Applicants must be:
1. At least 18 years of age
2. Of sufficient mental and physical health to contribute to life in a group setting
3. Able to follow house rules and instructions
4. Practicing Catholics in agreement with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, or exploring the Catholic faith
5. Pleasant and easy to get along with
6. Willing and able to commit to weekly spiritual studies, daily personal prayer (daily Mass recommended as often as possible), and community activities at least twice per week
7. Able to contribute, either through volunteer work or rent, the cost of his or her stay at the house
No smoking in the houses
No underage drinking or illegal drug usage
Dress according to dress code
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the function of a vocation house?
It's easier to discern where God may be leading you when you are in an environment set aside specifically for that purpose. You will have time to pray and think while exploring where God may be taking you. You will also have housemates and a house parent to support you through the discernment process. Residents may stay any length of time from a week up to two years. More permanent residency is possible for those who are CFP members or affiliates.
Who runs the vocation houses?
The Confraternity of Penitents is a worldwide, nonprofit, 501(c)3 private association of the faithful, commended by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend (IN, USA).
Do I have to be discerning a Franciscan vocation?
Not at all! The houses are operated with a Franciscan spirit, which means we strive for simplicity, poverty of spirit, and humility in our lifestyle. Living a Franciscan spirit will help prepare you for any vocation.
Can I have a job while staying in the house?
Yes! You will likely need a source of income to pay your fair share of household expenses, and for your own personal needs.
How can a Franciscan Vocation House help me pay off debt to be able to enter religious life?
If you volunteer ten hours per week to help the Confraternity of Penitents, you can stay at a Franciscan Vocation House free of charge with all utilities paid. Any money you earn from a full- or part-time job will be yours to spend as you wish for food, personal items, and paying off your debt.
Is daily Mass available?
Yes! You can attend St. Andrew's Oratory when Mass is held there, or attend Mass at your convenience in one of the many Catholic churches in Fort Wayne. (The Chief of Staff usually attends noon Mass at the Cathedral and you are welcome to come along.)
Am I required to join in prayer and meal times?
Please attend common prayer and meals at least twice a week, if possible, to help build community.
Am I required to participate in group spiritual studies?
This is a highly-encouraged part of our charism and mission. If after a time you find these studies are not helpful for you or can't work in your schedule, your house parent will welcome your feedback and can help you find a solution.
Can I have a social life?
Yes. Friends and family are an important part of your discernment. However, please keep in mind that you will be part of a community here. Your time and responsibilities at the vocation house should be a priority.
Can I have a pet?
Only if it's confined to a tank or cage. Roaming pets such as dogs and cats are not allowed. Annunciation Women's House has a dog, and the Confraternity of Penitents has several cats. You are welcome to play with and help care for them.
Can I have a cell phone and computer?
Yes! However, sound must be confined to your personal bedroom and not heard elsewhere.
Can I talk on the phone or use the computer during quiet hours?
Yes! But, again, sound must be confined to your personal bedroom. You will need to try and speak quietly on the phone. Earphones work well for computer usage.
Can I have guests at the house?
Visitors are allowed in common areas of the house outside of quiet hours, as long as they are respectful of house rules and other residents. Overnight stays may be possible for family members or friends, if there is space available. The house parent has the final say if an overnight guest is allowed, and if the guest will be required to volunteer or pay for time spent at the house. Typical charge for an overnight stay in Annunciation House's guest quarters is $25 a night.
Do I need a car?
You may bring a car, but you do not need one. We have ample parking space in our parking lot and on the street. The house is near bus stops for Fort Wayne's Citilink buses and only about 2.5 miles from downtown Fort Wayne.
Do I have to be Catholic to live in the discernment house?
You need to either be a practicing Catholic, or be actively seeking to become Catholic. Each resident contributes to the prayerful atmosphere by his or her own faith, therefore we are looking for residents who take their faith seriously.
Do I have to participate in volunteer hours?
Your volunteer hours are mutually beneficial to you as a discerner, and to our ministry. Working in community is a fruitful way to discern, to discover new talents, and to build virtue. While you can elect not to participate in our volunteer ministry, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity. Volunteer hours may also be considered as a way to alleviate the cost of your rent.
Will meals be provided?
You will be chiefly responsible for your own meals. However, common meals will be provided using monthly house dues from each resident. CFP members and affiliates are also quite generous in sharing surplus food with house residents.