In The Beginning

27-year-old Francis of Assisi and his companions walked from Assisi to Rome for papal approval of a new way of life, thus beginning the Franciscan family.

These men, and later the Poor Sisters under the inspiration of Saint Clare, initiated a way of life marked by simplicity, humility, hospitality and poverty.

Through endeavouring to live their lives as taught by the primitive church, the Brothers and Sisters began to attract followers in the thousands.


The Order Grows

Francis made an unsuccessful attempt to end the Crusades by converting the Muslim Sultan. Subsequently, five of the Friars were martyred in North Africa and their bodies were taken to Portugal to be buried in the Augustinian church at Coimbra. Fernando, a local Augustinian, was so moved by their example that he joined the Franciscans. Known today as Saint Anthony of Padua, he has had a profound influence on Franciscan life and traditions.

It is a perplexing issue that there are three different groups of Friars; the Friars Minor, the Capuchin Friars, and the Conventual Friars. It has much to do with themes of reform and organisation within the Franciscan family. The Franciscan Order has grown in moments of reforming inspiration. There has been tension between charism and institution, spirit and law, renewal and decadence, anarchy and vitality.

With the rapid growth of the Order a change took place from simple dwellings outside the towns, to well established friaries in the towns. Then a change of status, from the simplicity of the brother to the sophisticated role of the educated Priest-Friar. Finally, a change of style, a movement from rather small suburban places to larger and permanent friaries in the cities, from a contemplative lifestyle to ministries in parishes and universities.

Out of the debates on poverty and lifestyle arose the three male branches of the Order: the Order of Friars Minor (O.F.M.); the Capuchin Friars (O.F.M. Cap.); and the Conventual Friars (O.F.M. Conv). Each of these branches trace its history back to the earliest days of the fraternity, and each show in different ways the results of the long struggles of reform and division that have characterised the Lesser Brothers from the beginning.


A New Franciscan School

Padua College was established in Australia with the O.F.M. Friars establishing ministries in parishes, chaplaincies and education.

The history of the Franciscan Order is intricate and complex, personifying the best and worst of human nature. For over 800 years, individuals and communities have struggled with the interpretation of the ideals and teachings of St Francis and St Clare. At Padua College, understanding and implementing these teachings serves as the backbone of our College life.


Parish of St Therese of Lisieux and St Anthony of Padua

The church of St Therese of Lisieux in Kedron is a parish of the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane staffed by the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit Province since 1929.