The following comes from a July 14 story in the Catholic Sentinel, archdiocesan paper of Portland OR.
After 60 years of training future friars here Franciscan men will no longer have a house of formation in Oregon.
As of next fall, the religious order’s postulancy house near Our Lady of Sorrows will close. Postulants — men in their second year of Franciscan formation — will live at Mission Santa Barbara in California.
The move comes so that the friars-to-be can get to meet more Franciscans, who are concentrated in California and the Southwest, says Father Michael Harvey, who directs the program. The need became more urgent because the Santa Barbara Province has melded its novitiate with Wisconsin Franciscans; after postulancy, the west coast men in formation will spend novitiate years south of Milwaukee, Wis.
“We love the Northwest and our men will visit here for a period of formation,” Father Harvey says. “But most of our ministry is in the Southwest. We wanted men to have a touch of the ministry.”
Postulants learn the history and teachings of St. Francis and St. Clare, then study what Franciscan mission is today. They are taught to strive to live the gospel. This year began with two postulants and ends with one headed to novitiate. Four men are slated to begin postulancy in California in the fall; two are Iraqi nationals and one a U.S. Iraq war veteran.
Mission Santa Barbara, founded by the Franciscans in 1786, is a more central location in the province, Father Harvey explains.
The Franciscan postulancy house has been located in Portland for more than 30 years, first in Northwest Portland, then near Ascension Parish, later near St. Andrew Parish and finally at Our Lady of Sorrows. Franciscans tend to rent, not purchase, and so movement happens; it’s part of the Franciscan itinerant way.
Franciscan seminarians were trained in Salem in the early 1950s and in 1958 the order opened a high school seminary in Troutdale. That school closed in the 1970s.
This is the second religious order in two years to shut a formation house in Portland.
In 2011, the Jesuits closed their Portland novitiate, a two-year period for men just entering the religious community. That move came because the Oregon and California provinces are gradually melding. New Jesuits now go through novitiate in Culver City, Calif.
The Franciscans will still minister in Oregon. They tend Ascension Parish in Portland and St. John the Baptist Parish in Milwaukie. One of their men also runs a ministry for low-income Portlanders on Southeast 82nd Avenue.
Father Harvey has been assisting on weekends at St. Pius Parish and says he will miss the archdiocese.
To read original story, click here.
Yeah and the principal reason is that not enough bodies to cover the expenses incurred during formation in Oregon.
Also are these ofm or some other flavor of Franciscan? The article probably mentioned it and I missed it.
Also the two Iraqi nationals are probably chaldean catholic. They have their HQ here in San Diego county.
Once a month the Syriacs have dl in Mission San Luis Rey
Well, traditional Franciscan orders are like Jesuits, far from the beggar St. Anthony was.
They are more concerned with LWCR teachings than with catechism and the likes. So no surprises
Truth be told the Franciscans are not getting enough vocations to sustain another property, like the Jesuits who now call their “western region” everything west of Chicago that is under their leadership. We need some new faithful religious orders for priests and brothers in this region like the Norbertines who are outgrowing their present location and moving to another-funds needed!!!
Or Miles Christi…
This is a complete no brainer, young men are looking for the Traditional priesthood i.e. the Traditional Latin Mass, let’s take a look at the F.S.S.P., Institute of Christ the King and yes let’s include the S.S.P.X. ALL of these seminaries are packed with YOUNG men and there is a waiting list a mile long, because there is no room for all the YOUNG men wanting to become priests. We are tired of the stage production Masses, dancing girls, altar girls, hand holding, kiss of peace, rock music, drums, guitars, dancing girls with nothing on, lesbian nuns, felt banners, picnic tables in the middle of the church, standing for Holy Communion, ugly vestments, ugly churches, we have grown up know and guess what we are now adults not Vatican II children anymore. These are the reasons for the dying Novus Ordo convents, and seminaries!!! Pope Benedict the XVI knew this, and tried to turn the tables but was blocked by modernist bishops in the Vatican and it finally wore him down.
The imploding church saga continues! What will remain in another generation or two? Will we even have the privilege to receive the last sacraments and have a decent funeral? Pray that God’s Roman Catholic Church grows.
Like pope Francis said, ” perhaps their mission is over as far as the Holy Ghost is concerned, but they keep holding on to the money.
Some great incisive comments. In answer to SS Loco, yes, these are OFM’s, the “original” Franciscan “brand” as it were (St Barbara’s Province). And I feel for the two Chaldean/Iraqi Catholics as to what they will (still) be exposed to—as Mchicha says LWCR-type teaching, sure to rot your moral compass. Here’s what I know 1st-hand: for years, the St Barbara’s OFM’s as well as the Oregon component sent their new people to absolutely horrible “experiments” (as did the Oregon and California Jesuits) in non-traditional works –Alinsky-ite social action organizations, like “PICO” (an Oakland-based community organizing unit), social welfare units, and also deliberately placed some in Franciscan houses in some cities that were notorious for their intramural and extramural homosexual activity among the “Fathers”. Yes: just to scar these people and as if to let them know, “If you stay, you know what you are in for.” We all know the history. “Melding” is a fine term for atrophy.
On the down side… does anybody really think that once they move from the rain, mud and cold of Oregon to beautiful Santa Barbara, with the most perfect climate in the world, they will ever be anxious to go back North? Not likely even though they vow to “obey.”
I just got a Franciscan email newsletter: St Barbara’s Province is now down to 185 total members (entire west coast of US including AZ, UT, other states), of which 70 members are over age 70 (!!). During the hey days prior to 1965, at which point the seeds of Vatican 2 spread through the Province and vocation no longer meant anything, the OFM’s used to have well over 500 members, and many of them age 20-50. Oh well.