Virtual Way of the Cross

Virtual Way of the Cross

The Franciscans and Staff at Mount St. Francis

invite you to journey with us this Lent.

In our Video Gallery on our website, you will find a reflective prayer journey of the Way of the Cross. We invite you to join us in pray during the remaining days of Lent.

Lenten Blessings of peace and all good.

LENT 2021

We invite you to consider these retreats for your spiritual health this Lent.



Day Away – The Priceless Freedom of the Gospel

Wednesday, March 17

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

8:30 am Registration with Coffee & Muffins

$30 ($40 for private room)



Day Retreat – Charity of the Cross

Wednesday, March 31

9:00 am – 3:00 pm

8:30 am Registration with Coffee & Muffins

$30 ($40 for private room)



Twilight Retreat – Charity of the Cross

Wednesday, March 31

5:30 pm Registration with time for quiet reflection.

Supper at 6:30 pm



Current capacity is 15 retreatants.

Register early.



Stations of the Cross

We invite you to The Mount to walk our outdoor Way of the Cross

at any time during Lent. Please respect the health protocols in place.


Watch our website for a Virtual Way of the Cross.


To register for any of these Lent Retreats

please contact Deb at 403-932-2012

Monday-Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm



Lent I: In Our Midst – St. Francis of Assisi

– Br. Michael, ofm

Lent begins with a series of readings which are motivation after motivation. On Ash Wednesday we are reminded that “we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5.20). The following day we are told to “choose life so that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30.19). Followed by the charge to “Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet!” (Isaiah 58.1). Then on the Saturday after Ash Wednesday we read, “The Lord will guide your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden” (Isaiah 58.11). If we are not motivated by these acclamations from scripture, I’m not sure what will ever motivate us.

St. Francis of Assisi was one hundred percent motivated by Christ and the gospel. Story after story, teaching after teaching, encounter after encounter paved the way for Francis to see how his life was to be lived embracing the gospel and living it as a vowed life. Not all of us can be Franciscans but all of us can live the gospel. Christ was rooted in the wisdom of the Hebrew Scriptures and this helped shaped his stories and knowledge, which in turn shaped the gospel. How about us? What is shaping us? Are we being ambassadors for Christ? Are we choosing life? Lifting our voice (for good)? Are we a watered garden?

Lent challenges us with these questions. The same way that St. Francis was challenged to examine his life and choose a new path so he could live and not simply be another parched place. St. Francis continually brought his attention to Christ. In his struggles he threw himself before his Savior. In his joys in danced in delight before his Messiah. In his doubts he wrestled with Christ. In his freedoms he rejoiced with his Brother Jesus.

St. Francis reminds us that our lives are of value. Whether we give everything away like he did or we simply see how close God is in creation, Francis’ prayer “My God and My All” must also be ours. Lent is a time to realign our hearts with “My God and My All” especially if our all is becoming all too consuming of things and situations which are not life-giving, like a well watered garden. As we continue to face the reality of a pandemic world, St. Francis is a companion this Lent. Not only is his simple prayer of “My God and My All” a summary of the motivations we have heard in these first days of Lent, it challenges us to pay attention to our living and whose we are.

We are nearing the one-year mark of this pandemic and that is a tough anniversary to acknowledge. This Lent and St. Francis can provide us with a renewed focus of where are hearts are situated and how we can step forward.

Saint Francis says remember: “Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear no ignorance.” (Admonition 28.1). In others words attune our hearts to God, for God is love and we belong to this love.

Saint Francis says return to your inner light, remain focused on Christ. His prayer before the crucifix at San Damiano prays: “Enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me true faith, certain hope and perfect charity.” These are the gifts which enlivened the heart of St. Francis, which also must enliven our heart and fan the flame which it holds.

St. Francis says recall God’s love. Brother Thomas of Celano the biographer of St. Francis reflects that Francis thoroughly focused on the Incarnation and Passion of Christ so much that he only wanted these to be his focus. If we turn our attention to Christ present among us, for us and in us we too embrace the way of being an ambassador of Christ, choosing life, raising our voices and being strengthened in the way we preach the gospel. This will draw others into the well-watered garden of life.

As we move into the First Week of Lent 2021, still amid a pandemic, let us ask St. Francis to be our companion. Let us take to heart his words, “Your deeds may be the only sermon some people hear today.” Our world continues to need actions of hope, may we be motivated to be people of hope. The saints, the gospel, the love of Christ compels us (2 Corinthians 4.14) to do so.

Blessings on the Lenten journey.

St. Francis walk with us and pray for us.


Icon: St. Francis of Assisi

by C. Ziprick – Soul Sibling Studios ©






Lent 2021: In Our Midst

– Br. Michael, ofm

The Season of Lent is a time to remember, return and recall. I have heard those three words several times in my life. Last week when I heard them spoken by a colleague, I knew they were words spoken for this 2021 Lenten season.

