National Work Commission - Secular Franciscan Order U.S.A.

360 Beard Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14214 Phone: (716) 838-4178

"Let them esteem work both as a gift and a sharing in the creation, redemption and service of the human family" (Art. 16, SFO Rule)

The National Work Commisson of the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States is dedicated to a two-fold task: (1) helping Secular Franciscans and other people of goodwill to discover the Good News in the work we do and the way that it helps us grow in holiness and dignity as we share our gifts with the world and (2) showing solidarity with workers whose dignity is denied by work that oppresses rather than liberates.

The National Work Commission is one of four Apostolic Commissions established by the National Fraternity of Secular Franciscan Order in the U.S.A. The other three Commissions are Ecology, Family, and Peace and Justice. All four Commissions emerge from the 1978 Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order which updated the Order to be consonant with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council. The present Rule embodies the "secular spirituality" which the Vatican II developed for the laity; one which placed the growth in holiness and the carrying out of mission within the context of a layperson's ordinary life. This secular spirituality is an incarnational spirituality that has Franciscan roots - for it was St. Francis who brought the Church a renewed reverence for the goodness and wonder of God's magnificent creation and humankind's participation in it. Work is God's way of allowing us to participate in his on-going activities of creating, sustaining and redeeming the world. Work is a principal means by which God intends for us to serve our brothers and sisters and our world. In so doing, we ourselves are blessed as we cultivate our gifts and talents and become better persons more fully revealing the divine image in which we were created.

Secular Franciscan Sources

Early Franciscan Sources- St. Francis, St. Clare, St. Bonaventure and Thomas of Celano provide a Franciscan perspective on work.

Ecclesial Sources on Work

Work Articles

The following articles develop both the Franciscan and the secular dimensions of work:

Reflections on Article 16 of the Secular Franciscan Rule - articles with dialogue starters by Edward Zablocki, SFO

In the Trenches Personal reflections on faith and work by Mary Zablocki, SFO

Work and the Social Teachings of the Church - reflections by Terry McCarthy, Sr. SFO

DIGNITAS - Proclaiming the Dignity of Work - presents news and views on today's world of work prepared by the Work Commission of the National Secular Franciscan Fraternity in the United States