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 Fr. Marvin Bearis, O.F.M., Cap, Director of Vocation Ministry.  Fr. Marvin can be reached at 203-382-4513; or at frmarvinofmcap@gmail.com; or at Blessed Solanus Casey Residence, 123 Nancy Drive, Bridgeport, CT 06604.


Other Opportunities Offered For Continuing Discernment

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

“Come and See" Weekends 
Discernment weekends are offered four times during the year with a variety of Spiritual, Scriptural, and Capuchin Themes. They are attended by a host of friars and candidates. Opportunities are  given for communal and private prayer, Liturgy, Eucharistic Adoration, fraternal gatherings and sharing vocation stories.

“Come and Share"  Evenings
These are offered upon request throughout the year in each friary with the goal being to give the candidate an opportunity with the local Capuchin fraternity in order to get to know the friars and their lifestyle better.

 “Come and Be" Months
These 2 to 4 month opportunities are offered throughout the year in certain friaries.  The candidates gather for prayers, meals and social time with the friars, as well as accompanying Brothers in their ministries.  This experience is especially helpful to those considering applying for resident Postulancy.

“Come and Pray" Weekends
These are offered during the Advent and Lenten seasons. They allow candidates to spend their time in silence and prayer.  Liturgy, Eucharistic Adoration, prayer services, conferences and spiritual directiion are provided.

“Come and Do" Experiences

These are offered twice during the year. They give the candidates the opportunity to serve the needs of the poor as they accompany Capuchins in their outreach ministries.

"Come and Relax" Weekends

These weekends are offered a few times during the year.They offer an opportunity to share in brotherhood in a healthy, relaxed, and fun environment. The friars and candidates share prayers, meals, and good times.

"Come and Witness" Saturdays

These days are designed for high school students and offer an introduction to the Capuchins through presentations on our daily life. The day concludes with a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament

What's It Like to Be a Religious Brother?

What's It Like to Be a Religious Brother?

Please click the link below to read an article about what it's like to be a religious brother. It's based on an interview with Br. Jim Peterson, our Capuchin brother who is a canon lawyer and who works for the Archdiocese of Boston.

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Beatification of Fr. Solanus Casey

Beatification of Fr. Solanus Casey

Our Capuchin brother Fr. Solanus Casey will be beatified on November 18. Please click the link below to read more about this holy friar who humbly and joyfully served the People of God in several of the parishes of our Province.

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Our Capuchin Novitiate

Our Capuchin Novitiate

Please click the link below to see a video describing our Capuchin novitiate in California. Novices from all over the country make up this community.

Learn More