The Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular
The Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular is a community of penitents founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. During its nearly 800 years of existence, the Order has dedicated itself to praying for the salvation of all, to promoting peace and justice for all people and all of God’s creation, and to inviting others, through word and deed, to step off the path of sin and embrace the Way of the Lord.
Our Order traces its formal foundation to the year 1221, when Saint Francis wrote his “First Letter to the Penitents,” which constituted the first version of our Rule.
The Third Order Regular is one of the three Orders created by Saint Francis during his lifetime. The others are the Friars Minor and the Second Franciscan Order of Poor Ladies (Poor Clares).
Over the centuries, the Franciscans have travelled to every corner of the world to carry out our missions, and have established provinces, vice provinces, and delegations in fourteen countries.
APYC—American Parish Youth Center, Inc.
The APYC was founded in 1947 by the Franciscan Friars, T.O.R. and a group of dedicated laypeople as a not-for-profit charitable entity under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The APYC works as a partner to assist the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular in its various charities.
As a not-for-profit charity which serves the Franciscan T.O.R. community, the APYC is listed in the Kennedy Directory of the Catholic Church. This allows their benefactors an opportunity to give charitable contributions which are recognized by the government.
The original work of the APYC was to relieve the suffering of children in Europe left homeless by World War II. The APYC later opened an office in Cresson, Pennsylvania, and quickly expanded its work to help support various Provinces and Vice Provinces of the Third Order, the General Headquarters of the T.O.R. in Rome, and other initiatives that promote the Third Order Regular spirituality and mission.
The APYC is an official partner of the Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular.
All donations and prayer requests from your participation on this website go directly to the Franciscan Friars, T.O.R.
Board of Directors:
Fr. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., President
What We Do
“We pray! Like Francis, we are first and foremost called to deepen our union with God in Christ. Like the early TOR penitents, we seek to make God the most important reality of our lives. From our life of prayer all else flows.”
-from “A Small Order, A Great Fraternity” by Fr. Bonaventure Midili, T.O.R. and Bro. John Paul McMahon, T.O.R.
In addition to monasteries and churches, the Franciscan Friars perform the following ministries, among others:
Health care: Franciscan-administered hospitals, clinics, hospices, halfway houses for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics, nursing homes, dispensaries, and travelling missionary physicians and nurses.
Education: The Franciscans run dozens of educational institutions, ranging from elementary schools to universities.
Charity: The Franciscans work to distribute food and supplies to poor and remote communities and to improve standards of living. They administer foundations (such as the American Parish Youth Center) to facilitate the distribution of charitable funds and resources.
Where We Serve
The Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular has a total of sixteen provinces, vice provinces and delegations based in fourteen different countries. From these centers, Franciscans spread out over the world to serve in monasteries, parishes, schools, hospitals, and missions. Click the links below to learn about Franciscan ministries in each region.
- Province of Saint Thomas the Apostle: founded 1971 from a community originating in 1938; based in India.
- Province of Saint Francis: founded 1999 from the Province of Saint Thomas the Apostle; based in India.
- Vice Province of St. Louis: founded from St. Thomas Provinces in 2015.
- Vice Province of Our Lady of Sri Lanka: founded 1982 from a community originating in 1868; based in Sri Lanka.
- Delegation of Saint Bonaventure: founded 1999 from a community originating in the 1960’s; based in Bangladesh.
- Vice Province of Saint Joseph: founded 1982 from a community originating in 1923; based in South Africa.
- Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: founded 1908 from a community originating in Ireland in 1820; based in the United States.
- Province of the Immaculate Conception: founded 1908 with the creation of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; based in the United States.
- Vice Province of Saint Mary of Guadalupe: founded 1997 from a community originating in 1963; based in Mexico and the United States.
- Vice Province of Our Lady of the Apparition: founded 1992 from a community originating in 1904; based in Brazil.
- Vice Province of Saint Anthony: founded 1992 from a community originating in 1951; based in Paraguay.
- The Province of St. Francis of Assisi: founded 1448 from a community originating in the time of Saint Francis; based in Assisi, Italy.
- Province of Sts. Joachim and Ann: founded 1448 from a community originating in the 13th century; re-formed 1536; based in Sicily, Italy.
- Province of Saint Jerome: founded 1602 from a community originating in the 15th century; based in Croatia.
- Province of the Immaculate Conception: founded 1906 from a community originating in the 14th century; based in Spain.
- Delegation of Our Lady of the Assumption: founded 1954 from a community originating in the 13th century; based in France.
- Delegation of Saint John the Baptist: founded 1991 from a community originating in 1978; based in Sweden.