Become a Friar

 St. Francis found much joy in living the Gospel and in his day inspired thousands of men and women to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. In today’s troubled world, Franciscans continue to share the good news of God’s love in ways that we hope will inspire people of our time.

This section will help with the process of discernment and becoming a Franciscan friar. 


Who Are We?

We live the way of life established by St. Francis of Assisi 800+ years ago. Yes, our distinctive brown habit attracts attention but most of all we want our alternative lifestyle to stand out as a living witness to the Goodness of God and the joy of living the Gospel in the 21st century. We have fraternities of friars around the USA and even in Jamaica! We serve the Catholic Church in high schools, universities, parishes, hospitals (as nurses and chaplains), in inner city ministries,retreat houses, publishing (books, social media & internet content with “Franciscan Media”), and missions both foreign and domestic. In all of our ministries we preach the Good News of Jesus Christ. Join us in living the gospel in fraternity, in simplicity and most of all joyfully!

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It’s a process and every process takes time

Discernment cannot be done in isolation. You need to talk with others about your hopes and dreams for the future.
Your discernment involves both listening with your ears and with your heart. You listen to what God and others are saying to you. You listen to what you are saying physically and emotionally to yourself.
Listening with the heart is especially important in prayer. Praying entails being aware of God’s presence within us and seeking to know what God intends for our lives.
The final part of your discernment is taking some action as a result of your talking, listening, and praying. For example: calling a Vocation Director to discuss your call.
A good fit
To a large extent, discernment is the process of finding the best fit. God calls and a religious institute/diocese helps affirm that call resulting in finding, “the right fit.”

Is this life for you? 

Do you feel a stirring in your heart? Do things that once brought you a great deal of joy no longer capture your interest as before? Well, even Saint Francis of Assisi had a similar experience. Eventually he figured out what God was asking of him. He came to discover that God was calling him to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a radical way. Perhaps he is calling you to do the same!


Most High,
Glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart
and give me true faith, certain hope,
and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge, Lord
that I may carry out
Your holy and true command. Amen.

Formation is a process that goes a little like this…

Vocation Office: the first step. The length of this stage depends on your individual needs and discernment. Those 18 – 21 years old are invited to consider being part of the Lateran Program at Saint Bonaventure University to complete their college education. Those who are 21 – 45 are invited to apply for admission as a postulant.

Postulancy: a 12-month program of orientation to Franciscan life and spirituality. It begins in August of each year in Silver Spring, Maryland. Visit their Facebook Page.

Novitiate: this marks the formal entrance into the Order of Friars Minor (aka Franciscans). During which you will receive the distinctive brown habit. It culminates in taking temporary vows of obedience, to live without anything of your own and chastity. The novices of St. John the Baptist Province attend the Interprovincial Novitiate in Santa Barbara, California. Visit their Facebook Page.

Post Novitiate Formation: After temporary profession of vows (they last for one year), friars live/work/study in Chicago, Illinois, for a minimum of three years. During this very dynamic and exciting time you will continue to learn about the Friar Minor way of life and complete your formal education. What classes you take or which degree program you enter is open for discernment. Friars called to priesthood currently study at Catholic Theological Union. Visit their Facebook Page.

Solemn Profession: After a minimum of three years of temporary profession of vows, friars are eligible to profession of solemn vows. Such marks the beginning of a full, lifelong membership in the Order of Friars Minor. Thereafter friars either continue studies, should that be necessary, or receive their first assignment.


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Want to know more?

We welcome men 21 – 45 years of age to consider life as a Friar. Exceptions are made for men over 45 years of age on an individual basis.

Men 18 – 21 years of age are invited to participate in the Lateran Program at Saint Bonaventure University. The program is closely associated with the Franciscans as you pursue an education in a Catholic university.

As you get to know a little about the friars, so we would like to get to know you a little bit better.

Connect with the US-6 Franciscans!


Help us continue to serve the poor, care for the retired friars and our men in formation.