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Foto Mertens Benedikt , Franciscans and Parochial Ministry, in Antonianum, 75/3 (2000) p. 523-554 .

Summary: The active involvement of the Friars Minor in parish ministry has recently met with a certain unease in an order in search of appropriate ministerial expressions of its own charism. The present article first shows from a historical perspective how this apostolate surfaced quite late in the history of the order and how it was addressed in the order’s legislation during the last hundred years. More specifically, the second section presents the approach of three different entities of the order to parish ministry. Given the diversity of the respective historical and pastoral circumstances, the concluding part pleads for a respectful assessment of the friars’ ministerial options. It suggests, at the same time, that the Friars Minor envision an ecclesiological framework which gives them and other religious orders more freedom to creatively serve the Church without being restricted to diocesan structures of ministry.

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