Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of Canada - Franciscains du Canada
Ordo Fratrum Minorum
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"Our stories, Nos histoires" is a column dedicated to sharing the rich history and heritage of the Franciscans in Canada. Since their first arrival in 1615 and the reestablishment of their presence in 1888, the Franciscans of Canada have faithfully and humbly lived out the Gospel, serving their local communities and parishes and reaching out to the world through missions.
Researched and written by the archivist in Edmonton, "Our stories, Nos histoires" currently draws on content from the Franciscan Archives of Western Canada, which contains records from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
(Profile photograph: Fr. Henry Eshpeter in the St. Anthony's College library, 1960-1961)
A great admirer of sacred art, Br. Georges Morin likes to analyze paintings, especially those of Giotto, painter of Francis of Assisi. Br. Georges scrutinizes the tiniest details of each canvas to draw spiritual meaning from them, especially in keeping with the Franciscan values of fraternity, peace, love for creation, poverty and humility.Posts in FrenchPosts in English
Biblical scholar, speaker, priest and choir director Guylain Prince is a Franciscan with many talents. As an author, Fr. Guylain is sensitive to the beauty of nature, where he likes to reflect, meditate and write contemplative works. He has been involved in the area of poverty for more than 25 years.
The moment when I decided to begin something entirely new came rather unexpectedly. It was a Saturday afternoon, and I was sitting in one of the pews in the abbey church of a Benedictine monastery. The church was mostly empty, except for a few others who had come to attend the same retreat that was my reason for being there. After some time had passed, the monks walked in and took their places in the choir. Their evening prayer was about to begin.
“God, come to my assistance”, chanted one of them.
“Lord, make haste to help me”, responded the others.
The monks began their evening liturgy, and I joined in their prayer. The days progressed at a slow pace. I hardly remember what was said in the conferences, but I remember how the experience of being in the monastery started to work on me. It was the beginning of a process of discernment about my life which let to my decision to become a Franciscan friar.
Before this, I spent 20 years as a scientist working in various fields of biochemistry, cell biology, and medicine. My story is not about turning away from this past, but rather about how my scientific worldview was transformed by the experience of learning to be a friar. In the spirit of St. Francis.
In one way or the other, my blog posts are always about this: what can we learn when we take the Franciscan view of the accomplishments of science?
Friar Michael Perras, OFM. Born and raised in Saskatchewan. The oldest of four. Learned about serving the community growing up in his parent’s grocery store in a small rural community with lots of extended family nearby. Loves being an Uncle and a Godfather.
Enjoys Christmas, learning from the lives of the saints, being creative in the kitchen, a good run, a good song and setting a good table for celebrations. Can be found writing early in the morning or tinkering in the chapel throughout the day.
Prior to joining the Franciscans served in various communities as a Youth Minister and Pastoral Assistant. Holds Certificates in Youth Ministry, Lay Ministry, Liturgical Studies, and Spiritual Direction along with a Bachelor of Theology degree. Solemnly Professed Friar since August 2019.
New blogs posted weekly - usually over the weekend.
Coming from the world of communications, Pierre Charland decided to devote his life to the Lord in the early 1990s, after he had a life-changing encounter with a disciple of Christ. Br. Pierre's spiritual journey deepened when he read several books about St. Francis of Assisi, before embracing Franciscan life in community and being present to the poor and the sick around him. He has truly found the freedom of living in Christ.Posts in FrenchPosts in English
Director of the Missions Office for the Franciscans of Eastern Canada since 2008, Richard Chartier is also a project officer (receiving, handling and following up on international missionary projects) and editor-in-chief of the magazine Missions des Franciscains. A secular Franciscan, Br. Chartier devotes himself fully to his work and furthers his knowledge in international solidarity, especially through various training courses.Posts in French
A Franciscan for more than 50 years, Roland Bonenfant is one of the pillars of the Franciscan house in Trois-Rivières. Br. Roland is working for the canonization of Fr. Frédéric Janssoone, missionary to the Holy Land; in fact, he has made this his personal mission. This ardent defender of Fr. Frédéric created a website (in three languages) in his honour and for several years has been patiently collecting testimonials of miraculous healings.Posts in French