The initial year is known as Postulancy. This year is devoted to experiencing fraternal life with some opportunity to participate in ministry.
- The second year, called the novitiate, focuses on an intense introduction to the spiritual life and the life of the vows. The novitiate concludes with the novices taking vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience for one year.
- The post-novitiate period concludes the initial formation of the Franciscan. During this period the friar’s spiritual and intellectual formation continues. The friar and the fraternity reflect on his experience of living the vows and serving the People of God.
- After three years, the friar takes solemn vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. During the period of post-novitiate formation, the candidate receives professional training in an area of ministry. Those preparing for the Priesthood attend Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.