By Aaron Levy
SAN ANTONIO, TX, Jan. 22, 2024 – In 2018, the six Franciscan Provinces of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM) in the United States voted to unite into one province in October 2023. In anticipation of this union, the Secretary of Formation and Studies for the OFM provinces commissioned a study in November 2022. The study focused on evaluating three theologate institutions to identify which would best serve the needs of the friars in initial formation.
After a thorough review by the US-6 Secretariat of Formation and Studies, the Provincial Council of the newly formed province of Our Lady of Guadalupe unanimously endorsed the study’s recommendation. Accordingly, starting with the fall semester of 2024, the new province will send friars to the Oblate School of Theology (OST) for their theological education.
Offering Franciscan-centered academic programs, a commitment to preparing students for effective ministry, a diverse campus experience, and accessibility for high-quality education made OST the advantageous option for the future of Franciscan formation.
“Having the Order of Friars Minor join OST for formation brings another religious community to the campus that shares a common concern for the poor and vulnerable of our world and dedication for mission,” said Scott Woodward, DMin, president of Oblate School of Theology. “It’s an exciting development for us. We’re pleased to have them join the other religious communities, diocesan seminarians, and lay women and men as we work to effectively prepare ministers to serve the Church of the 21st century.”
While the move to OST will require time and thorough planning, the Council is committed to the preservation of the rich Franciscan traditions and heritage, as well as ensuring the integration of specific Franciscan needs into the OST curriculum.
About Oblate School of Theology: Inspired by the charism of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Oblate School of Theology educates, forms, and renews men and women “to preach the Gospel to the most abandoned.” OST is a community of scholars and students who respect and celebrate global cultural diversity through various languages, traditions, and backgrounds firmly rooted in Christ.