Vocation Profile - Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago - Men's Community
Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago - Men's Community
Archdiocese of Chicago
The Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago are a Catholic religious community, with branches for men and women who live and serve in Chicago’s West Humboldt Park neighborhood. Following Christ in the footsteps of Saint Francis, our life centers upon our relationship with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, including Daily Mass and Eucharistic Adoration.
Out of our life of prayer and community flow our apostolates: Eucharistic Adoration, Service to the Poor, Evangelization and Teaching. In 2005, Fr. Bob Lombardo C.F.R., came to Chicago at the invitation of His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., to start a mission to serve the poor, and to evangelize and maintain a Catholic presence in one of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. The site chosen was Our Lady of the Angels, known for the tragic school fire which claimed the lives of 92 children and three Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 1, 1958.
When Fr. Bob began the Mission, many young adults were attracted to come serve at Our Lady of the Angels. Among them were men and women interested in Franciscan religious life. In August 2009, at the request of Fr. Bob, Cardinal George approved a live-in discernment community. Under Fr. Bob’s direction, this community flourished. It was clear that the Lord was inspiring a new Franciscan community in Chicago to serve the poor, carry out the work of evangelization and teaching, and have a life centered on the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The community would also be witnesses to the complementarity of men and women (inspired by the Theology of the Body by St. John Paul II) by a strong commitment to the sisters and friars working together. With a decree on September 1, 2010, Cardinal George canonically established the Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago, with Fr. Bob Lombardo as the Founder and Guardian (Superior).
Since that time, the community has continued to grow in numbers, and our outreaches to serve the poor, preach and teach the Gospel, which are at the heart of our charism, have been very blessed. Every month, 700 families are assisted with food and other basic needs, hundreds of youth and seniors are supported through programs to help them flourish, including after school programs, Bible camps, and senior groups. The Faith is proclaimed to thousands of Catholics throughout the Chicagoland area and beyond through Parish Missions, Confirmation retreats, parish talks, and school visits. As the community grows, our apostolate will grow to build up to perpetual Eucharistic Adoration and teaching religion in poor Catholic schools and parishes.
Completion of college (undergraduate) degree, good physical and mental health, appropriate maturity for the life and apostolate, attraction to St. Francis of Assisi and service to the poor, fidelity to Christ and the Church.
Postulancy: 6 months-1 year
Novitiate: 2 years
Temporary Vows: 3-5 years
Formation is holistic, working with each new member to help them grow step-by-step personally, spiritually, and communally, taking on the new identity as a consecrated religious brother following Christ in the footsteps of Saint Francis.
• Spiritual: supports for growth in one’s life of prayer including classes and spiritual direction, learning to set time aside for personal prayer, becoming accustomed to the communal prayer life, introduction to and ongoing fostering of understanding of Franciscan Spirituality and the treasures of the Catholic Faith, especially the Eucharist
• Human: including meetings with the formation director and community meetings, learning how to live virtuously with others in community, allowing appropriate time for exercise and personal growth, developing healthy & holy boundaries in the community and beyond
• Intellectual: including classes on religious life, Franciscan History and Spirituality, and graduate studies in Theology
• Pastoral: introduction to and integration (over time) into the apostolate of the community, development of identity as a “public person” representing the religious community/the Church, developing healthy & holy boundaries in the apostolate
Yes: Very rare and on a case-by-case basis.