As a reminder of our Franciscan vocation to work towards peace among all peoples and all nations, the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting of the first World War was also remembered at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre. Friars Dan Gurnick, Louis Geelan and Kevin Lynch took part. Any organization with a bell tower was asked to toll the bell 100 times at sundown on the 11th day of November to remind us of all those who suffered and died when the world was at war. Our bell rings for freedom, justice and peace.
Many churches participated, all across Canada and here in Cochrane, Alberta. Friar Dennis Vavrek rang the bells at St. Mary’s Parish in Cochrane, where he serves the parish as its priest and administrator.
On this day, three of our deceased brothers whose bodies now rest in our friary cemetery in Cochrane were especially remembered in our prayers, as they had known the violence of warfare as veterans of the second World War: Stephen Capustinski, Albert Payette and Alfred Vos. We invoked the Act of Remembrance used during the cenotaph service:
“…at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. We will remember them.”