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Vocations: Becoming a Lutheran Franciscan
Are you wondering what it's all about?  
Have you felt a "nudge" by the Holy Spirit to look deeper and grow in your inner life?

The process of becoming a member of this religious order is rigorous. It isn't like joining a club; it isn’t even like joining a church. It’s a long and winding journey of discerning God's will for your life, specifically whether you have a calling to vowed religious life in this particular order. Here are some tried and true tips for your discernment:

  • Start at the beginning. Jesus calls us to become disciples, which means we’re always in process. How is it with your soul? How is your prayer life? Are you participating in worship and receiving the sacraments?

  • Seek guidance from wise and faithful people. Often this is called

       spiritual direction.

  • Learn about the ELCA and its different ministries and expressions 

       of faith.

  • Begin familiarizing yourself with Francis of Assisi, as well as Martin

       Luther and the Lutheran Reformation.

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"Most High, glorious God,
enlighten the darkness of my heart.
Give me true faith,
certain hope,
and perfect charity, sense, and knowledge, Lord,
that I may carry out Your holy and true command."
– Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi to discern God’s will

from Francis

Our formal formation process follows this structure:

  • Postulancy: A formal inquiry process that includes a minimum of twelve (12) months learning more about the Order and our General Rule and practices, completing simple formation reflections, and growing in relationship with the siblings of the Order. Postulants are not yet vowed siblings of the OLF. 

  • Novitiate: This is an ongoing formation period, of at least five (5) years, where siblings make annually-renewable vows as a Novice. These years include intentional formation as Lutheran Franciscans around the three vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, as interpreted by the Order.

  • Life Profession: This is the permanent, lifelong commitment to the Order of Lutheran Franciscans, with all the rights and responsibilities of such profession. Life Professed siblings are full "members" of the community, and formation is considered ongoing for the rest of each sibling's life.

Those who are accepted into the life of the Order of Lutheran Franciscans commend themselves to God and commit to the General Rule, which calls its siblings into a way of life that includes:
three vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, as interpreted by the Order, active participation in an ELCA congregation, daily prayer,
weekly Eucharist,
monthly spiritual direction,
biannual individual confession, and
yearly participation at Annual Chapter and other gatherings.

Formation with the OLF begins with being a Friend of the Order.

Friends of the Order (sometimes known as associates or oblates in other religious communities) are those who are called to accompany the sisters and brothers of this Order with prayer, financial support, advocacy, and through participation at events and gatherings of the Order. All serious inquirers start as Friends of the Order, and may move to postulancy (below) after a period of at least six months or to remain as a Friend with an annually-renewable covenant of commitment to the OLF. Read more about Friends of the Order here.

Statement of Affirmation as a Reconciling in Christ community

The Order of Lutheran Franciscans invites all members of the ELCA to inquire and discern the Franciscan way of life within this community, including those of any race, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, relationship status, socio-economic status, education level, or physical abilities.
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