Conventus Sancti Joannis Baptistæ
Ordo Fratrum Minorum Conventualium
Convent of Saint John the Baptist
Post Office Box 462, Summerville, SC 29484-0462
Traditionalist, Pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic Conventual Franciscans


We're not quite done here...still need to add more info and do some fine-tuning.

“Those to be received, furthermore, should be meek and modest, talented and docile, eager for real virtue, and ready to obey. They should be genteel in manners, free to enter religious life, unsullied in conduct, and well-composed in spirit. Relying upon divine help, they should aspire with all their heart to the saintly life of Seraphic perfection and the observance of regular discipline…"

Constitutions Chap. II, Art. 9, §71

Religious life is a distinct calling from God, not an express lane to Holy Orders; anyone thinking that they can be quickly ordained to the priesthood by joining this or any other reputable religious Order/Community will be sadly mistaken and greatly disappointed. So, if this is your thought or motivation, please don't waste time here.

Those who wish to join the Convent of St. John the Baptist will first complete their formation and religious studies as Franciscans in the following stages and time-frames: Postulancy (6 months), Novitiate (1 year, plus 1 day), Triennial Vows (3 years), and then Solemn Profession. This 4½ year period may be extended no more than one year, if the Superior feels it is spiritually necessary or beneficial for the Candidate. If a Candidate is unable to adjust or excel at religious life, they will return to the world and their secular life.

Due to the instability of immigration policies, and the discontinuity of requirements and regulations between various government Departments (Homeland Security, IRS, etc.), the Convent of St. John the Baptist cannot accept or sponsor vocations outside of the USA.

Secular 3rd Order

The Third Order of St. Francis was designed for those people with obligations or impediments (family, care of dependents, debt, etc.) that prevent one from pursuing “full-time” religious life. The 3rd Order is available to Catholic men and women, whether married or single, and who are at least 16 years old. Third Order Members, called “Tertieries,” continue to live their lives at home, working, going to school, caring for dependents, and so forth. They participate in, and benefit from, the spiritual good works of the Order through their prayers, financial and volunteer assistance, attendance at monthly meetings, and participation in 3rd Order activities.

Oblate Brothers

“Oblates, or those who desire merely to lead with us a devout life without formally making a novitiate and profession, shall not be admitted to the Order, unless the necessary information has been obtained concerning their good moral character and health, and unless the following requirements are fulfilled:

1. They shall donate all their possessions to the convent.
2. They shall wear the garb of postulants.
3. They shall live a strictly common life with the rest of the friars.
4. They shall be under the obedience of the local Superiors.
5. They must be over twenty years old.

Those who desire to roam at will outside the enclosure and do not wish to obey the Superiors, although they have dedicated themselves and their possessions to the Order, shall not be admitted as oblates. The habit may not be given them nor may they live in the convents, but they may be inscribed among the spiritual sons and friends of the Order. As benefactors they may participate in all the spiritual favors of our Order which may be communicated to them, as to benefactors, according to the indults of the Sovereign Pontiffs.”

Constitutions Chap. II, Art. 23 §171-172

In addition to the five requirements above, which is not an all-inclusive list, acceptance will be considered on an individual, case-by-case basis, with the final determination being made in favor of the spiritual life of the Convent and its friars. Contact our Superior to further discuss being an Oblate and any additional requirements that will need to be fulfilled, such as a background check.

Lay Brothers

“...candidates to the lay brotherhood must meet the following requirements. They must not have wives, or sons, or daughters. They must not be over thirty years of age. They should be skilled in some craft useful to the friars, the convent, and the Order...the lay bother candidate should be capable of easily adapting himself to the regulations and customs of religious life; in bodily vigor, he should be able to serve the Order in the tasks required of him."

Constitutions Chap. II, Art. 11, §83-84


After Solemn Vows, unless otherwise approved or necessity demands, seminary candidates shall complete their Philosophy and Theology studies in-house, in accordance with our Constitutions. Members of religious orders never reside in diocesan seminaries, secular or religious colleges/universities; however, they may attend classes to augment their studies at the discretion of the Superior.

If and when necessary, candidates for Simplex Priest will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A “simplex priest” is ordained like any other priest, but their function is strictly limited to offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Simplex priests shall not offer or give spiritual direction or advice; shall not hear confessions or give absolution, unless there is an imminent danger of death.

“The documents which those who wish to become clerics in the Order must present before admission are the following:
1) Certificates of Baptism and Confirmation.
2) Testimonial letters from the Ordinary of the place of birth…
3) If the candidates have been in some other seminary or college, testimonial letters must be also secured…
4) Clerics who desire to enter the Order must present besides the authentic document of their last ordination testimonial letters…
5) A physician’s certificate concerning their physical [and mental] health.

Constitutions Chap. II, Art 10, §78
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