COMMITMENT AND PERIOD OF FORMATION IN THE SECULAR FRANCISCAN ORDER
Since we are welcoming 5 potential candidates this month, think about your commitment to the Secular Franciscan Order:
· What is a vocation/ a Secular Franciscan Vocation?
· How do we determine the validity of our vocation?
· What do we mean by formation?
· What is the time frame in the National Statutes for ORIENTATION? (See below.)
· What are the objectives of Orientation? (Discernment)
· What is the time frame in the National Statutes for INQUIRY? (6 months—see below)
· What ceremony begins the time of inquiry? (See below—this is what we will celebrate this month.)
· What are the objectives of Inquiry? (Expectations)
· What is the time frame in the National Statutes for candidacy? (18 months min./ 36 max.) Constitutions say at least a year.
· What ceremony begins the time of candidacy? (Rite of Admission)
· What are the objectives of candidacy? (Active role in the fraternity)
Starting in February, while our candidates are attending their formation sessions, we will be having on-going formation!
Article 19. Formation National Statutes
a. Orientation is a time for determining a person’s interest, eligibility and disposition to enter into the initial formation process [cf. Guidelines for Initial Formation in the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States (hereafter Guidelines for Initial Formation), page 25].
b. The period of orientation shall consist of not less than three (3) months.
2. Initial Formation
a. Inquiry – The period of Inquiry, which begins with the Ceremony of Introduction and Welcoming [cf. Ritual, page 9], shall consist of not less than six (6) months.
b. Candidacy– The period of Candidacy, which begins with the Rite of Admission [cf. Ritual, page 11], shall consist of not less than eighteen (18) months and not more than thirty-six (36) months.
c. All persons in initial formation, in addition to attending their formation sessions, must participate in the meetings of the Local Fraternity as this is an indispensable presupposition for initiation into community prayer and into fraternity life [cf. General Constitutions, article #40.3].
d. To be admitted to the SFO in the United States, a person must be a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church (i.e., having received the Sacraments of Baptism, Chrismation/Confirmation and Holy Eucharist) in addition to being an actively practicing Catholic.
a. The minimum age for perpetual profession as a Secular Franciscan in the United States is twenty-one (21) years.
b. The minimum age for temporary profession as a Secular Franciscan in the United States is eighteen (18) years.
4. Ongoing Formation
Ongoing formation is the responsibility of all professed members consonant with article #44 of the General Constitutions.
5. Form and Methodology
a. The form (i.e., content and process; cf. General Constitutions, #38.2) to be employed in both initial and ongoing formation is that found in the Guidelines for Initial Formation.
b. The methodology employed in formation should be both interactive and experiential in nature [cf. General Constitutions, #40.4].
c. Opportunities for fraternities to meet together for the purposes of common ongoing and initial formation shall occur whenever possible at all levels of fraternity [cf. General Constitutions, #40.1].