Prayerfully considering

Hello again all!

I hope this will be a suitable discussion for Ecclesiantics, if not please relocate.

I am very seriously considering converting to Catholicism and joining the Franciscan friars. I feel called in this direction because of my lifelong desire to serve by helping others. I was raised Protestant but it seems that Catholicism or more specifically the Franciscan lifestyle fits more with my personal views on God, Jesus, the Bible, and how best to follow and serve in my own life.

All that said I'm posting in hopes of receiving some insights and thoughts on this. If anyone has any questions do ask.

Thanks for the consideration
Brother Jude

Comments

  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    I can't help you with any specifics, but if this is the direction you feel led, it seems to me to be a fine direction, and God bless you in your new life.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Just one thought (I don't know your background or anything else about you), but there are also Anglican/Episcopal Franciscan communities. I can understand your attraction -- I've known many Franciscans, and have been very impressed with their manner of living. Best wishes for you as you discern your vocation.
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    Brother Jude, I’m sending you a P.M.

    MM!
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    You can be an Anglican and a Franciscan - either as a monk or nun, or by living in the wider community as a tertiary.
  • I know several Anglican Franciscan tertiaries - it works well for them.

    Best wishes, whatever road you take.
  • Brother JudeBrother Jude Shipmate
    Appreciate the responses. I'd only looked into Catholic Franciscans so it's certainly interesting to hear about the Anglican branch.

    I'm essentially a homeless man. I live and work on a relatively small organic farm at the moment but it's a place where I'm transitioning through, if that makes sense. Once I leave here I'll be back on the streets or in a shelter.

    Some may recall when I first joined the forums I was staying at a shelter. It was there that I returned to Christ and in the year since I've been exploring the call that I've felt was placed on my heart
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Have you visited any Franciscan friars, Brother Jude? Then you can talk to them, and see which order/community might suit you. You can visit before you become a Catholic.

    I know someone who went down this route. He was initially an Anglican third order Franciscan, but he wanted to join a Franciscan community and wanted it to be a Catholic one, for various reasons. He visited Catholic Franciscan friars, and because of his age (in his 60s, or possibly even 50s when he first looked into it), he was told he was too old to join them. He decided to become a Catholic anyway, as he felt drawn to Catholicism.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Joining a religious order is a two-way decision. Some have taster weeks/weekends where you can have a bit of a look at each other before starting serious courtship.
  • I think all monastic orders have some sort of novitiate period, before final vows are taken, so that the novice concerned (and the order, for that matter, as @Alan29 points out) can be sure of where they're going.

    Certainly, talking to Franciscans (whether Anglican or Roman) would be a sensible first move.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    You can normally go and stay for a few days anyway, even if they don't do taster weeks - most monasteries have space for guests. The first step (after praying - of course, prayer is part of it the whole time) is to google different communities and see which ones you feel drawn to. Then you email them, and tell them you're discerning a vocation, and tell them a bit about yourself, and say you're wondering if you could come and visit. There might be a bit of an application process, and they might want references. When you're there, you will have chance to talk to the abbott, and possibly some of the other friars. You can ask questions, and they tell you about the life and ask you questions too.
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    Pedant point: Franciscans are friars (or sisters), not monks, and don't have abbots! That aside, what most people have said is good advice. Depending on where you are (UK?) and how easy it is for you to travel, go and visit a Franciscan house (after the lockdown ends, obviously!). I'm sure they won't expect a formal application (though they might want a basic character reference if they don't know you) at this stage. You don't even need to tell them that you sense a vocation, unless you want to. For Franciscans in the C of E, google Society of St Francis.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host, 8th Day Host
    Thanks, angloid - I was unsure when posting what the guy who leads Franciscan friars would be called, so thought I might be corrected, but hoped that people would at least know what I mean! I would think there should be some person who has some sort of lead in guiding enquirers, even if they don't have a formal name.
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    Just referencing Franciscanism in general and Catholic Franciscanism in particular, I value the daily email postings from Richard Rohr's Centre for Action and Contemplation organisation. Wide-ranging, challenging and great food for thought.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    angloid wrote: »
    Pedant point: Franciscans are friars (or sisters), not monks, and don't have abbots!
    Many years ago a Franciscan Friar shared a joke about a Franciscan and a Dominican opening a Fish and Chip shop. The former was the Fish Friar and the latter was the Chip Monk.

    I'll get me cowl...
  • Brother JudeBrother Jude Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    Have you visited any Franciscan friars, Brother Jude? Then you can talk to them, and see which order/community might suit you. You can visit before you become a Catholic.

    I know someone who went down this route. He was initially an Anglican third order Franciscan, but he wanted to join a Franciscan community and wanted it to be a Catholic one, for various reasons. He visited Catholic Franciscan friars, and because of his age (in his 60s, or possibly even 50s when he first looked into it), he was told he was too old to join them. He decided to become a Catholic anyway, as he felt drawn to Catholicism.

    No but I am in the process of scheduling a meet and greet
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    angloid wrote: »
    Pedant point: Franciscans are friars (or sisters), not monks, and don't have abbots!
    Many years ago a Franciscan Friar shared a joke about a Franciscan and a Dominican opening a Fish and Chip shop. The former was the Fish Friar and the latter was the Chip Monk.

    I'll get me cowl...

    Does not work as Dominicans are friars as well, as are Jesuits. It has to be a Benedictine, Cistercian, Augustinian etc that are Monks. Then that does not work because they tend to be contemplative and live in an enclosed monastery because that is what it means to be a monk rather than a friar. So they would not be involved in a Fish and Chip shop.
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    Brother Jude, some abbeys accept people to stay with them as part of the community but not taking the vows, sort of lay brothers. I believe Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight does this.
  • Brother JudeBrother Jude Shipmate
    Priscilla wrote: »
    Brother Jude, some abbeys accept people to stay with them as part of the community but not taking the vows, sort of lay brothers. I believe Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight does this.

    Thank you. I'm in the U.S. but surely such things apply here as well
  • Graven ImageGraven Image Shipmate
    St. Gregory's Abbey an Episcopal Benedictine Abby in Three Rivers Michigan is now taking applications for their summer visit program of two weeks or more. The only cost is a registration fee of $25.00. It starts in July but if you can not come in July you can ask for a visit at another time.
  • Brother JudeBrother Jude Shipmate
    Thank you
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Brother Jude--

    Praying for whatever's best. :)
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    Brother Jude--

    Praying for whatever's best. :)

    Thank you GK
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    As am I, @Brother Jude.
  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    Whatever is best for you, Brother Jude... and a bit of luck thrown in
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