Becoming A Franciscan Friar

"The Program of Initial Formation is a gradual process of personal, spiritual, and ministerial development. During initial formation, candidates develop their personal character and theological understanding to be able to live and work effectively as Franciscan friars in service to the Church. There are three stages of initial formation."


Stage 1: Postulancy

Candidates begin their journey as postulants, spending a year living with our inter-provincial friar community at Holy Name College in Silver Spring, Maryland and engaging in various aspects of our life and work. During this time, they are presented with resources, including workshops and personal advisors, to help them develop the psychological and emotional qualities necessary for religious life and ministry. Congratulations and welcome to all 16 men from across the USA who were officially welcomed into the Interprovincial Postulancy Program for 2017. (Pictured Left)

Stage 2: Novitiate

During the novitiate stage, candidates deepen their relationship with God by participating in the Franciscan Interprovincial Novitiate at the Old Mission Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, CA. Novices come from six OFM Provinces in the U.S. Receiving the habit, they are introduced more intensely to our Rule of Life and the history and traditions of the Franciscan Order. At the conclusion of the year, the novices profess their first vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as Franciscan friars.

Stage 3: Post-Novitiate

For the next three or four years, student friars attend the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago to hone their ministerial skills and take coursework related to their field of interest. Those interested in priesthood are enrolled in a Master of Divinity degree program at the Catholic Theological Union. Initial formation concludes with profession of solemn or final vows, an event which fully incorporates student friars into our province and the Franciscan Order. Friars preparing for ordination receive an additional year of training.

Br. Casey Cole, OFM

Breaking in the Habit is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in and/or discerning the Franciscan life. Started by Holy Name Friar Casey Cole, OFM, when he began his journey as a Postulant, Breaking in the Habit chronicles Br. Casey’s experiences in the Franciscan Formation program and seeks to answer common, and not so common, questions about religious life in the Franciscan tradition. For more great videos, articles, reflections, and resources, visit Br. Casey’s website at:

To learn more about becoming a Franciscan Friar please visit: