Candidate Program:

CANDIDATE PROGRAM
FOR THE
THIRD ORDER FRANCISCANS OF MARY IMMACULATE

PERSONAL HOLINESS AND CHRISTIAN PERFECTION is the first work of all Christians, and even more so, then, for the Religious.  We must first strive to grow closer in union with our blessed Lord and Master.  Thus, our primary apostolate is the sanctification of self by grace through the Sacraments which give and increase this grace. Holiness flows from the exercise of the many Franciscan virtues, such as humility, poverty, obedience, chastity, meekness, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. Our charity for others, that is, our apostolic activity, is a natural fruit of our prayer life, which is our life with God. Thus, the contemplative vocation in which this union is enthusiastically sought after is to be esteemed by all of our friars.
THE MISSION STATEMENT OF THE F.M.I. ASSOCIATION is simply stated:  The evangelization and salvation of souls for the greater honor and glory of Christ the King through consecration of self and others to His Queen, Mary Immaculate.  In other words, to bring souls to Christ through Mary as His most effective instrument of evangelization.  This mission is outlined in the life and work of St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe, O.F.M. Conv. who gave up his life as a martyr of charity at Auschwitz and whose Mariology and apostolic zeal have won for him an illustrious place in the constellation of Franciscan saints.  St. Maximilian is our model. His objective to win souls is intrinsically bound up with Consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart for each individual of our community and the community itself as a starting point of evangelization, bringing about reconciliation to God by prayer, repentance, and sacrifice. In order for us to be perfect instruments in Christ's hands, we must first place ourselves into the hands of Mary who places us into the hands of Christ most perfectly.
DISCERNMENT AND FORMATION— And so, as one aspires to this life of perfection, there are several stages of discernment: Candidacy, Postulancy, Novitiate, Temporary Profession, and finally perpetual Profession.  In these stages of discernment and formation one strives to determine, along with the superiors of the FMI, whether or not this Community is God’s Will for him. It is important to realize that the years and time in the beginning stages of formation are just that, a time of discernment. This may mean that a candidate may realize, or with the help of superiors, that his vocation is elsewhere.  But with great expectation, prayer, and dedication, I pray you persevere and I look forward in hope with you as a perspective candidate that God blesses your time in formation with the FMI Community, that it may bear the fruit of one day professing perpetual vows to serve your life-long commitment to God.   

Day of entry for the Candidate Program
September 8th:

Requirements for Candidates
Phone, computer, and any electronic device for personal use is very limited, and such things as email, social media are restricted to begin the process of stepping out of the world for the Candidate and beginning to prepare for the next major step of entering Novitiate. Home visits during Candidacy and Postulancy, except for immediate family weddings or funerals, are reduced to the following times: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, (for the latter two holidays, leave after the celebration of the Mass and Community meal), the Postulancy entry Ceremony (family can visit) in May, and the 4th of July. Other visits of family or outsiders may include a Feast day celebration or arranged visit through the superior.  Other than ceremony days of Candidacy, Postulancy, and Novitiate, the visits are limited to home visits.  Certainly, there will be occasions, of course, where encounters will occur at events in Fargo area or Summer Camp, etc. However, it is important to understand for the lay person looking in, that although Candidacy and Postulancy are not as strict as the Novitiate formation time, it is a time of discernment to know if this Community and Religious Life is what God is calling the person to.  One begins to increasingly draw away from the world more for the sake of entry into Novitiate and giving oneself wholly to Christ.  The Novitiate begins on August 14th, the feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe and concludes August 15th the following year when the friar professes temporary vows for one year.  The Formation of the Candidate includes studies of Catholic Doctrine, of prayer, documents on Religious Life, some grasp of the Latin and Polish language.  Formation is also learned or gained by observing and living the daily life of the friars.

It is exciting to receive a new Candidate, and I look forward to the growth and joy that will come in the days ahead.  Please continue to pray for vocations to our Community and vocations for the Church as a whole. If you feel called or are interested in our Community, please contact at fmi@fmifriars.com, or call (701) 248-3020, or write:
Fr. Joseph Christensen, F.M.I.
6098 County Road 4
Minto, ND 58261.

 

 

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