Well, I spoke to the Minister of the local chapter of Secular Franciscans on Friday and I my dh and I will be attending a Mass and meeting some sisters and brothers on 25 April. I am very sure I want to do this and am being called by the Holy Spirit to do this. I would like to get some feedback on this from anyone on here.
I am in a discernment process for SFO right now. There are four of us (all women) meeting with a Sister who is Franciscan and two who are already Associates. Interestingly - one of those Associates used to be a Franciscan nun and the other was once a Dominican nun!
We are meeting monthly for the next 8 or 9 months. Our next meeting (my 2nd - I missed the first one) is this coming Monday at my house. So far - I am very interested.
Hi. I am a novice (candidate) in the SFO, and if plans push through, I will be making my profession by the end of this year.
The process of accepting members in the SFO is similar to that of the religious. You start as an aspirant. You will be observing how a secular fraternity works. It is important that you ask questions to the members of the fraternity. Later, if things work well, you will be accepted in the postulancy stage known as the period of inquiry. This will be period of study about Saint Francis, the Franciscan Family and about Church teachings. Then when you complete this phase, you are accepted as novice (candidate). By this time, you are considered a Secular Franciscan, and are given the ‘visible sign of the order’. There will be a lot study here, particularly with the Rule. After this, a decision will be made by the council if you will make a temporary or perpetual profession…The whole formation process prior to the profession may take three to five years.
Again, at this point, I advice you to observe things very well and ask yourself if you were cut out for this. Discern very well. This is a vocation that lasts through life.
As for me, being a member of the Franciscan Family is a joy. There are some threads on the CAF relating to the SFO. Br. JR has written a great deal about the order.
I am so glad you mentioned BroJR - I have a lot of respect for him. I do feel very called and I am hoping they will let me out of my Army duty this weekend (it should be my last weekend of this) to go see someone welcomed into the order. It has been so far one long string of conincidences of who knows who that has brought me to this point. I think sometimes God works through people and this is just another one of those things. Also an Order such as this would allow me to be of great service to my community as a whole and not have to worry about some of the inter-Parish politics.
I am also a novice. It appears that albertziggy and I are both at about the same point. If everything goes well I, too, will be professed at the end of this year or early next year at the latest.
1) Take your time. I've already invested nearly 2 years in the process and I'm not even professed yet.
2) Visit your fraternity regularly, learn from them, share with them from your own life, grow and discern.
3) Start looking at your daily spiritual life and find areas to improve. Take advantage of confession and Eucharist. Conversion begins now, not when you're professed ;)
4) Pray, pray, and then pray some more. If you don't have time to pray: pray anyway and pray more.
God be with you!