A man who wishes to join our community of friars enters into the formation process as an inquirer on a journey with members of the local community. This inquiry phase lasts for a minimum period of six months.
During this time the inquirer spends time with the friars and joins them for Community events such as Liturgy and Retreats and is invited to share time, meals and fellowship with the friars.
Each inquirer is also encouraged to spend time with individual friars in order to establish a fraternal relationship. This period of time allows the inquirer and the friars to get to know each other and allows for a period of discernment for both the inquirer and the community. It is a time of evaluation of the inquirers vocation to the community. During the end of inquiry stage is when the "screening process" of the applicant -inquirer begins.
The period after Inquiry is know as Postulancy. This period of time also is usually a six month period.
During the Postulancy period, a more formal relationship exists between the postulant and the community. The postulant is received into the Institute during a simple ritual wherein the postulant receives a pin to wear with the insignia of the Institute on it. The postulant is expected to participate regularly in community events. During this period of time the Institute can get to know the individual, his qualities, aptitudes and dispositions, as well as giving the postulant the time to come to know the Community and it's members more in depth.
The postulant will also meet with the Minister General regarding possible areas of ministry with the community. In addition to meeting with the Minister General, the postulant will also meet with the Formation Minister and begin to develop a plan of formation, such as spiritual and scriptural readings, spiritual direction, Clinical Pastoral Education, etc. prior to entrance into the novitiate.
After the successful completion of the Postulancy period, the Minister General meets with his General Council to propose the postulants request to enter the Novitiate, if found favorable, then the Minister General, on behalf of the Community, invites the Postulant to enter the Novitiate.
The novice is received into the Novitiate during the Rite of Investiture, wherein the novice is clothed in the tunic and capuche of the Institute. The canonical novitiate lasts for a period of two years. The novices have the option of participating in the Intercongregational Novitiate that has been established within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The novices attend classes one day a week on a semester basis. The novices attend this novitiate with novices from other religious communities of women and men, that are ministering within the Archdiocese. Often times, from one to four Units of Clinical Pastoral Education will be recommended, depending upon the novices gifts, talents and experience.
In addition to the intercongregational classes, the novices meet twice a month with the Formation Minister where there is an in depth study of the Statutes of The Friars of the Sick Poor of Los Angeles, our charism, history and traditions as well as pursuing the required theological, encyclical and spiritual studies as outlined in the FSP Formation Manuel.
After the successful completion of the novitiate, the novice petitions the community of friars to accept his petition of "first temporary profession" of vows.
Through this profession of temporary vows, the friar expresses his commitment of dedicating his life in service to the sick-poor and marginalized for a period of three years and receives the scapular as a sign of his vow of self-sufficiency. These Temporary Vows are renewed annually for three years.
After the third year, and with the consensus of the community of friars, the friar then makes his perpetual profession of vows in the hands of the Minister General and in the presence of the assembled community and those of whom he has been of service to. On-Going Formation:
The friars meet every 2nd Saturday of the month for an afternoon of on-going Formation in the Statutes, Directives, Documents of Vatican II, current issues affecting our various ministries, lectures on the Consecrated Life and special presentations as they arise. The friars also meet the 4th Saturday of the month which is dedicated as an "Activity Day", where they intentionally spend time in building and strengthening their fraternal bonding and relationships while enjoying in-door or out-door activities together as a Community.