Initial Formation Series: Post Novitiate

The post novitiate years begin with the profession of Vows, for the first time, for a period of three years. This time of temporary profession, is to continue to deepen your life as a Franciscan, but also to be trained for ministry.  A friar planning to be a brother may study theology in general, or a particular discipline like education or social work at an institution mutually agreed on by friar and order, but living in one of the post novitiate formation houses. A friar who has been approved to begin studies for ordination would receive a Masters in Divinity at one of the following institutes;

  1. Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio TX...
  2. Catholic University of America in Washington D.C....
  3. The Seraphicum  (our school in Rome, more technically called the Pontifical University of St. Bonaventure)...

The period of temporary profession is three years. After temporary profession, one usually takes Solemn Vows which are for life. However, if mutually discerned between the friar and leadership, a friar can extend the period of temporary profession, one year at a time, for up to six years in total.  Although this period is called temporary profession, on leaving the Novitiate a friar should be intending to live this vowed life for the rest of his days. However, experience has shown, that this temporary time in vows is wise.  The formula for our vows is as follows.


Profession of Religious Vows

Each friar approaches his minister provincial or delegate, kneels before him, folds his hands between the minister's palms resting on the Book of the Gospels, and recites the profession formula:

To the praise and glory of the Most Holy Trinity!

I, friar N., led by divine inspiration, desire to follow more closely the Gospel footprints of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the presence of the assembled friars and faithful, placing my hands in yours, friar N., with firm faith and will, I vow to God the Father, the Holy and Almighty, to live for _ year(s) in obedience, without anything of my own, and in chastity.

I also promise to observe faithfully the life and Rule of the Friars Minor, confirmed by Pope Honorius, according to the Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual.

Therefore, with all my heart I entrust myself to this brotherhood, that through the working of the Holy Spirit, the example of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the intercession of our father Francis and all the saints, and with the help of my brothers, I may, in the service of God, the Church and humankind, seek the perfection of charity.


The Minister Responds:

And I, in the name of the Church and our brotherhood, receive your vows, and, on the part of Almighty God, if you observe them, I promise you life everlasting.


Read more about Postulancy here. Read more about Novitiate here. Read more about all our formation in our Franciscan Discipleship manual here

Pictures from Profession of First Vows at St. Paul the Apostle Church, Pismo Beach, CA 2016:
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