The Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) has good formation guidelines and policies. The period of formation deals with these issues:
- Gently and prayerfully exploring the call to the Franciscan way of life. (Is this the path God wishes you to take? Is it truly right for you?)
- It offers a period of training in understanding the SFO way of life, enabling one to make sense of their own life journey.
- If requires the local fraternity and inquirers and candidates to interact and develop sound relationships.
- It offers experiences and explanations of the SFO Rule, Constitutions, Francis, Claire, and our Franciscan Heritage.
Article 6-Secular Franciscan Rule
Pathway to Profession
The process of becoming a professed Secular Franciscan is a journey that involves three separate stages and culminates in a lifelong commitment to live the gospel following the example of St. Francis of Assisi.
This formation process unfolds in regularly scheduled formation sessions during which the home study material is thoroughly discussed.
The first stage is Orientation, providing time for dialogue and developing relationships in fraternity. During Orientation you will be introduced to the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare and share in Franciscan prayer life. You will be given general information about the Secular Franciscan Order. Orientation is a time to discern if the Spirit is calling you to a Secular Franciscan vocation. The period of Orientation is a minimum of three months.
The second stage is Inquiry, and is the first formal period of initiation. It is a time of in-depth study of the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare. During Inquiry you will learn about the Franciscan charism and Franciscan history. You will deepen your understanding of what it means to be secular and Franciscan. You will continue to discern if the Spirit is calling you to the Secular Franciscan way of life. The period of Inquiry is a minimum of six months.
If a vocation is discerned, the Inquirer is received into the Order.
The third stage is Candidacy, and is the final formal period of initiation. It is a time of preparing for permanent commitment by immersion into fraternity life. Central to this stage of formation is Article 4 of The Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order which states, 'The rule and life of the Secular Franciscan is this: to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by following Saint Francis of Assisi, who made Christ the inspiration and the center of his life with God and people.' The period of Candidacy is a minimum of eighteen months and culminates in profession and a permanent commitment to the gospel life.
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