Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to be a Priest or a Brother?

What you are really asking is what is the process of Initial Formation like?  The first 5 – 10 years in the order is a time of Initial Formation, until you are a Priest or Brother serving in full time ministry and in Solemn Vows (vows for life). During this time, all the four provinces of the United States work together, and you will be formed for the order, with men from throughout the United States.  Currently our Postulancy Program, the first year, is in Chicago, IL. Our Novitiate, the second year, is in Arroyo Grande, CA. Our Post-Notitiate is typically in San Antonio, TX; or Washington DC; or Assisi Italy. However, there are more possibilities for studies, based on the individual friar.  Read more about Postulancy here. Read more about Novitiate here, and read more about our Post-Novitiate here.

What is Postulancy (the first year like)?

Read about the postulancy program, and see pictures here.

What is the Novitiate (the second year) Like?

Read more about our Novitiate program here.

What happens after Novitiate?

Read about our post novitiate formation here.

Where would I study to be a Priest or Brother?

Read about where we study, and our Post Novitiate formation here.

How are Franciscans different from other Religious Orders?

Watch a video that answers this question here.

What is the difference between the different Franciscan Orders?

Watch a good video on that here.

Or, read about it online from Britannica:   britannica.com/topic/Franciscans

Learn More about the History of the Conventual Franciscans on Wikipedia: here
or on our Rome website: here

How do I know if I am Called to Be a Franciscan?

This whole website is designed to help you do that.  Read some of the “Blog” posts to get an idea of how others have discerned and other misc. topics regarding discernment. Use links of “Franciscan Life” page to do more research on the Franciscan Order. Use the “Study” page to go deeper. Contact the Vocation Director! He is not there to convince you to join, but to help you discern God’s will whatever it may be. Plan a visit to an “Upcoming Event” or a “Ministry Location“. It is often at a “Come and See” event that many people feel in their Spirit if God is calling them to that community.

But first, to know God’s will for any aspect of your life, you must learn how to pray, and LISTEN to God. For St. Francis and Franciscans, that begins with learning how to pray with the Gospels (read more about that here).  I also HIGHLY recommend other books on prayer, and listening to God, by Thomas Green S.J. His books summarize the great mystics of our Catholic Tradition, especially John of the Cross, and St. Theresa of Avila. His first three books on prayer are: Opening to God, When the Well Runs Dry, and Drinking from a Dry Well. Additionally, his book on discernment: Weeds Among the Wheat can be helpful.  Finally, anyone who really wants to hear God’s will should have a Spiritual Director.

How do I contact the Vocation Director and Talk to a REAL FRIAR!!??

Our Vocation Director is Fr. Paul Gawlowski OFM Conv.  Call him at 510-671-0537.  Email him at: Vocations@franciscanfriars.org   or fill out this form. Thanks