A new instruction has been issued in the past couple of months. As some of you are aware, the Secular Franciscan Order holds its Chapter at the International level every three years (every other time, or every six years, is an Elective Chapter). At the General Chapter of the Secular Franciscan Order in October 2011, it was decided that the acronym to be used when signing one's name is to be OFS and no longer SFO. The change was adopted in order to provide worldwide uniformity, as we are an international order.
Below is the official statement from the General Minister of the OFS...
ORDO FRANCISCANUS SÆCULARIS
XIII. GENERAL CHAPTER
Saõ Paulo, 2011. October 22-29
THE OFFICIAL NAME OF THE ORDER
THE USE AND THE TRANSLATION OF THE NAME OF THE ORDER
1. The official name of the Order is Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis.
2. Translations of the name of the Order
2. 1 The translation of the name of the Order is already made in the four official languages, and these are the ones to be used in these languages, namely in Italian, in English, in Spanish and in French.
2.2 The name can be translated into local languages only when the literal translation from Latin is easily understandable even by the civil society and does not change its meaning or substance.
2.3 When the translation into the national language distorts the meaning of the name, or is linguistically impossible to transfer the genuine meaning, Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis must always be used, which can be followed by expressions to clarify and make more understandable the nature of the Secular Franciscan Order to everyone in the local language.
3. The acronym
The acronym which refers to the name Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis is OFS and is always to be used regardless of the language. For example, when Secular Franciscans use the acronym after their name, they must use “OFS”.
Encarnación del Pozo, OFS