Order of Friars Minor in Great Britain

Living with the Franciscan Brothers

  “You can visit the Franciscan brothers on numerous occasions but the only way to really get to know the Franciscans is to actually live with them. For me the Postulancy was just that. It was an opportunity to live and to work and to pray and to relax with the brothers in community so that I got to know them better and became more familiar with the Franciscan way of life, and they also got to know me better and were able to help me to decide that the Franciscan way of life really is for me” (A. Friar).

Killarney Friary

  The Postulancy has sometimes been described as “a one foot in, one foot out year”, as if to suggest that the candidate (or Postulant as he is now known) is half inside the door of the Friary and half outside the door of the Friary, partly committed but not fully committed. But in many ways this is misleading because the Postulancy is more than this. By entering into the Postulancy year the person has already taken a big step and has already made a big commitment in that he may have given up work so as to join. And likewise the Franciscan Order has also taken a big step and made a big commitment by accepting a candidate into the Postulancy.

Working with the Homeless

  “Before I joined the Franciscans I worked as an accountant in central London. During that time I didn’t see clearly the struggles of the homeless in London. I didn’t turn a blind eye to their struggles, it’s just that I found myself going straight from home to office via the London Underground. And then at the end of the day I would occasionally go for a few drinks with work friends before returning home via public transport. The rush-hour travel could be so stressful that most people just wanted to get it out of the way as quickly as possible so they never hung around in the streets to see the struggles of the homeless. As part of my Postulancy I worked as a volunteer for a homeless charity based near London Liverpool Street Railway Station. I don’t know whether I was of any benefit to the homeless but it was helpful for me to see another side of London which beforehand I had not fully been aware of” (A. Friar).

Killarney Friary Chapel
Killarney Friary Church (1)
Killarney Friary Church (3)

  During this year the Postulants learn more about Saint Francis of Assisi and the Franciscans and the sort of discipline that marks their life. The Postulants are encouraged to pray and to embrace a life in community. Voluntary and charitable work is arranged for them and opportunities are provided to visit other Franciscan Friaries. Courses are also available on areas of human development and areas of the Catholic faith.
The Postulancy programme generally follows the academic term, so during holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and the summer, the Postulants are able to return home. Towards the end of the Postulancy programme the Postulant then decides whether he wishes to maintain his request to enter the Order, and if he is accepted by the Order he will enter the Noviciate.

Killarney National Park

  The town of Killarney is close to the Killarney national park, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Killarney countryside (1)
Killarney Medieval Friary ruins (2)
Killarney countryside (2)
Killarney Medieval Friary ruins (3)