Our Mission

The Conventual followers of Francis chose to minister in the heart of the city rather than in more remote hermitages; they banded together in concentrated communities rather than wandering as itinerant preachers.


Do people know who St. Francis is? I will say undoubtedly, YES! On July 5, 2016 St. Bonaventure Province had five new members join their community at the Welcoming Ceremony.

From left to right meet: James Battles from Sacramento, CA., Matt Goodwin from Wichita, KS., Jason Warrer from Lowell, IN., Lukas Cichon from Arlington Heights, IL. and Jonathan Huber from Lexington, KY.

There are four Conventual Franciscan proviences in the United States

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First time venturers from all the provinces do their postulancy year at St. Bonaventure friary in Chicago IL. This year they come from all over the United States and the Bahamas.

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If you feel a drawing in your heart to emulate Francis and his life style, why don’t you come and visit on one of our “Come & See” days or weekends and meet our provincial Fr. Michael Zielke.

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Interested In Becoming a Franciscan?

Call to register for the “Come & See” retreat you wish to take part in. All Catholic single male inquirers between the ages of 18 – 40 must have a phone interview or have a prior visit with the vocation director before coming to these retreats. There is no cost for these “Come & See” experiences.

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The official title of our branch of the Franciscan Order is Friars Minor Conventual. We are known as Greyfriars in Britain, the Commonwealth and Ireland, Cordeliers (cord bearers) in French-speaking countries, Minoriten (minors) in countries where German is spoken, or simply as Franciscans in most other parts of the world.

The friars harmonized in choir and fashioned splendid pipe organs for the cathedrals of Europe. We collaborated with Palestrina, commissioned Vivaldi, improved the fingering technique of Mozart. We scanned the stars with Galileo, tutored Dante and Lorenzo de Medici, developed mathematical theorems with Leonardo da Vinci. We shared responsibility with Bramante in the construction of Saint Peter’s Basilica, reformed the Roman Curia, and instituted the Swiss Guard.

In more recent years, the Conventual friars have established the International Franciscan Centre for Inter-Religious Dialogue in Assisi, restructured the primary educational system of Switzerland, created halfway homes for troubled youth and rehabilitation centers for the chemically dependent in the United States and Italy. We have built low-income housing for the poor in India, apartment complexes for the handicapped in Canada. We have constructed hydro-electric plants and improved education, health care, and agricultural productivity in many countries of Africa. The friars in Asia have built orphanages and day-care centers for children, nursing homes for the elderly, retreat houses for the spiritually needy, and tailoring schools for the jobless. We have pioneered the behavioral science of handwriting analysis, and established centers for peace and justice at the United Nations and in many countries.