The primary end of formation is to permit candidates to the religious life and young professed, first to discover and later to assimilate and deepen that in which religious identity consists. Only under these conditions will the person dedicated to God be inserted into the world as a significant, effective and faithful witness. (International Union of General Superiors UISG)
Our Specific Identity and mission in the Family of Francis and Clare:
We are a religious fraternity in the Catholic Church called to live The Gospel Way of life. We are an Institute of Brothers, founded in Mountbellew, Ireland in 1820 and members of the worldwide Franciscan Family. We publicly profess the vows of consecrated celibacy, evangelical poverty and religious obedience. We are inspired by the life and values of our Lord Jesus Christ, the example of Mary His Mother and Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. We live in community and work mostly in rural areas respecting persons and creation. Therefore, the formation program seeks to integrate human, Christian and religious life that is in accord with the spirit of the Institute.
Steps in Formation:
Aspirancy: Aspirancy commences when a young man establishes a serious contact with the vocation animator, has met the entry requirements for postulancy which normally lasts one (1) year.
The Postulant Program: The aim of pre- novitiate (postulancy) is to allow for mutual acquaintance, progressive adaptation to the Franciscan way of life and the discernment needed at this stage, as well as to continue human and Christian formation for entry into the novitiate.
The Novitiate Program: “Those who through the Lord’s inspiration come to us desiring to accept this way of life are to received kindly… they are to be initiated into the life of the fraternity… let everything pertaining to this Gospel way of life be explained to them, especially these words of the Lord: “if you wish to be perfect go and sell all your possessions and give to the poor.” The novitiate period marks the formal beginning of religious life in the Institute. It provides an opportunity for the novice to receive a thorough grounding in the theology and practical living of religious life. In the conducive environment and discipline of the novitiate community, he is given full opportunity to deepen, assimilate and manifest his vocation in our Franciscan Institute by reflecting on his life, work, prayer and study of the Gospel as a consecrated celibate, evangelically poor and religiously obedient contemplative Christian.
By religious profession, Brothers formally, solemnly and publicly consecrate themselves by vows to God, and dedicate themselves to the church and to the life and mission of our Institute. Led by the Lord, let them begin a life of penance conscious that all of us must be continually and totally converted to the Lord. Temporary profession is the period between first profession and final profession of vows where the Brother continues with initial formation, professional training and ministerial practice. It may not be less than three years or longer than nine years.
Formation continues throughout our lives of conversion. Our life-long commitment to Christ and His mission made in perpetual profession, calls for on-going conversion and renewal. Religious life is a continuous learning process in which we advance in the knowledge and service of Christ. We continually strive to develop our spiritual and psychological lives, our doctrinal knowledge and our ministerial skills.
If you sense the nudge to come and be part of this process, please feel free to contact us. It will be a privilege to have you being part of this great mission.