Which of the mendicant orders spend the least amount of time living in a friary?


My ideal vocation would be a mendicant one where you wouldn’t be ‘tied down’ to a community (friary) and instead the focus would be strictly on the charity work and you would perform the various prayers of the day by yourself (or along with priests and friars/sisters who are not tied to a community either) however I’m pretty sure there isn’t a religious order that operates like this. Which one would be the closest to it though? According to the vocation match test on vocationnetwork website would be the Verites but I don’t see how they fit into this description judging by the information that I could find about them online…does anyone know much about them?


Sounds a bit like the Jesuits.


I know…

I was also going to ask…which of the canon and cleric regular orders come closest to this description.


If I’m not mistaken, canon orders are by definition attached to a church, so none of them would fit your criteria. I know there’s a branch of Franciscans who hitchhike everywhere, but I don’t know what their name is.


By ‘hitchhike’ I presume you mean they travel from diocese to diocese and not literally hitchhike right?


No, they literally hitchhike.


I think you may be looking for orders of Clerics Regular: Theatines, Adornos (my order), Jesuits, Barnabites, Piarists, Camillians, etc. The Clerics Regulars were originally meant to be a reform and evolution of the Canons Regular, bringing them out from the schola church they were attached to and into the community. Most are focused upon their apostolic activity although the Clerics Regular Minor, known as the Adorno Fathers and Brothers in English speaking countries and the Caracciolini everywhere else, took the middle ground between the Canons Regular and the main avenue of Clerics Regular life found in the Jesuits and Theatines. We are considered semi-contemplative, placing as heavy an importance on the spiritual life of the religious as we do on the missionary activity we do in community. We live in common in twos or threes in a rectory but most of our work is done within the parish and other community ministries.

As to the prayers by yourself, I believe that only Jesuits are given this dispensation.


I know but I’m not sure I have a calling for the priesthood.


According to Wikipedia Cleric Regular orders have brothers as well, not just priests. So what would be the difference between being a brother in a CR order vs being a Franciscan or a Dominican for instance?


And why do you live in tow or threes in particular?


what country are you in?


Oh apparently what I’m looking for is very similar to Societies of Apostolic Life.


Yes, I think you are, thats why I am asking. A community.


I’m a Romanian citizen living in the UK.
As an EU national I have the freedom to reside indefinitely in many European countries.
Why do you ask?


Our order stresses community life, so two or threes are the smallest unit in which a community may function. This way, we are able to minister to the needs of the most people while still remaining in community. Most of the times, a parish which has been given to us can only sustain two priests at a maximum. In the case of threes, the third priest usually has a ministry which is separate from the parish, such as full time hospital or prison ministry.


I can give you some broad strokes generalizations for a CR brother in most CR orders, as we are a little different. A CR brother is a brother whose work supports the mission and community of the Order. Many CR orders are driven by ministry, as such a CR coajutor (modern technical term for a solemn professed brother in a clerical order) brother’s work must complement the work of the Order (like nurses or teachers) though ministerial activity or through auxiliary services within the communities (accountants or cooks, etc.). If one does not already have a profession then they are usually asked to pick a profession which is complementary to the Order to train in. There are three CR Orders which accept any profession as a coadjutor brother. These are the Theatines, Jesuits, and my own Clerics Regular Minor. Because they have such a varied ministry, any ministerial activity or profession is generally accepted.

The difference between Orders like Franciscans or Dominicans lies in the nature of the Order itself. The CR orders are purely clerical, meaning the fullness of their action in the world is found within the sacrament of Holy Orders. There is an element of the sacramental duties of a priest which is essential a member’s full participation as a CR. As such, a CR coadjutor will never be a local, provincial or general superior, nor will he usually be a novice master. The coadjutor’s purpose is to support the order and live out his life in the charism of the order.

In orders like the Franciscans or Dominicans, the state of a priest or a brother within the community is equal with regards to the hierarchy of the order. A brother may be made superior or novice master as the priesthood is not essential to the full execution of their role in the order. Because of this, however, Franciscan or Dominican solemn professed brothers are often transferred and reassigned as often as their priestly confreres. CR coadjutors can be transferred, but if they have a ministry or work outside of the community, then opportunities for transfer are usually limited.


I know I’m a little late to this, but here in the US there is a branch of Fransicicans out of the Ft. Wayne/South Bend diocese who hitchhike everywhere. I forget their name, but they are canonically under the governance of the diocese, not their own independent order. Are these the friars you’re thinking of?


I’m pretty sure they’re not, they were definitely in a religious order and I’m 80-90% certain they were Franciscans.


So if usually it’s only two priest in a parish then it’s not much a community, right?


Community doesn’t need to be large to be meaningful. We eat in common, pray in common, spend our free time around the house in common. Its not like the usual multi-priest diocesan rectory in which the priests live separate lives, but rather the other brother in community is an integral aspect of your life. I know two-person communities in our order which are more closely knit than some houses of other orders with twenty religious.

Add to this that we are almost always within driving distance of another house. More often than not, we are visiting, sleeping over, or video-calling regularly.

I can’t count the number of times when we have crammed 10+ brothers and priests in a single rectory for some celebration or another simply because we take any chance to all come together and have fun. We once crammed over twenty of us together for an ordination. There were people in the guest beds, floors, couches, and one brother even had to sleep in a bathtub for a night. It was a blast.

It’s just one big family.

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