How to Discern

Are you considering a call to the Franciscan way of life?

Basic Requirements

  • between 21 and 50 years of age
  • a citizen or Legal Permanent Resident of the U.S.
  • in good physical and mental health
  • open to learning about and living a Franciscan religious life in the 21st century
  • committed to living the vows of charity, poverty and obedience
  • prayerful with a desire to mature in the spiritual life
  • seeking to live and serve in fraternal communities
  • a practicing Catholic for at least two years after the completion of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion)
  • free of significant financial and family obligations
  • a high school graduate, or, if you wish to minister as a priest, completion of at least two years of college

The Formation Stages in Becoming a Friar

The Program of Initial Formation is a gradual process of personal, spiritual, and ministerial development. During initial formation, candidates develop their personal character and theological understanding to be able to live and work effectively as Franciscan friars in service to the Church and the world around them. There are three stages of initial formation.


Candidates begin their journey as postulants, spending a year or two working with our friar community at The Friary at Saint Miriam, Flourtown, Pennsylvania, and engaging in various aspects of our life and work within our parish, school, cemetery, and friary. During this time, they are presented with resources, including workshops and personal advisors, to help them develop the psychological and emotional qualities necessary for religious life and ministry.


During the novitiate stage, candidates deepen their relationship with God by actually living at the Friary with their fellow Friars, and participating in a daily formation program of prayer and work.  Novices receive the habit, are introduced more intensely to our Rule of Life and the history and traditions of the Franciscan Order. After the next year, the novices profess their first vows of poverty, charity, and obedience as Franciscan friars.


For the next three or four years, student friars continue to hone their ministerial skills and take coursework related to their field of interest. Some return to school for graduate work, and others settle into the life of a Coventual Friar.

Those interested in priesthood are enrolled in a Master of Divinity degree program and continue their Postulancy programming under the auspices of the Diocese and the Bishop Ordinary.