Two Sides

by Br. Michael, ofm


snow gently falling

no noise in this moment

creation surrounds me

my home is warm


snow gently falling

sirens humming in my ears

tanks beginning to surround me

is my home safe?


freedom to complain about anything

food to fill my belly

my loved ones safe


freedom today is uncertain

food supplies begin to shorten

are my loved ones safe?


we are a human family

respect for each person


are we a human family?

is there respect for all people?


my world is at peace.


is the world at peace?



Isn’t it amazing how far removed we can be from the reality of our shared common home with our sisters and brothers of the human family?


As our world seems to teeter on edge with new chaotic situations of war emerging, we must remember that greater than the power of war is the power of needing and respecting each other. We are called to stand in solidarity with those who face the scourge of war again: the families terrified, women and children, the poor caught in the crossfire, the homeless, the refugee, the fleeing, the hungry, the disabled, and the elderly. These are not just people over there this is someone’s family, home, church, livelihood, life. Through the choices we make in our everyday lives, prayers offered, reaching out to those who are affected, keeping vigil, and discovering about one another we learn to look into the face of another, hear their voice, and come to know them as sisters and brothers. What our world needs now is not more divisions and more illusions of freedom, what our world needs now is to stand up together person to person as a family. It can and must begin with you and with me. Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…



Let us pray:


O God, in you, is our peace and so we pray:

Hear us, O God.

In these times of global violence and war, we pray:

For all peacekeepers and peacemakers, we pray:

For government leaders to seek peace rather than power, we pray:

For all who are suffering from chaotic situations of international or civil conflict, we pray:

For families and communities caught up in violence and danger, we pray:

For those who mediate peace in situations of war and conflict, we pray:

For the situations in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, and parts of Africa, we pray:

For our communities, homes, and hearts to be places of peace, we pray:



Jesus, Prince of Peace,

we pray for our world,

for those who know peace,

and for those caught up in war.

We pray for our enemies and our friends,

and those who feel caught in the middle.

We pray for the courage to allow our heart

to be changed from stony to a heart of flesh,

so that we may be vessels of your peace.



Photo Credits:  Kristina Tripkovic and Sunguk Kim


















Love My Enemies. For Real?

by Br. Michael, ofm

“Love your enemies.” – Luke 6.27

Really Jesus?

Love my enemies?

Love those who are my adversaries and foes?

You must have known that it is much easier to love a friend.

Love my enemies?

They must not have heard you well on the day you said that.


Yet when you invite me to love my enemies, you invite me not to judge and not to dictate my moral stance, rather you invite me to be merciful and love even with a small glimpse of your divine love. This is not easy to do, for it challenges me first to reflect on my own living and shortcomings, realizing that I am not God. It means that at times I must see that I am my own worst enemy failing to love well because I defend my enemy lines. Lines that I create and take a hard stance on claiming they are of you and for you. Yet you show me they are not, and you ask me to surrender my false judgments of myself so that I don’t project defending and guarding all that is mine onto others and cause them to build up their enemy lines. Instead, you ask me to be compassionate, kind, and merciful even if it is not returned for you promise me that, “your reward will be great in heaven” (Luke 6.23). This is not easy to do, for I want instant results and proof, but your love is deeper, wider, broader (Ephesians 3.18), and better than instant anything the world offers.


In a world obsessed with drawing lines, defining who belongs and who doesn’t, who our enemies are, and what they want from us, you invite me to a true way of being. You invite me to be a blessing of mercy and show forth the depth and gentleness of your generous love. Something our world struggles with because we struggle with power instead of outdoing one another with love, compassion, gentleness, and mercy (Romans 12.9-18). Jesus, I know I must rise above the noise for you speak the truth for the way which leads to life.


God of both friends and enemies,

help me to love like you

with mercy beyond knowing,

with compassion which

tears down enemy lines,

builds community

and restores relationships.

Help me also to see

the enemy lines

which must be torn down

within my own life

and fill me with your courage

to do so.




Photo Credits: Andre Hunter, Jon Tyson

















Lent 2022

Lent 2022 

Mount St. Francis Retreat

41160 Retreat Road, Cochrane


Day Away – Living a Resurrected Life

March 9 – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Registration at 8:30 am with Coffee and Muffins.

Day includes presentation, quiet reflection, Eucharist, noon meal and prayer.


Twilight Retreat – After the Winter Slumber

March 22 – 6:00 pm

Registration at 6:00 pm, Supper at 6:30 pm

Evening includes a guided reflection, time for quiet, and prayer.


Day Away – Life-Giving Spirit

April 6 – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Registration at 8:30 am with Coffee and Muffins.

Day includes presentation, quiet reflection, Eucharist, noon meal and prayer.


Holy Week Retreat: Charity of the Cross –

A Woman’s Mercy, A Man’s Help: The Call of the Cross

April 13 – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm   or   6:30 – 9:00 pm

 Guided by St. Francis and St. Clare’s love of the cross this Holy Week Retreat

provides the opportunity to enter into the Paschal Triduum with hope.

Retreat includes a guided reflection, time to walk the Way of the Cross,

Twilight Retreat begins with 5:30 pm Registration with time for quiet until supper.



To register: 403-932-2012 /

Monday-Friday 9 am – 4:30 pm

















Blessed Are You

                 – Br. Michael, ofm

“Blessed are you” in the gospels seems to be a way of saying,

“Be filled with hope.”


This current trying situation you are in will pass – be filled with hope!

This time of uncertainty consuming you will end – be filled with hope!

This hurt that is inflicted on you will not linger forever – be filled with hope!

The request to change your life is possible – be filled with hope!


To be filled with hope reminds us to turn our attention to Jesus. We must let go of our self-focus. We must keep our gaze on him who endured and transformed situations, uncertainties, hurts, and the human condition by filling them with hope and turning them into a blessing.


“Blessed are you…” is again an invitation to surrender and to trust that indeed “anything is possible with God.”

“Blessed are you…” is again an invitation to exult in the gift of the “kingdom life” offered to us.

“Blessed are you…” is again an invitation to be filled, for there is an abundance of mercy and hope in every day.

“Blessed are you…” let us rejoice as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus with the hope of the “great reward of heaven.”


We are blessed

God overflows goodness in our life.

We trust

God is at work in us.

We rejoice

God is always with us.

We yearn for the kingdom

God keeps promises with us.

We are filled

God is always generous with us.

We are blessed

God renews us with hope.



Photo Credits: Alex Shute and Carly Hunley, Jr.













Into the Deep

                 – Br. Michael, ofm

Inspired by Luke 5.1-11 and Simon Peter.

Put out into the deep,

Jesus, you ask me to trust.

Put out into the deep,

Jesus, you call me to respond.

Put out into the deep,

Jesus, you encourage me from the familiar.


I am amazed, Jesus,

at what my life produces.

I am amazed, Jesus,

at the bounty in my life.

I am amazed, Jesus,

at the places where I’m sent.


Jesus, I fall down at your knees

knowing I am sinful.

Jesus, I fall down at your knees

knowing your mercy is great.

Jesus, I fall down at your knees

knowing you see things differently.


Do not be afraid, you say,

so, I slowly let go of control.

Do not be afraid, you say,

so, I trust, surrendering my all.

Do not be afraid, you say,

so, I choose to follow you.


Put out into the deep,

I trust my life offers a bountiful catch.

Put out into the deep,

I know the support of others.

Put out into the deep,

I can only do so with you, Lord.


Photo Credit: Touann Gatouillat Vergos