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									          Franciscan Centennial Gala
The Franciscan Province of Christ the King turned 100 years old on April 11th, 2008. There are
a total of 39 friars in the Province, including six of them that live outside the Province. There are
sixteen based in Edmonton, nine friars in Cochrane, seven in Lumsden, and six in Victoria. Eight
of the men in Edmonton are in various stages of a six year formation program.

The proceeds of this Gala are for the training of candidates for the Franciscan priesthood and
brotherhood. Your support of this one-time fund raiser not
                                                                There were five friars who
only acknowledges the history of the Franciscans, but will      came from Montreal to
provide necessary funding for the theological education         Lamoureux [near Fort
and spiritual formation of eight candidates.                    Saskatchewan] in 1908.
                                                                  Three were priests
Postulants, Novices, and Simply Professed                         (Berchmans-Marie Mangin,
                                                                  Arthur Rappard, and Simon-
After meeting with the Vocations Director of the                  Joseph Archambault) and
Franciscans, a year of postulancy orients a candidate to          two were brothers (Raphael
the Franciscan way of life. The year of novitiate is a time       Guinn and Andre Chevalier).
of forming Franciscan identity and intensifying prayer life.      Fr. Boniface Heidmeier
It marks the formal entrance into the Order of Friars Minor       arrived in 1909. The
(the Franciscans) and culminates in taking temporary vows         Lamoureux parish boundary
of poverty, chastity, and obedience. After a minimum of           was 30 miles by 100 miles.
three years of living as a Franciscan in temporary                There were very few cars in
profession of vows, candidates make a life commitment by          Edmonton at that time and
entering into solemn vows. Each brother then makes a              travel by horse was most
choice of career in which to live out their permanent             common. Very few roads
                                                                  made managing the parish a
profession of vows. Some choose medicine, engineering,
                                                                  challenge unknown today.
teaching, pastoral work, social work and some elect to
become ordained ministers. The latter study further and
become deacons and eventually priests.

The costs of being a member of a religious community like the Franciscans are different than
following the path of a diocesan seminarian. A diocesan choice requires payment of all personal
expenses including clothing. Because all Franciscans live out of a common fund (no one has
personal funds), a Franciscan candidate has all of his expenses covered by the Franciscan
community. That includes housing, food, travel and transportation, insurance, clothing,
computers and software and personal expenses including entertainment. As well, all study
costs such as tuition, books, student fees and the added costs of temporary room and board
must be provided. Depending on the year of formation and study, the investment can be
$20,000 or more annually. For eight candidates preparing for six years, it represents an
investment of about one million dollars. Once the candidates make their Solemn Vows, many
choose a career that comes with a salary and they are able to contribute back to the

Maurice Fritze 988-5927
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How does the public define a Franciscan?

Franciscans have an image that comes from the frequently published photo featuring their
brown robe. Many call friars “monks,” not out of disrespect, but because they do not have
another word to describe them. Another image we could dispel is that all friaries [the main
house that friars live in] have a winery in the basement. Nice image, but from a different era.

What is a friar?

Friars are mendicants and itinerants; they are members of religious orders in the Roman
Catholic Church, who take a vow of poverty by which they renounce all personal and communal
property. Friar (from the Latin frater, brother) is a term applied to members of certain religious
orders who share a spirit of prayer and devotion through fraternal life in community, and devote
themselves to the proclaiming the Gospel to others through their ministry and service in the

One image has really defined Franciscans: Hospitality
The Franciscan qualities of poverty, humility, love, simplicity and peace are on display at all of
the Franciscan houses or friaries. Their ministry to everyone and especially the disadvantaged
and the destitute has been demonstrated for 100 years in western Canada.

The Franciscan virtue of hospitality encompasses all of the above and is shown by the Friars‟
willingness to share everything with others. To those for whom life is comfortable, such
hospitality is something one can afford; for the Franciscan, hospitality is inspired by St. Francis
himself, reflecting Jesus‟ call from the Gospels. Jesus‟ message of equating respect for Him in
the way we treat others, who may have less, is a characteristic of the Franciscan identity.
Whether it is material or spiritual poverty, the Franciscans have figuratively and literally situated
themselves among people whose needs are greater than their own. From the alcoholic who
needs to re-build self esteem and relationships, to the „poor in our midst‟ (whose needs
overwhelm us), to those who need spiritual guidance, the Franciscans have truly modeled the
spirit of the Gospel.

In corporate terms, succession planning is vital to the continuance of the organization. The
same is true for religious orders. Renewal comes from the postulants and novices whose
individual talents and gifts will shape the Franciscan form of life for the next 100 years. Let us
honor such a commitment by these young men and personally contribute to the living tradition
of St. Francis.

Maurice Fritze 988-5927

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