Pathway to Profession

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

  • “What is Formation” topic presented
  • Initial Interview and Faith Inventory
  • Recommendation to Council on applicant
  • This procedure may take two or three months


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,                                                              Recommendation to 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. 


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