December 6, 2014 Letter to Postulants and Prospective Postulants
St Francis established the Third Order as a training school to give perfect Christians to the Church. He established the Third Order for lay people to enter into a way of life to approximate that of the Religious. In other words, you are called to approximate, as much as possible, religious life in the world.
Consider the Novitiate as a training school for the Third Order and that you are a student. You are called to be saints. You are called to bring others to sanctification. You are called to be channels of Grace for Christ.
Remember, that a calling is a vocation, and therefore the Third Order is a way of life which approximates Religious life in the world.
Keep in mind also the proper disposition for Third Order members: The most important requirement is to give a good example to the Church. Therefore, if brothers or sisters cannot get along with other brothers/sisters of the Third Order, then they are not fit for the Third Order. Courtesy, kindness and charity are essential for all Tertiaries.
We have a training program that Novices are required to follow. The program is divided into fifteen chapters, and there are fifteen months from the beginning of the Postulancy to the end of the Novitiate. We recommend that you follow one chapter per month, but although you are not required to do this during the Postulancy, it is a good idea to get a head start and get a clear idea of what is involved. To aid with this, there are a series of recordings, one per chapter.
We recommend that each month, you do the following:
1) Read the lesson (Novice Instruction Course Book) and listen to the audio.
2) Read the related chapter in the Handbook of the Third Order Secular of St Francis of Assisi (by Gummermann).
3) Complete the homework for the lesson.Taking the quiz after each lesson is optional, but a very good idea.
4) Repeat steps 1 to 3 for all 15 lessons.
5) The final exam will be taken at a fraternity meeting, if possible. If you are too distant, other arrangements will be made. A minimum of 70% is required to pass the final exam.
The two books that you will need are:
Sr Constance (TOSF)