The Lord Jesus is always speaking to His people, calling each one by name. He spoke to St. Francis in the words of the Gospel and from the wood of the Cross, and in many other ways besides. He also speaks to you. It may be in the silence of prayer, in the words of Scripture, in the person of your fellow-Christians, in the disguise of the poor – but He is always speaking. And He calls you to a particular and unique way of life.
Although everyone's calling or vocation is unique, there are common patterns. Marriage is the most common vocation, and the vocation of the priesthood is also well-known. Jesus also calls many people to a shared life of prayer and service in community.
It's not always easy to recognize the voice of God. If you think the Lord might be calling you to the Capuchin way of life, we are ready to help you find out. After all, each one of us friars has been through that process of discernment, albeit in different ways.
The first way is to meet you. Secondly, it's also very helpful to visit our friaries, to taste a little of our life. These visits normally take place as 'Discernment Weekends', when several men considering the Capuchin vocation come together for a couple of days in a friary. At a later stage of discernment, you might well stay with us for a week or so.
The vocations director, will happily talk and correspond with you during this process, and give you advice and pointers to help your discernment. We do recommend, however, that you have someone independent as your own spiritual director as well.
After some time, you may feel ready to apply for entry to the postulancy, the first stage of Capuchin life. The application is also part of the discernment process, and the Provincial Minister will decide whether or not you will be accepted. If you are accepted, there begins five years of 'initial formation', in which you will have ample opportunity to listen to the voice of God before making your final commitment – known as 'perpetual profession’.
Rev. Fr. Valentine Gompok, OFMCap
“If God has the sufferings of his Son in store for you and wants to let you touch with your own finger your own weakness, it is better to make an act of humility than to lose courage.”
Each of the friars has a different work to do: Studies, Pastoral Work, Office Work, Retreats and Missions, Vocational Work, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Lecturing, Care for People who come to the Friary, Chaplaincy work for Hospitals, Prisons and Schools etc. etc.
This work is normally able to be fitted in to the time between 9.00am and 12 noon and 1.00pm and 5.30pm, but often this is not possible due to travel or the normal demands of the care for others.