The Friars Minor (OFM) forms part of the bigger Franciscan first firmly together with Conventual friars and Capuchin friars. Their coming together in Zambia is traced as far back as 1986. The Capuchin friars who were working in Zambia passed a mandate during their chapter of the possibility of cooperation with the other religious institutes in Zambia to establish joint facilities for post novitiate formation. The two Conventual Custodies in Zambia expressed interest in participating in a joint Franciscan House of Studies. This saw the establishment of such a house in Livingstone. Just across the southern border, the Friars Minor in Zimbabwe who were under the Franciscan Irish Province together with the then Vicariate of St. Francis in East Africa, Mauritius and Madagascar, inquired about their possible participation. Their idea was welcomed and that marked the establishment of a unique Franciscan collaboration in Africa. This took place in 1986.
Since then, the Friars Minor have been part of this Franciscan enterprise. In the last 47 years, the friars have been sending young friars for philosophical studies and religious formation from different entities namely, Custody of Good Shepherd, Zimbabwe, Province of St. Francis- East Africa, Independent Custody of St. Clare- Mozambique, The Province of Our Lady Queen of Peace- South Africa, and the Foundation of Juba in South Sudan. In the university campus, the Friars Minor have a friary which houses up to sixty friars. It is called Portiuncula Friary.
This has been the only Friars Minor’s presence in Zambia for a very long time until recently when the Province of St. Francis – East Africa established a mission in Mwakapandula Mwachisombola in Kabwe diocese. The Friars Minor are glad to be part of this Franciscan Family engagement here at St. Bonaventure and we continue to rally behind its growth.