Questions about Franciscan Vocation Houses
Why do you have a vocation houses?
Sometimes it is easier to discern how God may be leading you when you are in a new environment. Your house parent is also available to help you discern. You will have time to pray and think while exploring where God may be taking you. You will support others as they also discern their life's path.
Who runs the vocation houses?
The Confraternity of Penitents, a world wide, non profit, 501c3 private association of the faithful commended by the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend (USA) hosts both vocation houses, Discerners may take from a week up to two years to discern how God may be calling you. More permanent residency is possible for those who are CFP members or affiliates.
Do I have to be discerning a Franciscan vocation?
Not at all! The houses are operated with a Franciscan spirit, so we strive for simplicity, poverty of spirit, and humility in our life style, neighborhood, and house. Living a Franciscan spirit will help prepare you for any vocation as most people, even if they marry, start out living more simply and poorly than they were accustomed to growing up.
Can I have a job while staying in the house?
Yes! You will need a source of income to pay your fair share of household expenses, for your health care, and personal needs.
Is Daily Mass available?
Yes! You can attend at 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 attends noon Mass at the Cathedral and you are welcome to come along.
Am I required to join the prayer or 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 discernment sessions?
Yes. This is part of our charism and mission. If after a time you find these sessions 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. Also, you are a part of a discerning community here and there are some requirements to our common life which need to take priority while you are here. The community should become an important part of your personal journey while you are a member of it.
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. The Confraternity of Penitents has a dog and cat and 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 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 guests are generally not allowed. Exception may be possible for a family member or a friend who is in the area or attending an event at the house, 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.
Do I need a car?
No. You may bring a car; we have ample space for parking on street or in back of the house, but you do not need one. The house is near bus stops for Fort Wayne's Citilink buses and only about 2.5 miles from downtown Fort Wayne.
Can I talk on the phone or use the computer between 9 p.m and 9 a.m.?
Yes! But, again, sound must be confined to your personal bedroom. You will need to speak very quietly on the phone. Earphones work well for computer usage.
Do I have to be Catholic to live in the discernment house?
You need to be either a practicing Catholic or 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 are not only Catholic (or actively seeking to become Catholic) but who also take their faith seriously.
Do I have to participate in Catholic Ministry while I am at the discernment house?
Your volunteer hours are mutually beneficial to you as a discerner. Working in community is a fruitful way to discern, to discover new talents as well as personality traits, and to build virtue. While you can elect not to participate in this volunteer ministry, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity.