located at Loyola University
The CCP is a formation program for men within two years of having graduated from high school and who want to take a serious look at becoming Capuchins. The program includes these characteristics:
- Residence with about 60 other young men considering priesthood and/or religious life for various dioceses or religious orders.
- Daily liturgical prayer that supports this search.
- Monthly spiritual direction that helps the discernment process.
- About 15 formation nights at St. Clare Capuchin Friary in Chicago to talk and learn about Capuchin life and ministry.
- About another 15 formation nights at St. Joseph Seminary discussing issues about church ministry as a priest and/or religious.
- Two retreats a year focusing on vocational choice.
- A ministry week each May at a different Capuchin ministry.
- Many scheduled and spontaneous gatherings with Capuchins in Chicago and the Mid-west, including the opportunity to just hang-out in Capuchin houses and help out in Capuchin ministries.
Men in this program are called “Capuchin candidates.” After their second year out of high school, these candidates are invited to enter the Capuchin Postulancy located at St. Clare Friary in Chicago. This is the first year as a member of the Capuchin Order. It is a full-time program, for which postulants step out of college education to lay a firm foundation for their Capuchin life. Postulants spend 20 hours a week in ministry with poor people and another 20 hours in classes, reading, and reflection exercises that provide basic information and experiences that shape a Capuchin life. Postulants have regular interaction with their former classmates in the CCP, especially when they come to St. Clare Friary for formation nights, but also just to get together for fun. The two programs are a short 45 minute subway ride apart.
In order to provide our candidates in the CCP with educational opportunities that keep them on track with their goals, the CCP is located at St. Joseph College Seminary operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago. The seminary setting gives the CCP a large peer group of others exploring religious life and/or priesthood. This environment supports Capuchin candidates as they move toward a decision about whether to apply for the Capuchin postulancy after sophomore year.
The Archdiocese of Chicago has placed its college seminary on the campus of Loyola University so that its students get one of the finest educations possible. More than half of seminarians’ classes are taken with the general population of the university. CCP candidates earn college credits that will transfer almost anywhere in the United States. After completing postulancy and novitiate, the then-Capuchins can return to Loyola to complete their bachelor’s degree or choose to attend a different school in the Chicago area. No one is turned away because his family cannot afford Loyola University or St. Joseph Seminary.
To talk to a vocation director about the Capuchin College Program, contact