information and God sends me a future friar of the order :)

Awesome. You and I will definitely talk.

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catholicflower
I LOvE THE FPOs!!!!! They came to the Mount during my junior year..they are the nicest coolest hardcore franciscans there are! They helped out with our bible study which was really cool :clap:

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Guest lisadhull
[quote name='MilesChristi' post='594108' date='May 18 2005, 03:47 PM']Wow, I look for some information and God sends me a future friar of the order :)

Awesome. You and I will definitely talk.[/quote]
I am looking for my old spiritual director. Father Francis kelly. I am not sure which order he is presently with. I am sure he is with the stricter of the two. Is there any way you can get a message to him for me or tell me how I might get in touch with him?

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Guest lisadhull
[quote name='MilesChristi' post='594108' date='May 18 2005, 03:47 PM']Wow, I look for some information and God sends me a future friar of the order :)

Awesome. You and I will definitely talk.[/quote]
I am looking for my old spiritual director. Father Francis kelly. I am not sure which order he is presently with. I am sure he is with the stricter of the two. Is there any way you can get a message to him for me or tell me how I might get in touch with him?

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praying4carmel
The article was wonderful and I am thrilled to see 2 brothers here get together!

Miles, my prayers are with you! God bless you and Matthew!

P4C

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Laudate_Dominum
I spent a couple months with the FPO's a number of years ago but I haven't kept in contact with them. Looks like anselmi05 is your best bet. :)

The FPO's are sweet and when I was hoping to become a Franciscan friar they were my first choice. In retrospect though I would say that I idealized the order a bit. They are still a community of real people with the kind of difficulties that go along with that. Of course they are not your average folks. ;)

I had withdrawals off and on for years after spending time with that community. The life is amazing... I often wonder how they are doing actually..

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Laudate_Dominum
[quote name='MilesChristi' post='589004' date='May 11 2005, 07:39 PM']Apparently, they're a small group which split off from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in order to live an even more intense interpretation of the way of St. Francis.[/quote]
That sounds about right. The first time I visited the FPO's was immediately after my first visit to the CFR's and it was interesting to see how similar they are and yet pretty different at the same time. A lot of the little details are the same (beyond just what one would expect in an orthodox Franciscan community), but the general spirit of the life was different. The three Franciscan communities in the northeast that I found to be the most compelling were the FPO's the FI's and the CFR's, I'd recommend visiting them all if you're pursuing a Franciscan vocation.

I suppose the most general distinction I would make would be to say that the FPO's charism is more contemplative than the CFR's. I think one would have to spend at least a year with the FPO's to get at the whole bag. I'm not sure if it is the same these days but the first time I visited I stayed in a hermitage in the woods the whole time with no contact with the outside world whereas on my second visit I was in their New Bedford friary and there was more interaction with people and things such as begging and dumpster diving. The majority of the day was still prayer though; Mass, adoration, rosary, office, et cetera. I like the fact that they rise at 2 AM to pray the office of readings.
I’ve heard that some people have been unable to commit to joining the community because the schedule wears on them. This was actually one of my concerns because I tend to sleep in whenever I can. Haha. I was exhausted at first but after a week or two I felt like I had settled into the rhythm. It’s hard to say how I would have done after six months or a year though. A buddy of mine who joined had already been waking up at the crack of dawn everyday to pray long before he joined the order so this wasn’t a problem for him. Another buddy of mine visited for a week or so and missed the office of readings and morning prayer pretty much every single day that he was there because he was too lazy to get out of bed. Lol. The friars sleep on the floor with little more than a thin blanket but he brought this big luxury sleeping bag, hahahaha. Good times…

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Laudate_Dominum
[quote name='lisadhull' post='1494957' date='Apr 8 2008, 01:15 PM']I am looking for my old spiritual director. Father Francis kelly.[/quote]
He was with the FPO's last time I was there. If you need to get in touch with him I would suggest writing a letter to the friary. Im assuming that they still have the friary in New Bedford. I vaguely remember the address off the top of my head but I'm hesitant to give it in case my memory is faulty... I wonder if the diocesan website would be of help?

Anyway, I used to write letters to the Immaculate Conception Friary on Rivet Street in New Bedford when I needed to get in touch with one of the priests.

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Laudate_Dominum
I found some cool blog postings about them

[url="http://romancatholicvocations.blogspot.com/2008/03/thumbing-their-way-down-gods-highway.html"]http://romancatholicvocations.blogspot.com...ds-highway.html[/url]
[url="http://romancatholicvocations.blogspot.com/2008/03/franciscans-of-primitive-observance_26.html"]http://romancatholicvocations.blogspot.com...er
ance_26.html[/url]
[url="http://romancatholicvocations.blogspot.com/2007/09/franciscans-of-primitive-observance.html"]http://romancatholicvocations.blogspot.com...ob
ervance.html[/url]
[url="http://romancatholicvocations.blogspot.com/2008/03/franciscans-of-primitive-observance.html"]http://romancatholicvocations.blogspot.com...ob
ervance.html[/url]

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Thomist-in-Training
[quote]The three Franciscan communities in the northeast that I found to be the most compelling were the FPO's the FI's and the CFR's, I'd recommend visiting them all if you're pursuing a Franciscan vocation.[/quote] So where would you put the FI's in the comparison among these guys? I met their Sisters in Rome and they were pretty amazing. I've heard good things about the FPO's also.

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Guest MonksAreMyFriends
[quote name='lisadhull' post='1494957' date='Apr 8 2008, 02:15 PM']I am looking for my old spiritual director. Father Francis kelly. I am not sure which order he is presently with. I am sure he is with the stricter of the two. Is there any way you can get a message to him for me or tell me how I might get in touch with him?[/quote]

The FPO have a friary in Lawrence, MA, but I believe Fr. Kelly is in their friary in Emmittsburg, MD. I don't have the address there, but the address in Lawrence is:

Co-Redemptrix Friary
30 Trinity Street
Lawrence, MA 01841

They can probably forward a letter to him or give it to him when he visits. I believe they are back and forth quite a bit.

They are wonderful, holy men...a gift from God to the world!

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Guest FPO's are my friends
The address for the FPO's in Emmitsburg:

Mother of Good Shepherd Friary
16916 Annadale Rd.
Emmitsburg, Md. 21727

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