Community life or Franciscan fraternity is at the heart of the religious life commitment of the Conventual Franciscans. We vow to live together in Franciscan fraternity and care for each other as Franciscan brothers and priests in a way that incarnates the Gospel mandate: "I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another" (Jn. 13:34).
We are involved with active ministry and also stress a religious life of profound prayer and contemplation as part of our Franciscan fraternity. Prayer is at the heart of our Franciscan vocation as reflected in our Constitution, "contemplation of things divine and assiduous union with God in prayer is to be the first and foremost duty of the friars" (Const. # 67). We live this ideal through our daily observance of personal time for prayer individually and the regular celebration of the Liturgy of Hours and the Eucharist together through Franciscan fraternity. In our religious life, we also have retreats, days of recollection, and monthly house chapters. These chapters are spiritual days when we purposely share our faith, discuss house business, and evaluate our faithfulness to our commitment.
Living with other Friars allows us to remain focused on our vows. We also share mutual support through common meals and Franciscan fraternity. In a world of constant motion and apparent chaos, it allows us to slow down and image the value of Christian communal living as exemplified by the early disciples. In the heart of the mystery of God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is the relationship. Consequently, our relationships with one another in community help us to grow in relationship with God and with everyone we serve. By living the Gospel in prayer and fraternity, Conventual Franciscans apply the teachings of Jesus Christ into everyday situations. We set an example through our lives as we work to repair the house of God, the Church.
You may wonder what sort of ministries we are called to. The truth is that Conventual Franciscan Friars, as a Franciscan fraternity, serve their communities in a myriad of ministries. Our Friars are active as pastors and deacons. They also work as nurses, teachers, writers, scholars, and psychologists, amongst other professions.