Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of Canada - Franciscains du Canada
Ordo Fratrum Minorum
Feeling uncertain about the future, Matthieu Boulva rode his bike around Europe for a year when he was about 18 years old. His awareness of God began in Spain.
He was robbed and hadn’t eaten for two days, but God provided for his needs, with a gift of money from a stranger and bread from a baker who was passing by. A little later, a woman gave him some encouragement, in a church where he was praying, as he was going through a difficult time.
Happy with the poor
In the end, Matthieu continued his university studies in marketing. As a popular student and a leader among his peers, he liked to party. “But in the midst of this exciting time, I was going through a rough patch. I was more aware of the darkness within me. Money didn’t interest me as much as before. My way lay elsewhere,” he explains.
He discovered Saint Francis by reading a book about him at Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey. “I was interested in his charism, in his love for the poor. I started spending more time with the Franciscans, especially by volunteering at Accueil Bonneau and through the friendship I developed with Sr. Annette of the Sisters of Providence (Hochelaga-Maisonneuve),” he says. In August, he was welcomed as a postulant with the Franciscans of Eastern Canada. “It’s all new to me, but I think it’s for life,” he concludes.