Secular Franciscans make a public profession and are not bound by public vows as are religious orders living in community.
More specifically, we are members of the Roman Catholic Church's Franciscan Lay Order. We are not to be confused with cloistered friars/nuns who have taken the vows.
Rather, we are men and women immersed in the workday world like everybody else. A lot of us are married with families, some of us are single. But we are brothers and sisters to one another who together follow a Gospel-based rule, that has its origins in the remarkable life and teachings of St. Francis of Asissi (1181-1226).
The Third Order Regular, which grew out of the Third Order Secular, do make religious vows and live in community.
The Holy See has entrusted the pastoral care and spiritual assistance of the Secular Franciscan Order, because it belongs to the same
spiritual family, to the Franciscan First Order (Friars Minor) and Franciscan Third Order Regular.