WHY BECOME A PRIEST?
We become priests because we discern a personal call from God. That does not mean we had an experience with thunderbolts and voices form heaven. Instead, we had an inner feeling that is almost unexplainable. As we grow to know ourselves better, recognizing our talents and abilities, we are also able to understand to what God has called us.
Over time and with prayer and the help of a Priest Spiritual Director, we each come to believe this was the right path for us. We decide to at least give it a try by beginning the initial formation process to enter priesthood.
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Who are the Franciscans?
Peace and all Good from the Franciscan brotherhood!
The Conventual Franciscans (sometimes referred to as “The Grey Franciscans” due to the color of our habits) are one of the three branches of the First Order of St. Francis. The word Conventual is derived from the Latin convenire, “to come together”; hence we live together in “convents” or friaries. Our Order is spread throughout the world, and includes about 4,500 priests and brothers who are all commonly called Friars. The friars in the United States belong to one of four provinces in North America. We wear a black or gray habit with a simple three-knotted cord representing our vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
The “Spiritual Center” of the Order is in Assisi, Italy, where our Friars care for the Basilica of St. Francis, which includes his tomb.
In addition, the Conventuals are the Vatican confessors at St. Peter’s Basilica. In Christ’s name, we continue the ministry of healing so fundamental to the understanding of Saint Francis.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DIOCESAN PRIEST AND A RELIGIOUS PRIEST?
A diocesan priest ordinarily serves a church community (a parish) within a geographic area called a diocese. He serves the people as a parish priest, but he may also be involved in many other forms of ministry, such as teaching, hospital ministry, military, university or prison chaplaincy.
A religious priest is a member of a religious congregation whose ministry goes beyond the geographic limits of any diocese. A religious priest seeks to live a life of poverty, celibacy and obedience within a community of men with a particular spirituality. The community shares a common vision and spirituality and often emphasizes a particular type of ministry.