Lent asks us to remember whose we are. Lent prompts a return to the inner light we each carry. Lent utters recall God’s love. Throughout this Lent Season, in the midst of the continued uncertainty of living through this pandemic I will offer reflections on Saints for our time. These women and men from many different walks of life and times in history can and do encourage us our Lenten journey.

Together let us journey with our Savior and some of the holy ones who remind us He is here in our midst.

Lenten Blessings of peace and all good.






If You Choose

– Br. Michael, ofm

You know those movies which have that perfect line at the perfect time and it either launches the movie forward, breaks open the message or sends us into a montage of the moments that make up this moment?

In the gospel of Mark, the story of the man with leprosy (Mark 1.40-45) would be one of those perfect moments. It would build to the moment when the man says to Jesus, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Then when Jesus responds with “I do choose. Be made clean” cue the music, the intense gaze and montage. It really is a beautiful and powerful moment which is not a Hollywood moment rather an invitation for us.

“If you choose…”   “I do choose…”

These two short sentences are powerful ones and although only part of a larger scripture story they are also words of our story.

“If you choose”

I say to Christ time and again,

as if it’s a wish and as if my way is the right way.

“If you choose”

I say to Christ

not focusing on what I’m choosing and not focusing what is out of alignment.

“If you choose”

I say to Christ

almost in the sense of “prove it – show me” like a defiant stance.

Christ always responds, even if I don’t see how or where.

“I do choose”

Christ says time and again

with deep love, compassion and with endless mercy.

“I do choose”

Christ says focusing us as a beloved child of God

and being created in the image of God.

“I do choose”

Christ says with assurance of his lasting presence

and peace beyond the surface (and yet we often latch onto the fading surface).


When the man with leprosy came to Jesus and said, “If you choose, you can make me clean,” he came not with a wish rather with faith. I would like to think a faith that regardless of how Christ responded his life would be changed. He had to come surrendering his all, looking at what was trapping him and trusting in transformation. We struggle with this. I know I do. “How will Christ respond? What if I don’t want to surrender it all? What if my trappings are keeping me comfortable – and I like comfortable? What if transformation feels too big or freeing or beyond my limits?” These are the questions I ask. Then I start to change my question.

“If you choose, can you change me just a little bit, but not too much there? Make me clean as in like a quick shower so I can come back again and ask for another cleaning? Or how about just choosing for today?” It’s funny how we play tricks with our self when it comes to surrender, freedom and transformation. I know how I rework these gifts in my mind and settle for less rather than allow the fullness of Christ to penetrate my all. Regardless, Christ says, “I do choose” because he is for us. He Is not an obstacle or a hoop and loop to jump through and he is not a prize to be earned. He is for us, he is constantly saying, “I do choose. I do choose. I do choose.” His choosing also may be translated as:

“I am with you always until the end of the ages.”

Matthew 28.20

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.”

John 15.9

“Your faith has made you well.”

Mark 5.34


Christ chooses us time and again, it is his mission, his heart’s desire to continually have humanity and creation before him, to gaze on us with love. In choosing us he chooses to free us from all which binds us, to set captives free, to proclaim justice, to bring good news, to recovery our sight and affirm God’s favour with us (Luke 4.16-17).

Christ does choose and yet so often we choose not to hear or see. May our eyes be opened to the transforming power of the love of Christ. He chooses us time and again. May our hearts be softened and our fears surrendered. We are transformed and life is abounding when we see our new self made clean and set free.

I say to Christ “If you choose” and before I can finish the sentence Christ responds, “I do choose.”  Let us remember this generosity in how we respond to our sisters and brothers and creation this week.


Photo Credit: Claudio Schwarz Purzlbaum


Actions of Solidarity: Black History Month

– Br. Michael, ofm

February is Black History Month being recognized and celebrated in Canada since 1996. Although I wonder how much it has been recognized and celebrated. As a nation we must continue to work for all people of our land to be “glorious and free” as our anthem declares. This comes with education, dialogue, and participating in events that highlight the contributions of Black Canadians not just in February but at all times. It also means we recognize that our nation is knit together with people from all lands and places and woven with the ancestral threads of our First Nations Peoples.

There are many noteworthy Black historical figures who have paved the way for a more just and respectful society. We often think of names like Martin Luther King Jr., Harriett Tubman, Viola Davis Desmond or Rosa Parks. Rightly so these amazing people have brought to our attention our common humanity and dignity. I am not a Black man and can not speak to their history and experiences however I can appreciate it, learn from it and how it has influenced our world and the awakening for what is my part to do.

As I consider Black historical figures, I think of Black Saints. These men and women faced hardships and persecution but remained steadfast and faithful in the love of Christ. As St. Josephine Bakhita said: “I have given everything to my master (God): He will take care of me.” Josephine was a slave and for her to declare this statement is a testament of her trust in God. I’m sure she did give her all to her earthly masters but she saw beyond those limitations and trusted in the abiding love of God’s presence with her.

