Conventus Sti. Joannis Baptistæ
Ordo Fratrum Minorum Conventualium

Convent of St. John the Baptist
Order of Friars Minor Conventual
(Traditionalist, Pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic Conventual Franciscans)
Post Office Box 462, Summerville, SC 29484-0462
Phone: 843.875.9368


This website is currenly up-to-date, as of: 28 December 2016.

Convent of St. John the Baptist
Serving as our convent is the rectory of Holy Family Church, which is a spacious house nestled on wooded land. Inside are living quarters for the friars, a chapel and an office serving both the parish and the friars.
About the Convent of St. John the Baptist
The Convent of St. John the Baptist is an all-male religious community following the Conventual Franciscan rule and way of life. We adhere solely to pre-Vatican II Doctrines, Dogmas & Teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and exclusively offer the traditional Latin Mass (pre-1950!) as codified by Pope St. Pius V and the Dogmatic Council of Trent. The “Pio-Benedictine” Code of Canon Law (1917) is the only recognized Law as having full, binding force. Further, we observe the 1932 edition of the Conventual Constitutions, as much as possible, given the situation and circumstances of the Church in these extra-ordinary times. The Rituale Romano-Seraphicum (1942) and Missale Romano-Seraphicum (1942) are used for the administration of the Sacraments, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and other Liturgical ceremonies proper to the Franciscan Orders. The Convent of St. John the Baptist, being a part of the traditionalist Order of Friars Minor Conventual as a Religious Order, is classified as an "Exempt" religious house and therefore not under the authority of any diocesan bishop. It is not necessary or required to have "faculties" from the local ordinary. We do not, under any circumstances, regard or consider the modern Vatican II organization to be the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, the current hierarchy of this Vatican II organization cannot be regarded or considered to be truly Catholic, because of their individual and collective actions concerning the on-going sex & embezzlement scandals and crimes perpetrated by members of their clergy. We do fully acknowledge and recognize Benedict-Ratzinger as the pope of the Vatican II organization, but not as the Pope of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Our Convent is located in Summerville, SC. Being in the founding stages, our house is small and membership few. It is our goal, with the grace and by the holy Will of God, to re-establish the Conventual Franciscan Order within the traditional Roman Catholic Church. Please keep us in your prayers, especially for vocations...your prayerful support is much needed and appreciated!

Our current apostolates include serving Holy Family Traditional Roman Catholic Church in Summerville, SC. The friars also engage in agricultural work by maintaining the small vineyard and the 3-4 fruit trees that are found on the property. One of our new agricultural endeavors includes beekeeping, which was started in June 2009.

Young men who feel called to live the Franciscan vocation, are encouraged to make a visit and apply for admission to Postulancy, which is the beginning step to discerning a vocation. We are currently working on the possibility of having a Summer Vocations Program at the Convent that will be open to young men who are up to the age of 25 yrs. old.

For those with other obligations, consider being part of our 3rd Order, which is available to both men and women, married or single. More information can be obtained by clicking any link above, that corresponds to your interest.
Overview of the Order
The Order of Friars Minor Conventual is a religious order, following the holy Rule of St. Francis of Assisi, within the holy Roman Catholic Church. Our Order is classified as being “exempt” from the jurisdiction of any diocesan bishop; we have “Pontifical Jurisdiction.”

The mendicant orders (e.g. Franciscans, Dominicans, name a few) had long been exempt from the jurisdiction of the local bishops, and enjoyed (as distinguished from the secular clergy) unrestricted freedom to preach and hear confessions in the churches connected with their monasteries, as defined in the Papal Bull of Pope Martin IV: “AD FRUCTUS UBERES” (13 December 1281). This had led to endless friction and open quarrels between the two divisions of the clergy, and, although Martin IV granted no new privileges to the mendicants, strife and violence broke out, mainly in France, particularly at Paris. Pope Boniface VIII adjusted their relations in the Bull "SUPER CATHEDRAM" of 18 February 1300, granting the mendicants freedom to preach in their own churches and in public places, but not at the same time when the prelate of the district was preaching. Although Pope Benedict XI abrogated this Bull, Pope Clement V reintroduced it in 1312.

The Order and it’s friars are subject solely and completely to the legitimate Sovereign & Supreme Pontiff. Therefore, it is not necessary to have the approval of, or “faculties” from, local diocesan bishops to: hear confessions, offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, reside in or to operate & staff our own churches, chapels, schools, hospitals, charitable organizations, publishing houses, etc. within any diocese. Approval and “faculties” are only necessary if we enter into works of ministry within any diocesan institution, which we have no intention of doing or pursuing, either now or in the future.

Like our founding father, St. Francis, we have a vision of helping to rebuild the Church...this time from liberalist factions of clergy; the rampant, un-Catholic changes & abuses seen since Vatican Council II, especially to the Traditional Latin Mass, which was guaranteed to Catholics for time eternal by the Dogmatic Council of Trent and the Papal Bull “QUO PRIMUM” of Pope St. Pius V.

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