The Franciscans of the Renewal commonly known as the CFR’s recently received notice from Rome that Pope Francis has granted them recognition as a religious institute of pontifical right. The decree was signed by his Eminence, João Cardinal Bráz de Aviz, Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and his Archbishop Secretary, José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM.
Institutions of pontifical right depend immediately and exclusively on the Vatican in the matters of internal governance and discipline. It is the highest form of recognition for a religious community, and is granted to institutes that show steady growth over a period of approximately 20-25 years. The Friars were founded in 1987 in the Archdiocese of New York by a group of 8 American Capuchins who desired a form of Franciscan life dedicated specifically to service of the poor and evangelization. Today the order has about 100 perpetually professed members in 10 dioceses in sic countries throughout the world.
The Holy See describes the Institute’s charism: “After the manner of St. Francis of Assisi, the friars seek to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, as a prophetic witness that life is a pilgrimage to the Father, of faith, hope, and love of God and neighbor, made possible by the Holy Spirit. They participate in Christ’s renewal of all things through their prayer, fraternal life, service of the poor, and evangelization, as a complement to the work of those whose mission is to serve parochially.”
Father Andrew Apostoli, who serves as the Spiritual Director for the Catholic Marketing Network was one of the founding members of the CFR’s.