Vocation Profile - Franciscan Friars Minor
Franciscan Friars Minor
The Charism of The Franciscan Friars Minor is to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the Rule, Testament, and the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. We observe the Rule of 1223 strictly and “without gloss” (test.) The distinctive character of our fraternity is the strict observance of the Rule combined with and joined to the Marian Vow of total consecration to the Immaculate. The Marian Vow is the crown jewel of our vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
As Franciscan Friars Minor, we ever strive to be true and faithful sons of our Seraphic Father, Saint Francis. In order to recapture his original ideal and the strict observance of the Rule, we accept the testament of Saint Francis to be the pure commentary of the Rule. In order to secure our understanding of the life, and for the purpose of discernment, we turn to the life and writings of Saint Francis, the Capuchin Reform, and the Capuchin Constitution of 1536. The early Capuchins (whose reform endured unstained for two and a half centuries) are our model, guide, and example. Our life is essentially Capuchin.
By our Marian Vow, we intimately unite ourselves to Our Lady so that she might mediate to us the grace of personal sanctification. The Vow compels us to participate more fully in her mission of Universal Salvation. It is our special task to promote devotion to her Immaculate Heart. As “Penitents from Assisi”, a name once used by Saint Francis, we make reparations for sins committed against her Immaculate Heart.
Like our Holy Father, Saint Francis, we are faithful sons of the Holy Catholic Church and profess complete and unswerving loyalty to the Magisterium, the Holy Father the Pope, and all Papal Teachings and / or local ordinaries. In our Fraternity, there is absolutely no room for dissent from any Church teachings. The interior of our life is governed by traditional religious obedience.
Our strict observance of the Rule, after the manner of Saint Francis and the early Capuchin Reform, requires us to adhere to strict mendicant poverty. We desire to be the poorest in this world, ever dependent upon our Lord and Our Lady for all that we need. Our Friaries are to be located in areas noted for poverty or in remote rustic places of prayer.
Saint Francis, when establishing the model Friary at the Portziuncola, willed that our Friaries be primarily places of prayer and that the Friars be contemplatives. In accordance with his will, we are men of prayer before we are men of action. Our life includes periods of solitude spent in remote hermitages.
Our Apostolate is evangelization in any form that is in keeping with our Rule and Constitution. All apostolic work and activity must always be subservient to our life of prayer, poverty, and fraternity. In accordance with our Marian Vow, we promote devotion to Our Lady in all we do.
Discerning our way of life begins with a couple of short visits to our Friary. Following the invitation of Our Lord to “Come and See”, we ask those who are interested in our way of life to do the same: Come and experience our prayer, penance, poverty, fraternity, and our apostolate.
During the stay, the inquirer will have an opportunity to meet and talk with the Minister General. The meeting will allow the Minister General to get to know the inquirer and vice versa. Together they can come to learn more fully the Will of God.
The Franciscan Friars Minor are open to the availability of the inquirer. They prefer an initial 3-4 day visit if possible. The second visit is usually a bit longer, 5-7 days. However, exceptions can be made according to particular circumstances.
As the inquirer becomes an aspirant, the aspirant then makes another visit for several weeks before postulancy begins.
Following the wisdom of Saint Francis and the early Capuchin observance, we put no age limit on vocations. In chapter 2 of his Rule, the Seraphic Father makes explicit his welcoming of older vocations. All Catholic men age 17 and over are welcome to come and discern with us.
Knowing that a vocation can begin to sprout in the heart of a young man at an early age, the Friars are establishing days of prayer and discernment for Junior High and High school age youth. There will be day visits for young men to experience a day in the life of a Friar, meet the Friars, and learn the rich ways of growing in prayer, faith, and knowledge of the Saints.
As a means of being most true to the intentions of Saint Francis who was most humble and accepting of men of all classes, ranks, and levels of education, we have no education requirements - All are Welcome!!!
Our requirements are those given by Francis:
1. Adhere to The Magesterium - unwavering Loyalty
2. Faithful observance to the Faith
3. Sound belief in and practice of frequenting the Sacraments
4. A deep desire to love God with one’s whole heart, soul, mind, and strength
5. Possess the physical, mental, and spiritual health necessary to live in community
6. Living a chaste and moral life according to the dictates of Christ and His Church
7. A Willingness to abandon all things for the love of Christ and possess the generosity of the Gospel invitation:
“Go sell all you possess and give it to the poor, then Come Follow Me.”
Yes: We do accept older vocations.