FRANCISCAN FRIARS of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
- Postulancy is a period of probation in which newly admitted members begin their training in the Religious Life of the Community. It is the first stage of formation, whereby the candidate prepares for entrance into the Novitiate. The postulant’s knowledge of Catholic Doctrine, the vowed life, our apostolate and spirituality are fostered during this period. It is also a time for the Postulant to more deeply consider their vocation from God, and especially to the Order of Franciscan Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary and that they may test their own resolve and fitness.
- Postulancy shall normally be a period of nine (9) months. Extensions or variations shall be at the direction of the Minor General with the advice and consent of Council, as shall be the release of a Postulant who is felt, by them, not to have a true vocation to the Life of this Community.
- The Novitiate is the second stage of formation. The normal term of the Novitiate shall be for one (1) year, but may be extended if there is doubt as to a Novice’s readiness to advance. The beginning of the Novitiate is marked by the joyful occasion of receiving the complete, except the cord will have only three (3) knots, Franciscan Habit as well as a new Religious name and title and he makes his first Profession of the Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience and binds himself to observing the Rule and Constitution of the Franciscan Friars of the Blessed Virgin Mary. During this time, the goal is to perfect the formation begun in the Postulancy and the Novitiate, thus preparing for final vows. The Friar renews his Temporary Vows once a year for three (3) years while continuing to be engaged in the various areas of our Apostolate. It is also during this period that priesthood candidates take their Philosophy courses before beginning Theology classes in the Seminary.
- The Novices shall be instructed by the Director of Novices in the various exercises of the Life, Rule and Constitution of the Order, and in such other matters as he shall consider appropriate to their calling.
Profession of Vows
- The Novices shall accustom themselves to look forward to their Solemn Profession of Perpetual Vows and their pledge of the acceptance of their offering to God, by, with and in Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Profession shall, therefore, always be regarded as a sign of the Love of Almighty God.
- No one shall be permitted to take Temporary Vows unless it is his intention to proceed to Solemn Profession of Perpetual Vows, if the privilege is granted in due time. Thereafter, the offering continues until it is consummated in death.
- By making his first Profession of Temporary Vows, a Novice becomes a full member of the Community, as well as becoming liable for all the responsibilities full membership entails. The simplicity and thoroughness of a good Novitiate is the foundation of the Professed life.
- A Novice may be released at his own request, or be dismissed at any time for just cause by the Minor General with the advice and consent of Council. The Provincial is responsible the recovery of the former Novice’s Cross and habit, Rule books, Constitution and Customary.