The Third Order Secular of St. Francis and Catholic Action, the co-operation of the Catholic laity with the clergy in their efforts to establish the reign of Christ in the hearts of men, go hand in hand. Article 81 of the Constitutions of the Third Order Secular states the following:
“In keeping with the mind of the supreme pontiffs, the directors and the members of the Seraphic Order shall readily support and carry out, in full co-operation with the ecclesiastical superiors, the projects proposed by them in their respective nations, regions, dioceses, or parishes, and in particular the work of Catholic Action.”
The idea of involving Franciscan tertiaries with Catholic Action was not invented under the reign of Pope Pius XII during which time the Constitutions were promulgated. Rather, it stretches back decades to Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X.
Here is an article taken from the September 1914 issue of the Franciscan Herald that briefly discusses this topic.