Secular Franciscan Order

Who are we?

Secular Franciscans are a community of Catholic men and women in the world who seek to pattern their lives after Christ in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. We believe that as human beings and Christians, we have such a sublime vocation that we cannot fulfill it alone. In our common response to the Gospel, we work together in community toward a deep evangelical life and toward communion with all people. This is our way of life.

We are not a club or society. We are united in an international ORDER founded by Francis over 750 years ago. There are approximately 17,000 Secular Franciscans residing in the  United States.

  • We PRAY alone and together.
  • We LEARN about Christ (Gospels), Francis, Clare and ourselves.
  • We SHARE our journeys.
  • We LIVE WITH THE GOSPELS as our guide – reaching out to others.

Juan de Padilla Region

Our History

The Juan de Padilla Region of the Secular Franciscans Order includes Kansas, Oklahoma, and the northwest corner of Missouri. 

FATHER JUAN DE PADILLA AND QUIVIRA

IN 1540 FRANCISCO VASQUEZ DE CORONADO MARCHED NORTH FROM MEXICO WITH 300 SPANIARDS IN SEARCH OF THE "SEVEN GOLDEN CITIES OF CIBOLA." WITH THEM WERE SEVERAL PRIESTS, INCLUDING JUAN DE PADILLA, A FRANCISCAN FRIAR. WHEN THE GOLDEN CITIES PROVED TO BE ONLY ADOBE PUEBLOS THE SPANIARDS WENT ON TO EXPLORE THE SOUTHWEST AND PADILLA WAS AMONG THOSE WHO DISCOVERED THE GRAND CANYON. LATER HE MARCHED WITH A PARTY OF 30 PICKED HORSEMEN TO THE LAND OF QUIVIRA IN KANSAS. FOR 25 DAYS IN THE SUMMER OF 1541 CORONADO REMAINED AMONG THE GRASS-HUT VILLAGES OF THE QUIVIRAN INDIANS, THEN RETURNED TO NEW MEXICO. PADILLA WENT WITH HIM, BUT THE FOLLOWING YEAR CAME BACK AS A MISSIONARY. HERE HE WAS LATER KILLED BY THE INDIANS, THE FIRST CHRISTIAN MARTYR IN WHAT IS NOW THE UNITED STATES. ALTHOUGH THE EXACT PLACE OF HIS DEATH IS UNKNOWN THERE IS A MONUMENT TO PADILLA IN CITY PARK IN HERINGTON, KS. HISTORICAL MARKER US-50N and US-77, one mile South of Herington, Dickinson county, state of Kansas.

The Juan de Padilla Region was established with the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order on October 12, 1996.

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