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I am more of a lurker/reader than a poster, but I could use some advice, please.

If you had to choose between becoming a Knight of Columbus or a Secular Franciscan, which would you choose and why?

Please, if you could post the pluses and minuses (if any) of each and why you chose the one that you did, that would be fantastic. :cool:

Thanks and God bless you! :crucifix:
This is comparing Apples and Oranges, but also something personal to each person's own vocational discernment.

The better question to ask is, what is your state in life and what is your goal for growth in your faith? And that question is best asked by and discussed with a good confessor or spiritual director.
(03-03-2020, 02:29 PM)Luigi Daniele Wrote: [ -> ]I am more of a lurker/reader than a poster, but I could use some advice, please.

If you had to choose between becoming a Knight of Columbus or a Secular Franciscan, which would you choose and why?

Please, if you could post the pluses and minuses (if any) of each and why you chose the one that you did, that would be fantastic. :cool:

Thanks and God bless you! :crucifix:
Luigi, I am in the process of formation as a Secular Franciscan. The difference between us and the K of C or other societies is that the Seculars are a 'real' Order, with a profession of vows at the end of a very intensive process of discernment, which I can attest to. It's to see if a vocation is present, not a predilection for being, say, a more devout Catholic. It's neither a prayer society nor bible study, charitable outreach group nor a therapy group! It is set up as an Order in the spirit of St Francis, who founded it to allow lay people as "penitents" to convert their lives by metanoia to turn around themselves towards greater Gospel fidelity + simplicity.

I do not know what the Knights are like now, but my dad complained back in the later '60s when he went to meetings all the guys did was smoke and watch Notre Dame football games. Certainly, the membership in a "fraternal organization" is seen more as a chosen group to socialize with, raise money for good causes, and show up for ceremonies at, similar I suppose to the Elks and Rotary and other such "Protestant" entities which I reckon led to a competing Catholic one in the later 19th c in America.
(03-03-2020, 05:32 PM)Steven Wrote: [ -> ]This is comparing Apples and Oranges, but also something personal to each person's own vocational discernment.

The better question to ask is, what is your state in life and what is your goal for growth in your faith?  And that question is best asked by and discussed with a good confessor or spiritual director.
I agree with Steven. Secular Franciscans vary in how they are open to the curious. My fraternity required phone interviews, then two follow-up in person ones over three months, before I could even attend a meeting. Then a year before I was accepted a half-year ago and that's only to "begin inquiry" before being accepted to "candidacy," at least three years total, often much more, before one is permitted and chooses to take a lifelong profession.

Whereas I imagine the K of C would be eager to invite you from the get go! The Seculars, as an Order, resemble clerical ones in that they have toughened their admission requirements and post-V2, were re-envisioned as a more autonomous branch of the Franciscans, rather than the former notions of it as a pious society, or an auxiliary to whatever friars wanted them to do. I would talk this over with a spiritual director who knows of both entities, but it may not be easy to find such a one.
As Steven said, you're comparing apples and oranges. The two are entirely different in scope and intent. Whilst I've never been an SOF, I was both a Carmelite Tertiary and a Third Degree Knight for many years.
(03-03-2020, 05:42 PM)Fionnchu Wrote: [ -> ]I do not know what the Knights are like now, but my dad complained back in the later '60s when he went to meetings all the guys did was smoke and watch Notre Dame football games. 

I'm told there are still Councils like that. It's sad. The Council to which I belonged had a monthly family potluck, organised Hallowe'en and Christmas parties for the kids, had dances for the Knights and their wives, cared for two Catholic cemeteries, raised money to buy equipment for the Parish school, and held the Tootsie Roll Drive for the intellectually challenged, along with other family centred activities as well.
(03-03-2020, 06:43 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: [ -> ]The Council to which I belonged had a monthly family potluck, organised Hallowe'en and Christmas parties for the kids, had dances for the Knights and their wives, cared for two Catholic cemeteries, raised money to buy equipment for the Parish school, and held the Tootsie Roll Drive for the intellectually challenged, along with other family centred activities as well.

It's worth noting that this is exactly not what a Third Order does (or at least is supposed to do).

The Knights are a fraternal and charitable organization. Having been a Knight at university, I'd say that the Knights, no matter the council, are more-or-less a men's club that organizes fundraisers, charitable activities, and gets dressed up for processions and some Masses. There is no particular spiritual element or side to them. This is why I did not continue. I wanted help with my spiritual life, not just a boys' club, and the purpose of the Knights is not to provide anything spiritual.

They were designed to be a Catholic replacement for the Masons (which is why the ceremonies are quasi-Masonic) and Masonic clubs like Rotary.

One does not join the Knights to improve his spiritual life, but to get involved in Catholic charitible works and to have Catholic men to support oneself.

Third Orders like the TOSF, the TOCarm, Benedictine Oblates or any such group are rather intended to be primarily spiritual groups, and it is always sad to see them get mired in the practical things like fundraising. One joins these according to his spirituality to help practice a particular rule of life.

That's why they are apples and oranges, or perhaps better put : One's a chili sale to refinish the the church pews and the other is a culinary school.
(03-03-2020, 07:03 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]That's why they are apples and oranges, or perhaps better put : One's a chili sale to refinish the the church pews and the other is a culinary school.

And that's why I belonged to both. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the Knights, especially things like cemetery maintenance, and my wife and children greatly appreciated the family oriented events, I also wanted something to help me spiritually. That's where the Third Order came in.
I personally have been discerning the Carmelite third order myself, but the two you have are drastically different.
If you want to save your soul, I’d lean towards the Secular Franciscans. If you want just want life insurance and a plumed hat, perhaps the Knights of Columbus would work out for you.
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