Order of Friars Minor in Great Britain

Twenty Nationalities

  “There I was sitting in the lecture room…er…this wasn’t during the lecture, it was before the lecture had begun, and I was looking around the room and I counted twenty different nationalities among the students; religious brothers and sisters, priests and members of the laity, men and women from five different continents, all sat together in one room, united together by a common love for Christ and a shared devotion to Saint Francis of Assisi. And it struck me that here in Canterbury at the Study Centre we really do get a taste of the worldwide Franciscan Order. And it was at this moment that I realised that I really am part of this worldwide movement” (A. Friar).

FISC Friary
FISC Group 2008

A Family Atmosphere

  “In mainstream universities there are literally thousands of students passing through the system, and precisely because of this there is a danger that sometimes the students feel as though they are just a number. In contrast the Franciscan Study Centre is relatively small, but it is precisely because of its size and student numbers that everyone knows everyone; no one is just a number. And so instead of having an institutional feel about the place, I found that there was very much a family atmosphere in which every individual was valued and respected. Personally, as a human being, I thrived far more in this surrounding than what I would have done if I had studied in a place where I was barely known” (A. Friar).

Franciscan International Study Centre

  Across the road from the Canterbury Friary is the Franciscan International Study Centre and it is here that a considerable amount of formation also takes place. The first year at the Study Centre is usually a year of Franciscan Studies in which the brothers look at the life and writings of Saint Francis and Saint Clare and other Franciscan saints; they study the history of the Franciscan movement, and the theology, prayer and spirituality of the Franciscan tradition.
There are Franciscan brothers and sisters from all over the world who come to Canterbury each year to take part in this year of Franciscan Studies, either as lecturers or as students. Many of them are already solemnly professed and have been living and working as Franciscans for many years in quite different countries and cultures. They bring with them a wealth of experience and so the Friars in temporary profession have an opportunity to learn a huge amount about the worldwide Franciscan Order and its ministry from the other students. Simply by socialising with the other students there are opportunities to learn about the different cultures and customs from around the world. In many ways the social aspect of the Study Centre is just as important as the

FISC Library Stairwell
FISC Library Study Desks
FISC Student in Library