A life of love and service, prayer and community, and we observe the First Order Rule of St Francis of Assisi (A.D. 1182-1226)
The Friars of St Francis are a Catholic religious community of Franciscans who strive to live a revitalised consecrated life according to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a life of love and service, prayer and community, and we observe the First Order Rule of St Francis of Assisi (A.D. 1182-1226). The work of the friars includes anything that belongs to the mission of the Catholic Church and the Franciscan ideal. This reform community is dedicated to the renewal of religious life through a constant return to the sources of the whole of Christian life and to the primitive inspiration of the Franciscan Order. The friars live at Dundas Valley, where they care for a small but vibrant parish in the diocese of Parramatta, N.S.W. The statutes of the Association were approved on August 2, the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula, 2005, by the Most Rev. Bishop Kevin M. Manning.
Fr Christopher Sharah, formerly a Capuchin friar, founded the community with the intention of living the Franciscan way of life in an authentic, re-vitalised, and more prayerful way, responding to the call of the Church to renew Religious Life. He received the blessing and encouragement of the then-current Minister General of the Capuchin Order (now Bishop Emeritus of Verona), Flavio Roberto Carraro O.F.M. Cap., in beginning this new way of life. The friars wear the kind of habit given to the order by St Francis. It is a simple garb, consisting of a “donkey-brown” tunic with hood and cord. The shape of the habit symbolizes the cross of Our Lord Jesus.
Office of Readings and Meditation
Lauds (Morning Prayer of the Church)
Breakfast (unless Mass is scheduled for 7.30, in which case breakfast follows)
6.30 am -
Works of the Apostolate, Study etc.
12.45 pm -
Grand Silence, time for recollection, spiritual reading etc.
2.00 pm -
Works of the Apostolate, Study etc.
5.00 pm -
Vespers (Evening Prayer of the Church) & meditation
6.30 pm -
Private study/recreation etc.
Rosary and Compline (Night Prayer)
8.30 pm onwards
Among the Apostolic works of the Friars is their spiritual care and chaplaincy at a factory in Western Sydney, owned and run by Mr Walter Bachmann. Each Friday they celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Mass with a homily. The owner of the business has done everything to encourage and promote the practice of the faith in his factory. After receiving permission from the Bishop of Parramatta to reserve the Blessed Sacrament, Fr Christopher FSF was appointed chaplain and Walter built a beautiful chapel dedicated to St Joseph the Worker. Many people pray there each day, where there is not only Mass every Friday, but also the daily Rosary, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Morning and Evening Prayer of the Church. It is rare to be able to work and pray with Our Lord's Sacramental presence in the heart of the workplace. The Friars love their work here and are grateful to Walter for the opportunities he give them to preach the Gospel of Christ in such an environment.
Visitors are welcome to attend the Friday Mass at 12 Noon. For further information see www.bacsystems.com.au
View the following online articles about Fr Christopher's story and the Friars of St Francis
Yearly Novena in Honor of St Francis
Each year the Friars lead a public novena in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi in the days leading up to the Saint’s feast on October 4. It concludes on the final night with the Transitus–the commemoration of St Francis’ passing from this world to Heavenly glory. The novena consists of prayers written by the saint himself and put together in a booklet by Father Christopher FSF. The friars and the faithful pray these prayers in a prayerful atmosphere of Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament together with Compline (night prayer of the Church).
This year (2018) the Novena will begin on Tuesday, 25 September at 7 pm, and conclude with the ninth day and Transitus on the evening of Wednesday, October 3. Each evening of the novena will be at 7 pm, except for Day 4 (Fri, 28th) which will be at 7.45 pm, due to a clash with Confirmations. The Solemn Feast of St Francis of Assisi is on Thursday the 4th of October, and the Festive Mass in his honour will be at 7pm (no morning Mass).