Governing Documents
The Secular Franciscan Order has a Rule that was given to the Order by Pope Paul VI in 1978.  It replaced the former rule given by Leo XIII.  At the same time the 1978 Rule was given to the Order, its name was changed from the Third Order of Saint Francis to Secular Franciscan Order.   In 1985 a new Ritual of the Secular Franciscan Order was published.  After the revision of the Code of Canon Law in 1983, the international fraternity began working on the new General Constitutions for the Order.  Those were first promulgated in 1990, with substantial changes made in 2000.  In 2002 the National Statutes for the Secular Franciscan Order, U.S.A., were adopted and approved by the Holy See.  Saint Francis Region then adopted its own Regional Governance Norms which were last amended in 2009.  The governing documents of the members of the Order in St. Francis Region are, then, the Rule, the General Constitutions, the National Statutes, the Ritual, and the Regional Governance Norms.