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Franciscan Friars – Province of the Immaculate Conception

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Formation & Studies

WHAT KIND OF FORMATION OR STUDIES DO FRANCISCANS DO?

Being fully formed in the Franciscan way of life is a multi-step process; one that is designed to help you be the best person that you can be in God’s sight and to discover your true vocation. It is a process of discernment and formation that takes place over the course of several years. Here are the major stages:

POSTULANCY – The initial stage of Franciscan formation is called Postulancy. The word comes from the Latin, postulare, which means “to ask.” Essentially, a Postulant is asking to discover more about the Franciscan way of life by living it within the community. Postulancy can last one to two years and during this time, a candidate is devoted to experiencing the fraternal and ministerial life of our community, and to learning more about the Order, our Province, and about our founders St. Francis and St. Clare. During this time, candidates have a formal place within our community, but are not yet members of the Order.

NOVITIATE – After successfully completing their time of Postulancy, the candidate moves on to the Novitiate. A Novice is essentially a beginner and it is during this year that you formally begin your life as a member of our religious community. The Novitiate year focuses on an intense introduction to the spiritual life and the life of the vows. It is essentially a year of prayer and discernment; delving deeper into the heart of God to discover the truth of your vocation. As a member of the Order, the Novice receives the Habit of the Order: tunic, hood and cord. The cord however does not have knots which symbolize our religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The novice will conclude the year by taking those evangelical counsels or vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience for one year.

POST-NOVITIATE – This period, also called the time of Temporary Profession, concludes the initial formation of the Franciscan. During this period, which can last for as little as three to as many as nine years, the friar’s spiritual and intellectual formation continues. The type of ministry the candidate is called will be a determining factor as to how and where this time is spent.

Theological studies bring the friar to our Convento San Francesco community in Rome where our student friars engage in the study of theology at the Pontifical University of the Antonianum, the official school of theology for the Franciscan Order. During this time, the friar renews his temporary vows each year for a one-year period.

SOLEMN PROFESSION OF VOWS – Once the time of Post-Novitiate is completed, the candidate petitions the Provincial Minister to be received into Solemn Vows. If received, he professes the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience for the “rest of my life.”

ORDINATION – After having adequately prepared himself and discerned a call to ordination, at some point after Solemn Profession of Vows (usually within six months), he is ordained to the Transitional Diaconate and later to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ.

Visit www.LiveRadically.org for more information on Franciscan Vocation discernment.

Being fully formed in the Franciscan way of life is a multi-step process; one that is designed to help you be the best person that you can be in God’s sight and to discover your true vocation.