Questions About the Franciscans


Hi all!

I was wondering what are the education requirements to become a Franciscan? Are Franciscans priests? Or are they something else entirely?

Like how many years of education do you need to become a Franciscan?


There are many different branches of the Franciscans so the requirements may vary from one congregation to another.

I know a number of OFMs and their educations vary from high school diplomas to PhDs. It all depends on the person and his role in the order.

Franciscans may or may not be priests. The first requirement is being called to be a Franciscan. From all of those called to be Franciscans some are called to be ordained as priests and others are not. That’s a decision made by the individual Franciscan and his superiors.

You can check out different branches of the Franciscans on the web to start to become more familiar with their requirements and their ministries.


Thank you. That is very helpful! :thumbsup:


The only Franciscans I yave ever known were all priests.

Are some monks?


Most are (in the US, at least). There is a “push” now to have most as brothers “only”.

And the word for most Franciscans is friar, not monk. :wink:


Actually they’re friars. But the comparison works the same way:

All Benedictines are monks, some are also ordained as priests.
All Franciscans are friars, some are also ordained as priests.


Here are some 2013 stats of friar who are priests:

Order of Friars Minor (O.F.M.): 2,212 communities; 14,123 members; 9,735 priests

Franciscan Order of Friars Minor Conventual (O.F.M.Conv.): 667 communities; 4,289 members; 2,921 priests

Franciscan Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (O.F.M.Cap.): 1,633 communities; 10,786 members; 7,057 priests

Third Order Regular of Saint Francis (T.O.R.): 176 communities; 870 members; 576 priests


I am not catholic but I did attend a Franciscan High School (All Girls).
I only knew one franciscan priest but all the nuns (or sisters) at my school and the Head Mistress were Franciscans.
These nuns and sisters were my first introduction to catholicism so I always feel a sense of nostalgia when I hear or see anything or anyone related to the Franciscan order way of life.


Saint Francis himself was a Deacon


Because he didn’t feel worthy enough to be a priest.:slight_smile:


The answers you’ve received so far are pretty good. I don’t know about OFM franciscans, though I imagine its similar to the Capuchins. With Capuchin Franciscans, every friar is a brother, but some of the brothers are also priests. In fact the majority are priests, but there are quite a few lay brothers (non-priest friars) as well.

All you really need to enter the order is a high school diploma, but formation includes: 1 year of Postulancy + 1 year of Novitiate + post-novitiate studies. Post-novitiate is more variable. Those that want to be priests go on for 5-6 more years of theology and philosophy studies. Those that do not want to be priests will go on to study other things, like get a bachelor degree if you don’t already have one, a masters degree such as a master of divinity, master of social work, maybe a degree in nursing, counciling, education, psychology or wherever the Order and the Lord are calling you to ministry. A few go on for PhD’s and pontifical degrees. So…for a priest candidate that would come to about 7-8 years of formation if you already have a bachelors degree, about 10 years if you do not. Most lay brothers are in school for less time, but not necessarily. You usually take final vows around the 6 year mark though.


There’s actually no solid evidence he was even a deacon, but it makes a nice story about humility.


He preached in Church, though (most notably at Christmas):shrug:


The Franciscans were given special faculties to preach even without ordination.


On a diocese by diocese basis. :slight_smile:


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