Pathway to Profession
First Contact to Permanent Profession
For Up to Now Manual Chronology
The new Foundational Topics for SFO Initial Formation (FUN Manual) places a major emphasis on discernment and ensuring the presence of a vocation on the part of the applicant. This approach requires significantly more time on the part off the Formation Team and the Fraternity Council to assess the vocational call and make certain the visitor has a sufficient background in the Catholic faith, Christian formation and Franciscan community life understanding before Welcome the visitor as an Inquirer to our community.
This chronology sets no minimum time on a planning calendar but assumes the fraternity will complete all of the required steps outlined below in regular monthly fraternity meetings.
Month 1 First time visitor: Procedure conducted by Formation Team Members
Month 2 Council with Formation Team recommendation approves
visitor for Orientation
Month 3 Orientation – Basic Catholic Doctrine topic
Month 4 Orientation – Ecclesiology and Theology of the Laity topic
Month 5 Orientation - Introduction to the Franciscan Family topic,
Council for Welcoming Ceremony by
Formation Team and assignment of a sponsor.
Month 6 Welcoming Ceremony - Inquiry Phase begins
Admission Inventory – Documentation begins
Inquiry – Vocation topic
Month 7 Inquiry – Identity of the Secular Franciscan topic
Month 8 Inquiry – Nature of the Franciscan Order topic
Month 9 Inquiry – Charism and Mission topic
Month 10 Inquiry – Franciscan Movement I
Begin Interviews by SA and Formation Director
Finalize Application and Documentation
Month 11 Inquiry – Franciscan Movement II
Recommendation to Council for admission to Candidacy
Month 12 Rite of Admission
Candidacy Phase begins
Candidacy – Conversion and Penitence topic
Month 13 Candidacy – Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order Session I
Month 14 Candidacy – Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order Session II
Month 15 Candidacy – Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order Session III
Month 16 Candidacy – JPIC and Catholic Social Teachings Session I
Month 17 Candidacy – JPIC and Catholic Social Teachings Session II
Month 18 Candidacy - Francis and His Approach to Divinity Session I
Month 19 Candidacy - Francis and His Approach to Divinity Session II
Month 20 Candidacy - Profession Session I (Should be done at this time frame)
Month 21 Candidacy - Profession Session II (Half way through Candidacy Phase)
Month 22 Candidacy - Fraternity
Month 23 Candidacy - Franciscan Theology, Spirituality and Tradition
Month 24 Candidacy – Francis and the Blessed Virgin
Month 25 Candidacy – Clare of Assisi
Month 26 Candidacy – General Constitutions and Statues
Begin SA and Formation Director Interviews
Month 27 History of the Secular Franciscan Order
Month 28 Fraternity Assignment
Candidate begins preparation of Request for Profession documents.
Month 29 Fraternity Assignment
Formation Team prepares final recommendation to Council
Approval by Council
Month 30 Rite of Profession at Mass with Fraternity
A summary of the Pathway to Profession chronology time frame is as follows:
Visitor First Contacts As long as the fraternity feels it is necessary. Typically 2 to 3
Orientation A minimum of 3 month to 6 months (Initial Discernment Phase)
Inquiry A minimum of 6 months to9 months (Additional Discernment Phase)
Candidacy A minimum of 18 months but not more than 36 months (Focused Discernment)
The Fraternity Council and the Formation Team can add topics to the Initial Formation Program as long as the topics support the spiritual growth of the candidate. You may add another session to a topic if you believe it assists the applicant in understanding the SFO life.
Remember that the objective of the Initial Formation program is to prepare a person for a life in the service of God as a Secular Franciscan. Any instruction that enhances the program will benefit your fraternity and the member’s service to the order.
The supporting documentation and forms necessary to carry out the procedures described in the chronology are contained in the CD Reference Material. When the Initial Formation Program is finalized and distributed the Regional Formation Manual needs to be changed to reflect the new steps, forms and procedures.