The Private Association of the Franciscan Friars of Mary Immaculate is a Third Order Community following the Rule of 1223 of St. Francis of Assisi as closely as can possibly be done in modern-day America.
Our Community is comprised of both ordained and non-ordained members–those who would like to live the unique calling of a non-ordained brother and those who have a calling to the priesthood or are already a priest of God. In the lifestyle of our community no distinction is made on the basis of ordination, although the obvious allowances must be made for priest-members to carry out their priestly functions. Our emphasis is first and foremost on one's vocation to the religious, Franciscan, Kolbean way of life.
The Four Spiritual Pillars That Support our Community
- Absolute adherence and loyalty to Holy Mother Church and the Pope
- Absolute loyalty to Christ the King by living and promoting devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist
- Absolute loyalty and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary; promoting and living her prophetic message of Fatima and practicing a manly devotion to her
- Living a life of penance for our sins and the sins of our time
We subscribe to all the Church's teachings in both doctrine and morals and profess absolute loyalty and obedience to Holy Mother Church and submission to her visible head on earth His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI.
Our community would not tolerate dissent in any form (explicit or implicit) from any of the extraordinary or ordinary magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church. Likewise, we would have the same intolerance toward any dissent from the Church's teaching on moral issues, especially in areas under attack today such as the sinfulness of homosexual lifestyle and activities, and the immorality of the "pro-choice" mentality.
Any young man who has an evident difficulty with his sexual identity-as expressed, for example, in any unmanly mannerisms, or who would have difficulty living chastely in an all-male community, should not pursue a vocation to our community; he would not be happy with the strict policy and observance of our community's moral code.
Our Formation Program
Aug. 8: Arrival of Candidates
Sept. 8: Candidates are officially received and enrolled in the Miraculous Medal
May 13: Reception of Postulants
Aug. 14: Investiture of Novices
Aug. 15: Profession Day
- First Vows (year 1)
- Renewal of vows (year 2&3)
- Final Profession (year 4)
After first profession of the vows of Poverty, Chasitity and Obedience, candidates for the priesthood who have completed their college will undertake a four year study of theology at a major seminary of the Superior's choosing.
Our patron, St. Maximilian Kolbe, inspires us with his unique Mariology and apostolic mission, which is to bring all souls to the Sacred Heart of Christ thought the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Christ's most pure, efficient, and holy instrument of evangelization - especially those most estranged from the Church. This mission takes form in our preaching apostolate, summer camps for youth and in conducting a Seraphic School of Formation for boys to instill the values of St. Maximilian Kolbe's Mariology.
There are certain things which we abstain from to help our lives conform to Christ in our primary apostolate of personal sanctification.
- We do not smoke
- We do not consume alcoholic beverages regularly
- We do not watch television (a wholesome movie can be watched on Saturday night outside of Lent)
We observe periods of silence each day - usually preceding and following all religious exercises. A strict silence is observed from after Night Prayers until breakfast the following morning (Magnum Silentium).
We fast each week on Friday as well as the day before a feast day. During Advent and Lent we fast (the two minor meals, put together, cannot be equal to the main meal) every day except for Sunday. We completely abstain from meat on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays with partial abstinence (meat only for the main meal) on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
We wear our habits at all times - except when engaged in sports or doing physical work.
We are a community of men - not of angels, so we laugh a lot, reverently poke fun at each other, have common recreation on Sundays and feast days, play cards (especially UNO) or chess, and engage in other forms of family fun. We may be abstemious, but we are not puritans in the Mennonite tradition.
Our Daily Schedule
6:00 a.m. Rising
6:30 a.m. Angelus, Fatima Prayers, Offices of Matins and Lauds
7:30 a.m. Conventual (Community) Mass
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Classes or physical work
11:40 a.m. Minor Hours of Office, Angelus, Particular Examen (Fridays: Disciplina, Cross Prayers, Silence)
12:00 p.m. Exposition, lunch
1:00 p.m. Classes or work
5:00 p.m. Vespers
5:30 p.m. Supper
6:30 p.m. Free time
9:00 p.m. Holy Hour, Compline, Rosary and procession.
We celebrate the Novus Ordo English Mass with great solemnity and reverence - adhering to the rubrics - on Monday Tuesday and Thursday. The Novus Ordo Latin Mass is celebrated with all due liturgical options legitimately available for solemnizationon on Sundays and solemnities. We also celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass on Wednesday and Friday or when and where permissible.
The Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours) is chanted in English at all major and minor hours. The Benedictus and Magnificat are chanted in Latin on Fridays, Sundays and solemnities.
Besides preserving the viable and legitimate liturgical traditions of the Catholic Church and of religious life, we also observe many ancient Franciscan customs and practices which Vatican II did not eliminate, but illuminated. We do not ask whether a structure is new or old to decide its acceptability; rather, we ask whether or not it is valuable.
In honor of St. Maximilian Kolbe, we preserve many traditional customs, songs, prayers, and practices in the Polish language which St. Maximilian himself used. No one is expected to master the Polish language, but it is necessary for Candidates to study the language in order that a person have a basic ability to pronunce certain prayers in Polish.
The study of Latin is also necessary so that the Liturgy may be more understood and appreciated.
Despite the renunciations and penitential observances of our community, we like to foster a fraternity with authentic cheerfulness and joy. We strive to be:
- Liturgically correct without exaggerated formalism
- Observant and penitential without being morbid or impersonal
- Loyal to Holy Mother Church without being snobbish or condescending
- Doctrinally orthodox without condemnatory uncharitableness
- Struggling to be holy without self-righteousness
- Struggling to convert our humanity without pretending to be a community of angels
All this describes what we would like our community ideally to be.
If you are looking for that perfect community or that perfect monastery plopped from the sky by the angels who carried the House of Loretto to its place, this is not that community. You will have to relentlessly continue your search for that perfect community elsewhere. But if you are a normal, healthy, well-balanced man with a cheerful readiness to render to God a generous self-immolation by consecration through the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; if you are ready to endure with a real joy, and definitely with a sense of humor, times of trial and temptation; then you may be the man we are looking for.