How do I become a Franciscan?
A. "Come and See"
Visits available throughout the year
Call or email us to schedule a convenient time.
B. "Application Process"
Letters of recommendation,
transcripts, medical examination, etc.
Introduction - Postulancy
Usually lasting for one year, the first step of entering the Franciscan Order is postulancy. During this stage a postulant is immersed in the community life of Saint Bonaventure Province while living at Sacred Heart Friary in Chicago. He is introduced to Saint Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan tradition, and begins to learn the dynamics of balancing the active and contemplative dimensions of the Franciscan charism.
Incorporation - Novitiate
Following a comprehensive discernment process, the postulant receives the Franciscan habit and enters the novitiate.
The novices are gathered from all five North American Conventual Franciscan Provinces and spend a year-and-a-day together. This stage of formation intensifies the development of the inner prayer life and the practical fraternal skills of the novice.
At the conclusion of the Novitiate, the novice professes "temporary vows." He renews his vows for a least three years before applying for "solemn vows" as his life commitment.
Integration - Living the Vows
After the year of preparation, the novice takes the Franciscan vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. These vows are renewed for at least three years until the student friar takes permanent or "solemn" vows. During this stage, the student friar begins a program of specialized ministry training and academic study that corresponds with his own abilities, and that prepares him to serve the Church as either a Franciscan brother or a Franciscan priest.
Values and Goals of Franciscan Formation
Saint Francis cherished his Catholic faith and insisted that his followers know and live the authentic teachings of the Church. In response to this mandate, each Franciscan candidate studies the basic teachings and traditions of the Church.
Additionally, the candidates have weekly classes/seminars taught by various friars from the Province and guest speakers. The topics include an introduction to prayer, spiritual direction, spiritual journaling, the Scriptures, praying with the Psalms, fundamentals of Catholic worship, the Liturgy of the Hours, American Catholic history, documents of Vatican II, Franciscan history, Franciscan spirituality, Franciscan missionary tradition, the lives of Saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Rule and Constitutions, the Secular Franciscan Order, and the Militia of the Immaculate of Saint Maximilian Kolbe.