Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha Region Secular Franciscans
covering most of Upstate New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania
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Rob Breen, SFO

Meghan Breen, SFO

Walt Chura, SFO

Young Adult Group in Formation
SFOs Also Launch Earth Corps for Youth & Eco Group for Adults

ALBANY -- A Young Adult Secular Franciscan formation group, combined with a Franciscan Youth/Young Adult group (YouFra), has started up in the Capital District region, under the auspices of St. Bernardine of Siena Fraternity at Siena College in the Albany suburb of Loudonville.

Rob Breen, SFO, Meghan Breen, SFO, and Walt Chura, SFO, are spearheading the effort. Rob chairs the Youth/Young Adult and Ecology Commissions for Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha Region; and both Rob and Meghan chair the regional Peace and Justice Commission. Walt is formation director for St. Bernardine Fraternity.

“Franciscan Youth and Young Adults” is an international community for young men and women who are inspired by St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.

“Throughout the world we are known simply as Franciscan Youth, or YouFra,” Rob says. “We integrate faith and action to serve our brothers and sisters, work for social justice, protect Creation, and grow spiritually…We pray together, sing together, learn together, and serve together, and we mature and are transformed as we impact the world around us.”

They have made the young adult effort part of an intergenerational formation process.

“We have 12 other adults (Walt calls them ‘MAs’ for ‘mature adults’) who want to do intergenerational formation with young adults,” Rob notes. They also have begun discussions on setting up a Central New York YouFra in the Syracuse/Oswego area.

In addition, as part of their Franciscan Ecology Center ministry, Rob has launched a Franciscan Earth Corps chapter at Siena College, and Meg has launched an ecology group called “Eco-Mamas & Papas.” The latter focuses on mobilizing parents and grandparents to address environmental health and justice issues to improve the lives of children affected by a degraded environment.

Earth Corps works with parish, school and inner-city youth, teaching “holistic environmental education that integrates a spiritual component,” Rob explains. The Corps is involved in nature projects (such as creating a nature center and organic garden, trail building, and wildlife habitat restoration) and offers workshops on topics relating to ecospirituality, environmental justice, leadership, conservation skills, local ecoregional issues and Franciscan perspectives.

For more information about any of these programs, contact Rob at