© 2017
Mount St Francis
Retreat Centre

The Retreat Team

Sister Geraldine Hagel, SCSL
Born in Calgary and raised in Beiseker, Alberta, Sister Gerry brings a wealth of worldly experience to the Mount. A Sister of Charity of St. Louis since 1962, Hagel studied at the University of Calgary and the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, California. She taught secondary English and Religion in Medicine Hat (1964-68), Radville, Saskatchewan (1968-70), and St. Albert, Alberta, (1972-1985). Among her illustrious students was Hockey star Mark Messier. Sister served as Leader of the S.C.S.L. of Western Canada (1985-1994) and as General Leader of the S,C.S.L. in Rome and Montreal (1994-2006). Presently she provides spiritual direction, hospitality and talks at the Mount.

Friar Robert Mitchell, OFM
Born in North Bay, Ontario, educated there and in Parry Sound, Ontario, Father Bob studied at the University of Western Ontario in London. For some of the years he was involved in teaching. Mitchell came west to join the Roman Catholic Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) and is a member of the Province of Christ the King, Western Canada. For many years he has been, and continues to be, a legendary preacher of retreats, counsellor and spiritual director at the Mount.

Friar Kevin Lynch, OFM
Father Kevin hails from the Peace River Country of Northern Alberta. Called to be a Franciscan as a young student at St. Anthony’s College, Edmonton, Lynch was ordained in 1962 after studies in Montreal and Ottawa. He taught senior high school science, math and religion with the Edmonton Catholic Schools before becoming Director of Religious Education for the District (1973 - 95) and served as Head of the Franciscans of Western Canada (1982 - 92).

Presently (1996 -2012) Kevin feels blessed to work in his own Orders’ Retreat Centres (Lumsden, SK and Cochrane, AB) -a ministry dear to his heart. The Franciscan style of Retreat “allows for soul space the name of the God of Jesus Christ”, says Lynch, “a place where all are welcome”.

Friar Louis Geelan, OFM
Father Louis was born and raised in the south end of the Turner Valley Oilfied. He met the Franciscans for the first time while attending the first men’s retreat at the newly constructed Mount St Francis in August of 1949. At St. Anthony’s College Geelan completed his high schooling and took philosophy as a layman before heading to Quebec for his Novitiate and Theological Studies. In 1961, Louis was ordained at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Calgary. More than 50 years as a priest, he has served in parishes, and various ministries, including Retreat work, across western Canada. Father Louis’ classmate refers to him as “the most beloved friar in the land”.

Friar Stephan Gattafoni, OFM
Born into an Italian Catholic family, Father Stephan joined the Franciscans during his college years. He began his theological studies in Montreal and following his ordination in 1961 followed up with graduate work in Rome and at the University of Ottawa in Catholic Social Teaching. He served as Pastor in Regina, Vancouver and Calgary and did a lot of “pinch hitting” as Chaplain to prisons and the Canadian military in his early years as a priest. Stephen lectured at Notre Dame College, Wilcox, SK and at Newman Theological College, Edmonton, AB.

After a number of years at St. Francis High School in Calgary, Father Stephen is well recognized by the many that come to hear “Stephan of Calgary” help with retreats at The Mount.