Franciscan Formation is a lifelong process that begins with Initial Formation.
Contacting the Vocation Office is the first step. The length of this stage depends on your individual needs and the time and space you may need during your discernment. After having had the opportunity to learn more about the Franciscans through various forms of media as well as personal visits, you may be ready to take the next step. Those 18 - 22 are invited to consider being part of the Lateran Program at Saint Bonaventure University to complete their college education. Those who are 22 - 45 are invited to apply for admission as a postulant.
Postulancy is a 12-month program of orientation to Franciscan life and spirituality. It begins in August of each year in Silver Springs, Maryland.
What happens in Novitiate?
The year of Novitiate is a time of forming your Franciscan identity and intensifying your prayer life. It marks the formal entrance into the Order of Friars Minor (the Franciscans), in which you will receive the Franciscan habit. It culminates in your taking temporary vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. The novices of St. John the Baptist Province join novices of other provinces at the Interprovincial Novitiate in Santa Barbara, California. Visit their Facebook Page.
What is Temporary Profession?
After having professed the vows for one year, you will then move to Chicago, Ill., for a minimum of three years. During this very dynamic and exciting time you will continue to learn about the Franciscan way of life and complete your formal education. What classes you take or which degree program you enter depends on the type of ministries in which you feel called to serve. Should you feel called to priesthood, you would study at Catholic Theological Union.
What is Solemn Profession?
After a minimum of three years of living as a Franciscan in Temporary Profession of Vows, you may be ready to make a lifelong commitment by professing Solemn Vows. This marks the beginning of a full, lifelong membership in the Order of Friars Minor. Once you are in Solemn Vows you would either continue your schooling, should that be necessary, or receive your first assignment for ministry in the province. Just think what a life of service and fulfillment you will have!