Franciscan Youth and Young Adults

Mission Statement of the YouFra (FY/YA) Commission of the United States

Inspired by the life of St. Francis of Assisi and guided by our OFS Rule (Art. 24) and General Constitutions (Art.96 & 97), our mission is to bring the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the youth and young adults of the United States of America. We are called to share this Franciscan way of life through prayer, formation, and social justice action with all youth whom we encounter.

We envision journeying with youth and young adults as they discern their purpose in life and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. After experiencing Franciscan fraternal life, these young people may desire to form a FY/YA community, and the OFS at all levels commits to support them.

Advent Holy Spirits

What: All Are Welcome – Dialogue and Disaffiliation

When: Tuesdays nights during Advent, Starting November 30, 2021, 7PM est

Who: Young Adults, Those who Work with Youth and Young Adults, and with Youth and Young Adults in their families who are struggling with Faith

Moderated by: Heather Cherniack, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Regional YouFra (FY/YA) Animator

Fr. Joe Powell, OFM St Elizabeth of Hungary Youfra (FY/YA) Spiritual Assistant

Where: Zoom (link below – no zoom membership required)

Why: Disaffiliation is a process of leaving the Church or in some cases, organized religion. Some of these young people may be participating because it is expected but may choose “None of the Above” when asked on a form what faith they identify with. This is not a class on apologetics. This is a four week study and discussion on dialogue with youth and young adults who are struggling with faith.

The for Holy Spirits is:

If you have any questions please contact Heather Cherniack, OFS at 781-408-1023 or [email protected].

Advent Holy Spirits Week 1: Dialogue and Disaffiliation – The Introduction –

Advent Holy Spirits Week 2: Dialogue and Disaffiliation – The Drifters –

Advent Holy Spirits Week 3: Dialogue and Disaffiliation – The Dissenters –
(If you are in need of a Parish where you will be welcome please see for a list of welcoming parishes.)

Advent Holy Spirits Week 4: Dialogue and Disaffiliation – The Injured

The Regional YouFra (FY/YA) Team

Heather Cherniack, OFS

Heather Cherniack, OFS is a Secular Franciscan who was professed in 2015. Due to following her call and what life had to offer, she experienced her initial formation in the Florida Keys, New Hampshire, and New Orleans. She graduated from Loyola University – New Orleans in 2013 with a Masters in Pastoral Studies. Her outside interests are martial arts and she works for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Fr. Joe Powell, OFM
Spiritual Assistant

Fr. Joe Powell, OFM is a Franciscan Friar with Immaculate Conception Province and is currently the Parish Administrator at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Derry, NH.  Fr. Joe celebrated his Solemn Vows while at his first assignment at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Derry, NH. He was ordained a priest at St. Thomas in 2015 and is now returning after three years of various ministries with parishes in Canada.

For youth and young adults as you look around this webpage please know that this page is being update all of the time – but what really defines it is you! YouFra is driven by the youth and young adults that are a part of it. It is not a program where youth and young adults, show up, sit down and listen, to an older person give information. This program is for you to build, for you to have a safe place to discern how to build your faith. If you aren’t sure if this interests you keep looking and watching, come to some of our events. If this interests you please contact Heather at [email protected] or 781-408-1023.

For those professed Secular Franciscans who feel called to animate youth and young adults at a Fraternity level or just provide outreach to local youth and young adults, the Region is here to support you. Your first step is to speak to your Fraternity and register as a Fraternal Animator by completing this application. Your second step is to complete the National Animator Training while working with the Regional Team. You are not alone an we are here to help. We will send you supplemental materials as you complete the training that can be found on the National Website.


Borders and Neighbors – Fratelli Tutti: Borders and Neighbors

Dialogue and Communication – Fratelli Tutti: Dialogue and Communication 

Politics and Charity – Fratelli Tutti: Politics and Charity

Love and Forgiveness – Fratelli Tutti: Love and Forgiveness

Link to brochure

Lenten Series

The New PC: Penance and Conversion in the Franciscan Vision – Week 1 – Fr. Samuel Fuller, OFM Cap speaks on Penance and Conversion and the Life of St. Francis –

The New PC: Penance and Conversion in the Franciscan Vision – Week 2 – Fr. Joe Powell, OFM speaks on Penance and Conversion and Penitent Lay Movements in the Time of St. Francis –

The New PC: Penance and Conversion in the Franciscan Vision – Week 3 – Ms. Kelly Moltzen, OFS speaks on Penance and Conversion and Climate Change and Food –

The New PC: Penance and Conversion in the Franciscan Vision – Week 4 – Fr. Christopher Gaffrey, OFM speaks on Penance and Conversion and Contemplation –

The New PC: Penance and Conversion in the Franciscan Vision – Week 5 – Fr. John Bucchino, OFM speaks on Penance and Conversion and Church Reform –

Our Regional YouFra (FY/YA) Saint

In this Region we have asked St Joan of Arc to pray for our cause. She was in her active ministry from the ages of 12-19. To find out more about St. Joan of Arc, click here:

Sometimes the most a person can do to support a ministry is to pray. If you would like to support this ministry through prayer please consider praying a novena nine days before January 6 (St Joan of Arc’s birthday) and May 30 (St Joan of Arc’s fear day) for the intention of ministering to youth and young adults. You can do this by praying the chaplet once each day. You can find instructions for praying the chaplet here.

Translate »