St. Anthony’s Friary was established in 1974 as a house of formation for the friars of the English province preparing for their priestly ministry. Now it is a home for friars from from various jurisdictions and missions of the Order who are attending renewal or formation programmes at the Study Centre.
The Canterbury Friary is also a centre of vocation promotion and houses the friars' post-novitiate formation programme.
Situated adjacent to the campus of the University of Kent, on a hill overlooking the ancient city of Canterbury, St. Anthony’s Friary offers an excellent environment for study and reflection. It is an ideal centre for the friars who wish to follow more intensely the intellectual tradition and contemplative aspects of our charism.
Canterbury, the Cathedral City, is renowned since the Middle Ages as a place of pilgrimage for the whole of Europe. Its great heritage and history still attract pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. The city leaves an immense impact on all the visitors.
Of special Franciscan interest is the historical site of Greyfriars where the followers of St. Francis established their first Friary in 1224. On special occasions, the friars of St. Anthony's offer Holy Mass in the last starding building of the original 13th-century site. So our Friary today makes an ideal link with this epic centre of the medieval heritage.
The student friars here benefit from the Franciscan library at the International Study Centre, which contains over 50,000 books and thousands of periodicals on various topics. It has a special collection of books on Franciscan studies, which attracts research students from all over the world. A particular treasure among them is a fourteenth century manuscript of the Legenda Maior Sancti Francisci by St. Bonaventure. The library also holds the index of Franciscans in pre-Reformation England. An additional advantage for the students is the free access allowed to the enormous facilities of the University of Kent Library.
Community prayer is the heart of our fraternal life. The Conventual Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, and daily meditation find prominent place in the schedule of the community. There is plenty of time and space for private prayer and reflection. The friars eat together, feed one another's intellectual hungers, and enjoy simple common recreation. All together, the friars' community in Canterbury is providing an ideal setting for Franciscan formation and renewal.
Fr. Tom Reist OFM Conv.
St. Anthony’s Friary
Franciscan International Study Centre
Giles Lane, Canterbury CT2 7NA.
Tel. Cupertino House: 01227.454.647
Tel. Kolbe House: 01227.452.802 (formation director)
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