Franciscans: OFMs, Capuchins, etc

Dear all,

I’m sure that this has been asked here before, but I couldn’t find it. Does anyone have a sense of the differences between the three main branches of the Franciscans: Order of Friars Minor, Capuchins, Conventuals? I know a bit about the historical differences, but I guess I am wondering if anyone has first-hand experience of the communities today…differences in their personalities; if some seem to be more or less traditional or ecumenical or whatever; differences in community dynamics; etc. Put differently, if someone were considering a lay or religious vocation with the Franciscans, why might that person choose one branch rather than others? Or are they all very much the same?

Thanks for any thoughts you may have!

Im on a vocation retreat right now with the conventuals. Basically there charisms are going to differ. With this order, you can become a priest or a brother, but they are on equal levels. The conventuals wear grey or black habits, they have all kinds of ministries to work in, so they don’t have a specific apostlate like many others do.

But that’s all I can explaine right now.

The Conventuals are a bit more white collar, the Capuchins a bit more blue collar and the OFMs are the original and best;)

The Capuchins are more hairy.
The Conventuals are a bit more decorous.
But the OFM’s have the best habit.

Brother JR, who is well known here at CAF, is a Franciscan and extremely knowledgeable. He explained the different branches of Franciscans here:

To be a bit more serious.

You could take a friar from any of the three branches and he would feel at home in either the OFMs, OFM caps or OFM Conv.

They have slightly different histories but they are all branches of the same tree.

If you are interested in the Franciscans just go to see the one’s nearest you.:thumbsup:

Well, I have discerned with Franciscans for almost a year now, however, most of my experience has been with Capuchins. The difference at least for the Capuchins is they have a lot of emphasis on poverty. They are only allowed the barest of essentials. They also have a very big emphasis on praying. They pray more than the other three, as far as I know. I think they pray all seven hours of the Liturgy, rather than the usual five. Their main focus is essentially the poor and living in community.

Thanks very much to all of you for your comments so far… I appreciate your insights!

Many thanks and prayers for all of you…

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