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Everyone has a vocation that God has placed in our hearts. It is up to us to respond positively to His specific calling in our lives. Whether it is a vocation to the priesthood, married life or a professed religious community, it is directly related to our salvation because it is our way of saying yes to the Lord's will. This is why praying to God and asking Him to guide you is so important. He speaks, but we need to be attentive at all times. His voice could be in an attraction to a life that is dedicated to seeking God, a simple curiosity about religious life, the suggestion of a friend or even a hunger to find a deeper meaning to life. It is our responsibility and obligation to obey the Lord's will!
The Brother or Friar, like the good servant waiting for his Lord perseveringly in the community intent upon the tools of the spiritual craft, hastens to the Kingdom's joys, which he experiences in the world, in anticipation through faith. Making use of this world as though he were not using it, living in the world but at the same time practicing flight from the world, the Brother becomes a sign of witness in the Church and in the world of the coming of the Reign of God.
The Franciscans of San Damiano is a new form of community life working directly in our home communities and parishes where God calls us to action. We accept married, single, lay or clerical men being called to the professed life through the Franciscan Charism in their own personal situation or circumstances. Being different than other Third Order Regular communities whose members live and share all in common, our community is based on prayer and communication not on a physical location.
To become a Franciscans of San Damiano Brother does not have a specific academic requirement (besides a high school diploma or GED), but a level of maturity and character suited for life in a religious community is necessary. A candidate must be a fully initiated Catholic (having received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation) and have a desire to serve God through work and prayer in the context of a supportive community. Being guided by his conferees, he will be able to begin the life-long task of perfection in the religious life.
Stages of Formation
1. Candidacy/Inquirer - the initial stage in which a man inquires about the community (through phone calls, e-mail or letters) and begins his preparation for entry into the community. Eventually, the candidate will be invited to a gathering of brothers or a retreat where he can spend time with the community and experience our unique life. During this time he is to prepare his documentation (sacramental certificates, medical, applications, CMARII, Personal Inventory, and character references) as well completing his telephone interviews with the various community leaders.2. Postulancy - after all the documentation has been collected, and the candidate desires to enter the community life, he will have a simple background check and begin his assignments with the Director of Postulant Formation. During this time he will become more familiar with the daily schedule of prayer and study and the demands of community life. This process lasts approximately six months but can be as much as a year.
3. Novitiate - under the guidance of a Director of Novice Formation, to help the candidate recognize the gift of his vocation, a one year period of preparation is begun for the profession to community life. The novitiate year will include further formation on the Christian life, prayer, our promises, the Rule and Life of the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St Francis of Assisi, and the life and history of the community.
4. First Profession - after the one year novitiate, the novice makes his profession to the community. This period of preparation towards his Life Profession lasts for three years. During the years in first profession, guided by the community leadership and his mentor, the brother prepares for his Life Profession.
5. Life Profession after the three years spent in his first profession, the Brother with the consent and guidance of his Novice Director, presents a written petition to be accepted into this congregation as a Life Professed Brother. If he is admitted, he can profess vows which will bind him to the commitment of community life. The life professed brother continues to use the tools of the spiritual craft for the perfection in community life and Christian virtue.
If you believe that God is calling you to our Franciscan way of life, or would like more information about the
FSD Brothers Community, contact Br. Carmine D'Orsi, Franciscan Brothers San Damiano Vocation Director
office Tel. (516) 456-8300 BrCarminefsd@aol.com to begin a process of discernment with our community.
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