Newly professed Secular Franciscans are pictured with family and fellow Franciscans at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Hayward. Back row, from left to right, are Secular Franciscans Iris Sanford with her husband Robert Sanford, Joyce McKevett, Louis Heim, and Joliet Franciscan Sr. Kathy Salewski, who serves as spiritual assistant for the emerging fraternity. Front row, from left to right, are Joan Henchel and Veronica Willand. (Submitted photo)

As the Franciscan Friars ended more than 140 years of service to the northernmost part of the Diocese of Superior with Mass at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Ashland, the Order of Franciscans Secular were celebrating Mass at St. Joseph Church in Hayward to profess three new members.

The three candidates were Louise Heim, Joyce McKevett and Robert Sanford. They were professed into the St. Junipero Serra, NFG, Hayward, sponsored by the St. John XXIII OFS Fraternity of Bloomington, Minn. All three are residents of Hayward and parishioners of St. Joseph Church. The profession was witnessed by various other members of the Queen of Peace region, as well as members of the local fraternity and St. Joseph’s Catholic Congregation, and confirmed by Fr. David Neuschwander.

Profession occurs after three years of studying the Rule of St. Francis of Assisi and discerning a call to the particular vocation to be a Secular Franciscan.

Their rule and life consists of the following, according to Article 6 of the Secular Rule: “To observe the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following St. Francis, who made the inspiration and center of his life with God and people.”

With the desire to bring the Gospel to life and life to the Gospel, the St. Junipero Serra Fraternity is completing the paperwork to become an emerging fraternity. Five professed members are required for recognition as an emerging fraternity. The group, which has functioned with three members since 2015, is seeking canonical approval to continue its formation and organization as a recognized fraternity.