Discernment Weekends

  

The best way to get to know what the Capuchins are all about is to “come and see”.  The Capuchins of St. Mary Province offer a number of ways to show interested candidates the Capuchin Franciscan way of life, which is built around fraternity, ministry, and prayer.  Candidates have been given an open invitation to visit our friaries to join the friars for communal prayer and meals.  (We do ask that the candidate call first to make sure that someone will be there to welcome him.)

The single most important and most meaningful way in which a candidate can get a better picture of who the Capuchins are and what we are about is to attend a discernment weekend.  We offer “Come and See” discernment weekends five times during each academic year, in New York and in New England.  Each weekend has a different theme and features presentations by Capuchin priests and brothers who are well-known and respected in their fields.  The purpose of these weekends is to give candidates the opportunity to:

  •     meet with our Capuchin brothers and to get to know them better
  •     hear more about the ministries of the friars and about how we live in fraternity
  •     get to know other men who are discerning religious life and to support one another.

These weekends are a wonderful way to explore your possible call to religious life and to see if the Capuchin Franciscans are what God is calling you to.  Attending a discernment weekend does not obligate a person in any way, but you just might like what you see!

To see a video of a recent discernment weekend, please click here. 

          

                      

   

 

One of our friars in post-novitiate, Paul Fesefeldt, offers his reflections on how the candidate weekends helped him to discern his call to religious life with the Capuchins.

         The discernment weekends for those who are considering joining the Capuchins of the Province of St. Mary offer two important views of their religious life, the theoretical and the practical. Theoretically the weekends are structured around informational themes about the life of the friars. Talks this year included charisms, mission, discernment and vocation. As a candidate I found these talks especially helpful in my decision making process. They really helped me to understand the “nuts and bolts” of the Order so that I could relate them to my own journey to see if they felt like the right fit or not. Practically, I was able to gain real experiential knowledge of the friars and their life. By praying, sharing meals, relaxing and talking it was easy to truly “get” who the friars are.


           For me the practical aspects of the weekends were central to my decision to apply for postulancy last year. While the talks were excellent, experiencing the friars was indispensable. By spending time with each friar I was able to truly understand what they were all about. Their personalist approach to life came through in everything they did. Whether in the talks, the liturgy, at meals, or just hanging out it was easy to tell that they were a family whose primary energy was other-focused. Even if they didn't see eye to eye with each other that never translated into not wanting to support and love one another in every aspect of their life and ministry. This was also evident to me in their attitude towards the candidates. I never felt the friars trying to force me into some sort of mold. What I felt was a genuineness that said, "This is who we are and we value who you are and what we can bring to each other."

 

For more information, or if you are interested in attending a “Come and See” discernment weekend, please contact: Brother Tim Jones, O.F.M., Cap., Director of Vocation Ministryat St. Joseph Friary, 34 South Chestnut Street, New Paltz, NY 12561;  (845)-642-1025 or brotimjonesofmcap@gmail.com.

                                                                                                                                                                          

Other Opportunities Offered For Continuing Discernment

Please click here for a booklet listing these opportunities for candidates considering our way of life...

“Come and Share" Evenings 
Offered frequently throughout the year in each friary. The main goal is to give the candidate an opportunity to share in the evening prayer and meal of the Capuchin fraternity closest to where they live. 

“Come and Be"  Weeks
Offered throughout the year in certain friaries. The main goal is to give an interested man a more in-depth experience of a typical week in Capuchin life. The candidate would gather for prayers and meals with the local fraternity as well as ‘shadow’ brothers as they minister each day. 

 “Come and Pray" Weekends
Offered during the Advent and Lenten liturgical seasons.  The main goal is to give the candidate an opportunity to spend a weekend in silence and prayer.  In addition to an opportunity to attend Mass and prayer services, spiritual direction the sacrament of Reconciliation are offered.  There are also conferences on various topics related to the liturgical season and on spirituality.   Emphasis throughout the weekend is on silence, reflection on Scripture, private prayer and Eucharistic Adoration. 
 
“Come and Do" Experiences
Offered twice during the year in two locations. The main goal is to offer a ‘hands on’ opportunity to serve the needs of the poor. The candidate accompany Capuchins as they distribute food and clothing, assist in repairing homes, visit and care for the sick and elderly and participate in other ministerial outreach programs. 

“Come and Relax" Weekends
Offered once during the year (summer). The main goal is to share brotherhood in a healthy and fun environment. Enjoy God’s beautiful creation as well as each other’s company. We share prayer, meals and good times on the shores of Long Island, New York.

 

 

Our Capuchin Novitiate

Our Capuchin Novitiate

Please click the link below to see a video describing our Capuchin novitiate in California. Our novices from this province are part of that community.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

To get the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Capuchins, please click the link below.

Learn More

Reflections on consecrated life

Reflections on consecrated life

To see a video of some of our friars reflecting what inspired them to become a Capuchin, please click below. Some are relatively new to our life and some have been Capuchins for many years, but they all have much wisdom to share.

Learn More