In the humble footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, the path to becoming a Franciscan brother is a journey of simplicity, service, and devotion to God’s creation. These dedicated souls find joy and fulfillment in a life of prayer, fraternity, and compassion for all beings. In this blog post, we will explore the steps it takes to become a Franciscan brother and offer a glimpse into the enriching and compassionate life that awaits those who answer the call.
Step 1: Discernment and Prayer
The journey begins with a period of discernment and heartfelt prayer. Inspired by the teachings of St. Francis, individuals seek to discover God’s will in their lives and embrace a vocation centered on service, love, and reverence for creation. In quiet contemplation, they listen for the gentle whisper of God’s call to the Franciscan way.
Step 2: Embracing the Franciscan Charism
Having felt the stirrings of the Franciscan charism within their hearts, aspiring brothers seek out various Franciscan communities. Each community, while guided by the same spirit of St. Francis, may express its unique approach to service and ministry. Engaging with these communities allows candidates to discern where they can best live out their calling.
Step 3: Application and Formation
Upon finding a Franciscan community that resonates with their spirit, candidates apply to enter the formation program. The formation period encompasses different stages, such as postulancy, novitiate, and temporary vows. During this time, candidates immerse themselves in the Franciscan tradition, studying the life and teachings of St. Francis, and deepening their relationship with God through prayer and contemplation.
Step 4: Temporary Profession of Vows
A significant moment in the journey is the temporary profession of vows. In the spirit of St. Francis’ simplicity and poverty, candidates publicly commit to living a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience for a specific period. This time allows for further discernment and growth in the Franciscan way of life.
Step 5: Perpetual Commitment
After completing the temporary vows, the candidate may choose to make a lifelong commitment to the Franciscan brotherhood through perpetual profession. In this sacred ceremony, the brother pledges his life to live according to the Gospel values, the example of St. Francis, and the charism of the Franciscan community.
Life of a Franciscan Brother
Living in the embrace of the Franciscan fraternity offers a unique and spiritually enriching experience. At the heart of their life is fraternity, fostering a deep sense of brotherhood and unity with all of creation. Daily routines include communal prayer, Mass, and moments of quiet contemplation, connecting them to God and nature.
Franciscan brothers engage in various forms of service, embracing the needs of the poor, the marginalized, and all who suffer. Inspired by St. Francis’ love for nature, they nurture a special reverence for the environment, seeing God’s presence in every living creature.
The vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience form the foundation of their lives, inviting them to live with simplicity and selflessness. Through these vows, they find freedom and joy, trusting in God’s providence and embracing a life of humble service to others.
The path to becoming a Franciscan brother is a transformative journey of simplicity, service, and devotion to God’s creation. Guided by prayer and fraternity, these devoted souls find purpose and fulfillment in a life of love, compassion, and reverence for all beings. Within the Franciscan brotherhood, they discover a profound sense of unity and brotherhood, walking in the footsteps of St. Francis as they embrace the Franciscan way of simplicity and service.