Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of CanadaFranciscains du Canada

Ordo Fratrum Minorum

In the Footsteps of the First Franciscan Friars in Canada

In the Footsteps of the First Franciscan Friars in Canada


Thanks to the initiative of Guylain Prince, OFM, a group of friars from both the Eastern and the Western Canadian Province of the Franciscans is currently traveling along the St. Lawrence River to learn more about the history of the friars in Canada. This is part of our process of coming together, as one Franciscan Province across Canada

Here is a little more about this pilgrimage, from the invitation that was sent to all the friars. Please keep our Brothers in your prayers this week!


History, Prayer, Nature and Fraternity

In 2015, the Franciscans of Eastern Canada celebrated the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Franciscan Friars in Canada. Samuel de Champlain’s ship arrived in Tadoussac in May of that year. A few days later, the first mass that we know of was celebrated in what will later be called Canada. With this, the Catholic Church and her religious life began on the North Eastern part of the continent. The Franciscan Friars, then called the Récollets, were originally from France and were considered extraordinary missionaries. Their “highway” was the St. Lawrence river and it tributaries.

On this pilgrimage, friars will travel along this majestic river and visit the most important places were Franciscan Friars were active in ministry. Of course, they will not only visit significant sites, but they will also pray, meditate, walk in the woods and along the sea. Their lodging will be tents and sleeping bags. The food will be simple. The fraternal life will be exceptional in a retreat-like journey into Franciscan history.


Pilgrims at Lunch