St. Josephine Bakhita – Feast Day February 8

“Who is the master of these beautiful things?… I had a deep longing to see Him, to know Him, and pay him homage…”

– St. Josephine

St. Josephine

you remind us that God’s beauty is present even when we are enslaved,

you inspire us to see this beauty in creation and in our brothers and sisters,

you encourage us to spend time with God and to give praise and glory for God’s constant beauty.

Pray for us.


St. Martin de Porres – Feast Day November 3

“There is no need to worry… Doesn’t God provide for the flowers of the field? He’ll take care of us as well.”

– St. Martin

St. Martin

you remind us to trust in God in all stages of the journey,

you inspire us to share of our selves for the good of all,

you encourage us to care for one another as a human family.

Pray for us.


Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman – No official Feast Day – Entered Eternal Glory – March 30

“What does it mean to be black and Catholic? It means that I come to my church full functioning… I bring myself, my black self, all that I am, all that I have and that I hope to become, I bring my whole history, my traditions, my experience, my culture…”

– Sr. Thea Bowman

Sister Thea,

you remind us that the church is the reality of “here comes everyone”,

you inspire us to see the cultures and gifts of each other, sharing them to build the kingdom,

you encourage us to appreciate each other as a whole and the uniqueness of each other as individuals.

Pray for us.


Venerable Augustus Tolton – No official Feast Day – Entered Eternal Glory – July 9

“I heard the words of St. John “prepare the ways of the Lord” and God gave me the strength to persevere… God is over us all, and has many blessings for (men) people of every race.”

– Fr. Augustus

Father Augustus,

you remind us that we are each called to persevere in preparing the way,

you inspire us to trust the strength that God has fused into us,

you encourage us to count our blessings.

Pray for us.


All Holy Men Women… pray for us.

During this Black History Month, I invite you to read a bit more about these amazing saints and many other Black Saints who have helped shape the church and brought truth about God’s love, freedom and mercy to our attention.

The quotes I share in this blog are from a book entitled: African Saints, African Stories: 40 Holy Men and Women by Camille Lewis Brown published by St. Anthony Messenger Press. A great little book for an encounter with amazing holy Black men and women from all generations.

As the song says:

Let us build the city of God.

May our tears be turned into dancing!

For the Lord, our light and our love,

has turned the night into day.


This is our prayer, indeed let us build together as we walk in the Light of Christ.


Photo Credits: Bing Images Search

Song: City of God – Dan Schutte

Vocation: Confidence and Endurance

– Br. Michael, ofm

“Do not, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Hebrews 10.35-36

These two verses from scripture caught my attention. I see them as speaking to each of us in our call to live out our vocation. Regardless if we are married, single, a religious sister or brother or a priest we need a confidence to endure the journey of a life and stay in tune with God’s will. All of us are consecrated at our baptism. This gift is embedded with confidence and endurance to “run and not grow weary” (Isaiah 40.31), to “shine our light” (Matthew 5.16) and “bear much fruit” (John 15.5). Each of us are called forth in baptism to be heralds of the good news and the way we live our lives is the greatest witness of this. I am mindful of my baptism as I reflect on my life as a religious brother. It is in this being incorporated into Christ at baptism that then calls me to live my vows and vocation in this specific way.

February 2 is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and also celebrates World Day for Consecrated Life. This year being the 25th Anniversary of this designation. A day marked in the Catholic Church to pray for and be mindful of women and men religious – sisters, brothers, priests and hermits along with those who belong to secular institutes and those who make private vows. It is in professing the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience that we live out the promise of our baptismal call in these specific ways.

In living as a religious brother, I am constantly called back to not abandoning the confidence which is mine. This is not about being prideful and boasting, it is rather an anchoring in Christ. My confidence is found in Him whom I pattern my life after by living the gospel. It is this same confidence in which St. Francis trusted when he heard his call to go and rebuild the church. He didn’t set out to become a founder of a religious order rather he was expressing this confidence and living with an endurance the will of God the best he could. St. Francis is quoted as saying near the end of his life, “I have done what is mine to do, may you now do what is yours.” This conviction is established in a confidence that Christ was at work in him, that he was a vessel of the Holy Spirit for his time and place and that the promise of life eternal was at the heart of how he strived to live his consecrated life.

As I continue on in this consecrated religious life, I like St. Francis, continue to adjust my focus to see and profess more clearly “My God and My All” in my daily living. If I make my vows and not live them out well, they become empty promises. If I squander the confidence I have in self-sustaining ways, then I am forgetting that my vows call me into relationship with others. If I trust in my will forgetting that God is at work in me, I am out of step with my heart. These are the challenges I face as a religious in making my living authentic, honest and true. The reward is not earthly treasures – although tempting. The reward is not even in trying to live like St. Francis. The reward is in listening and being present to God who dwells in me. It is in doing this that I can live my vows well, walk forward in confidence with endurance knowing that God’s will is at work in me and the promises God makes to me are always kept.

How do you see yourself as consecrated?

Who calls forth this gift in your life?

“The life of the body is the soul; the life of the soul is God.” – St. Anthony of Padua

Photo Credit: Marina Raspopova