Formation in the Secular Franciscan Order
When the first apostles were seeking Christ, His response to them was "Come and see"
This is the basic attitude of Secular Franciscans toward those women and men seeking to follow Christ today.
The rule of life of the Secular Franciscans is this:
to observe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
by following the example of Saint Francis of Assisi,
who made Christ the inspiration
and the center of his life with God and people.
(OFS RULE, art.# 4)
Formation in and for the Secular Franciscan way of life is understood as the realistic fostering of the growth of the individual Secular Franciscan and fraternities so that the way we live in today's world may conform more and more to the example of the Holy Gospel.
The formation process is a spiritual journey which consists of three main phases or stages of growth and maturation:
Orientation, a period of general information gathering lasting 2 or 3 months if an aspirant seeks to continue a Rite of Welcoming is celebrated.
the Inquiry Phase, as a period of seeking and choosing lasting at least 6 months: if the desire to continue remains and the sense of vocation is growing stronger, then the Rite of Acceptance is celebrated.
the Candidacy Phase, as a period of interiorization and integration; this is the final phase of initial formation, lasting a minimum of 18 months and as long as 36 months. This phase is culminated with the celebration of the Rite of Profession or permanent commitment.
the On-Going Formation Phase, as a time of maturing and consolidating. This phase is continuing deepening of our relationship with God and all creation, our conversion to the Gospel life, and our active participation in the life of the Fraternity. This is our Profession and it lasts for life.