Based upon the recommendations of the novitiate staff and after the consideration of the Provincial Council, the novice receives permission to make temporary profession of vows. The vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, which the novice has prayed about and studied over the course of the novitiate, are taken for a three-year period. However, initial formation does not conclude with the profession of temporary vows, but rather continues until the friar professes solemn vows (a minimum of three years).
After the profession of temporary vows the newly professed friar begins the post-novitiate period. This period of integration allows the friar the opportunity to internalize the Capuchin values learned during the course of postulancy and especially during novitiate.
Under the guidance of a formation director, the newly professed will select a ministry in which he will spend about fifteen hours a week. In addition to ministry, the friar will attend in-house classes in a variety of subject ranging from theological reflection to social justice and, because of the local ministries of the Capuchin province, he may also be asked to take some classes in Spanish at a local college or university.
While one goal of the post-novitiate is integration and internalization of the Capuchin charism, the other is ongoing discernment. During postulancy the individual sought to discern whether he was being called to pursue a Capuchin vocation and in the course of the novitiate the goal of discernment was whether or not God was calling the novice to profess vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in the Capuchin Franciscan Order. That stage of discernment has concluded by the time the friar enters the post-novitiate year, but discernment never really concludes. It is a life-long process. The goal of discernment during the post-novitiate year is ministerial. The newly professed seeks to discern whether God is calling him to serve in the Capuchin Franciscan Order as a priest brother or as a lay brother. This process of discernment will determine what course of studies the friar will undertake.
After the three year period in temporary vows has ended, the friar may petition for permission to make solemn vows with the Capuchin Franciscans. With the profession of solemn vows, the process of Initial Formation reaches its conclusion. But formation, in general, will continue throughout his religious life – as long as he continues to be attentive to the stirrings of the Spirit within his heart