Let's face it — community is tough. It's a beautiful concept, but often difficult to live out. Nations, cities, neighborhoods, families, local churches, and other organizations have discovered that it is quite a challenge to live, work, and play together in healthy and mutually respectful ways.
Many devout people imagine that life in a religious community must surely be different. Unfortunately, it's not. We struggle with the same kinds of issues that everyone else does. Moreover, since the OEF is not living in a single physical location, we find that we must be much more intentional about building community and staying in touch in a number of ways.
We want to be honest with you: This is the one area in which many people who explore our little Order are most disillusioned. We tend to attract very enthusiastic people whose romantic vision of the Franciscan life leaves them unprepared for the hard work of being part of this Order. The distance between us in miles, the limited number of times we see each other through the course of the year, and the busyness we all experience as we are at work in the world can sometimes be an obstacle to our commitment. But those who have endured the challenges have found the reward to be worth it.
In this section of our web site, you will see some of the means we use to stay in touch with one another. Check out the "Communicate" menu on the left side of this page.