When Francis of Assisi knelt before the icon of Christ in the crumbling ruins of San Damiano, he heard a personal exhortation from the lips of Jesus: “Rebuild My Church.”
During the past year, dozens of men have inquired about a possible vocation with the Capuchin Franciscans, seeking to be part of the exciting adventure of rebuilding. The Capuchins held discernment retreats in Denver, CO and San Antonio, TX, hosted numerous men at their friaries for vocation visits, and worked alongside discerning candidates in their food truck ministry to the homeless.
In total, nine men went through the process of application to enter the postulancy year. Postulancy provides candidates with the opportunity to live and work alongside the Capuchins and to enter into a process of religious formation as they discern a definitive choice for this way of life.
The process of discerning a religious vocation can be lengthy and difficult. Some aids to authentic and effective discernment include meeting regularly with a spiritual director, praying the Rosary, attending daily Mass, reading lives of the saints in a particular order and participating in a group of peers who are also discerning a religious vocation. Very important, but often overlooked in the process of discernment, is visiting religious communities. Often men who have been “discerning” for a number of years have never visited a religious community. In such cases, these men are discerning in a vacuum. Effective discernment requires an experience to discern!
Of the nine men who made application to the Capuchins this year, all of them participated in a vocation retreat with the friars and visited local communities. This is essential for an authentic discernment.
The Capuchins have just scheduled two additional vocation retreats for the coming year:
September 27-29, 2019 in Denver, Colorado
January 31-February 2, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas
If you have been thinking and dreaming about the possibility of a religious vocation, the Lord may be calling you to take the next step and visit a community. If you believe you may be called to this exciting adventure of rebuilding the Church in the spirituality of St. Francis, be sure to register for an upcoming retreat by clicking on the link below.