14 March 2024

A Fraternitas of youth and young adults

It began with a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2019, the shared experiences and profound connections stirring in some of the young pilgrims a desire to be a community, a fraternity in the spirit of the Franciscan Friars. From that desire came forth a new fraternity called Franciscan Young Adults in early 2020.

Today, Franciscan Young Adults is one of four fraternities within Fraternitas, a ministry ministering to youths and young adults under the direction of Friar John-Paul Tan OFM, who led the Sequela Christi pilgrimage in 2019.

“The coincidences that brought about the formation of Fraternitas can only point to the hand of God in action,” said Friar John-Paul. “From the initial desire of some young pilgrims in 2019 committing to community together after their trip to the Holy Land, to the call from the General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor in 2021 to journey with all young people, to the timely financial support of our many benefactors, here we are today.”

Guided by the Franciscan ethos, Fraternitas aims to nurture relationships akin to familial bonds, where individuals are embraced for who they are and journey together in authenticity, simplicity, and humility. It is one body comprising four fraternities – Franciscan Youth, Franciscan Young Adults, Canticle and Franciscan Families. Each has its own leadership team, and together these fraternities provide an avenue for spiritual formation and fellowship for youths and young adults as they journey through life. There are approximately 220 active members.


The Franciscan Youth fraternity, for post-confirmation youths aged 16 to 21, is committed to building long lasting bonds among members through activities such as beach outings, bouldering, art sessions, and shared meals. Recognising the need for social formation, Franciscan Youth offers platforms such as the “Let’s Talk” series to address contemporary challenges such as mental health and stress management. Through introspective exploration, youths can gain clarity on their life direction amidst the digital age’s myriad influences.


The Franciscan Young Adults fraternity aims to foster collaborative partnership in church and society, guiding young adults, aged 21 to 35, to follow in the footsteps of St Francis and St Clare. As these young adults progress to tertiary education and the workforce, Fraternitas creates pensive experiences for them to journey in faith together, and find resilience in fraternity as they face the challenges of adulthood. The fraternity gathers weekly for formative sessions such as Lectio Divina, Franciscan Formation led by the Friars as well as for fellowship. The latest event, Laudate Night, was a night of music, contemplative prayer and eucharistic adoration. Members in Singapore convene within designated zones: West, East, and Downtown, and most sessions are also available on Zoom for those who are unable to attend in person, and those in Indonesia and Malaysia.

“What I especially love about FYA is the embrace of Christian freedom – it is a community that allows us to be our authentic selves without fear or shame, that embraces our individuality and gifts yet at the same time, we are striving to become more Christlike together and sanctifying each other as the mystical body of Christ,” said Benedict Wong, who joined after being received into the Catholic Church in 2023.


The Franciscan Families fraternity offers a space for young married couples and singles. It hopes to help to co-create a fraternity of families seeking to discover and deepen the marriage covenant through Franciscan spirituality. From singlehood to married life to family life with children, Franciscan Families seeks to journey with young people through these key phases of their life.

In collaboration with the Couple Mentor Journey ministry team of the parish of St Mary of the Angels, Franciscan Families embarked on a nine-month long journey with our couples in September 2023.


Canticle is the fraternity for young creatives, helping them journey together to discover and channel their God-given talents for self-knowledge, spiritual growth and ministry. It is inspired by St Francis’ Canticle of Creatures, a prayer expressing gratitude and reverence for all of creation as reflections of God’s beauty and love.

This Lent, Canticle collaborated with Joanna Tan, an art specialist, to organise SacroSpeco, Sacred Caves in Italian. St Francis spent much time in solitude and prayer in caves. For him, caves were sanctuaries that carried profound symbolism, representing the pierced side of Christ. Entering a cave gives the sense of stepping into the very heart of Jesus. This SacroSpeco programme is envisioned to be the sacred caves where participants can encounter the heart of God, and f ind solace through art.

Please pray for the Fraternitas team comprising Friar John-Paul, two staff and some interns, and the leadership teams of the four fraternities as they continue to discern the signs of the times, and where God is inviting Fraternitas to go.

Find out more about Fraternitas at fraternitas.sg.

You May Also Like