Beyond What We See and Know     

                                       – Br. Michael, ofm


O God,

in you we live and move

and have our being (Acts 17.28).

You O God,

who are one in being

and a community of love.

You who continually invites us

to our fullest self in the abundance

of your free, life-giving and divine love.

We often resist the freedom this love offers,

we desire to remain in the comfort of the uncomfortable,

yet you refuse this complacent choice,

rather you speak deeper truth to us.

You who are a community love,

a triune force of goodness, hope and beauty,

you who meets us in the all and any directions

our life is, has been or is going to be.

You dwell now then and there,

for you are ever present,

your will is one which speaks life

into our weariness,

peace into our discontent,

joy into our yearning.

Father – Son – Spirit

Creator – Redeemer – Sanctifier

God – Savior – Advocate

no matter how

we call to you or address you

we praise you,

you who are one

and a community of love,

whose life force dwells in us,

inviting us in,

and calling us to your will,

for indeed in you

we live and move and have our being

and for that we give thanks!


Photo Credit: Aaron Burden

Pentecost Is Not The End

Pentecost Is Not The End

– Br. Michael, ofm


Pentecost is so often looked at as one day, a bleep in the liturgical calendar, a reminder the Easter Season is over. If this is all we see Pentecost as we are robbing ourselves of the beauty of being caught up in the divine love of our Triune God.


Pentecost is a shift in our living. It is a statement to the way we live as Easter people as we live out our baptismal promises. If we profess the living Christ then Pentecost is the fuel which continually awakens us to Christ with us. It also awakens us to not only our gifts and abilities, but also to changes we must make in our living and how God continually meets us and strengthens us to make these changes.


Pentecost was not just a one-day event with flames and a dove and a variety of languages. It was a launching point for the ongoing mission of Jesus Christ. This mission is of justice, inclusion, freedom, forgiveness, peace, community and the depth of love. It was not just for Peter and the twelve those fifty days after the resurrection of Christ, it is still now and for us.


Pentecost is more than the birthday of the church. It is envisioning of how the church is to be, such as “all together,” “filled,” “amazed and astonished,” “renewing,” “for the common good” and “sent.”* These descriptors should stir up in us questions we must ask ourselves. How are we utilizing our variety of gifts and services to build up the “one body” of the church? How are we aiding to the fullness of the common good in this “same God” who calls all people to life in the Spirit? Where are we noticing the amazing, astonishing, and renewing work of the Spirit in our daily living or are we even taking time to be amazed, astonished and renewed with goodness? Or are we too caught up in what we call the busyness of life?


Pentecost sends us forth, as followers of Christ to bear witness to the splendour of God with us. In his parting moments with the disciples Jesus offered them peace, reminded them they are sent in his name, and breathed on them – the very breath of life (the Holy Spirit). Their work was to pass this on to followers then and we now have inherited their mission and pick up what is ours to do in this age. The Spirit is with us, let us not hesitate or delay as we “journey from hope to clear vision” (from Solemn Blessing).


Blessings to you as we step into this time of Pentecost.



The Franciscans of Canada mark Pentecost as our Feast Day as we are the Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit. We continue to humbly ask for your prayers and support.

* see the assigned Lectionary scriptures for Pentecost



Photo Credit: Jenny Le




Franciscan Friar Louis (Patrick) Geelan, O.F.M.  


Franciscan Friar Louis (Patrick) Geelan, O.F.M., went to his eternal home on April 16, 2023 at the age of 88, after 66 years of religious life and 62 years of priesthood. Born on July 23, 1934, the son of Lillian (Mercier) and Louis Geelan and a brother to Mary Jane. He grew up in the Black Diamond district.


Louis and his dad were charter members of the first Men’s Retreat at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre in 1949. A year later he moved to St. Anthony’s College in Edmonton for high school and philosophy. He began his Novitiate with the Franciscans in 1956, professing his first vows in 1957. In March 1961 he professed his solemn vows and on May 27, 1961 he was ordained.


He ministered in Regina, Winnipeg, Trail, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, St. Michael’s Retreat, Lumsden, SK and Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre, Cochrane. He also served as a chaplain to the Knights of Columbus and Secular Franciscans in several locations.


He was always pleased to tell he gave 252 units of blood and plasma over the years. He was known for his candle making, photography, story telling and his remarkable memory for names. His kind and gentle ways with his warm and welcoming smile are well remembered.


The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Cochrane, AB at 2 pm. Burial and Reception to follow at Mount St. Francis.


In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may be made to Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre, Box 430, Cochrane, AB T4C 1A6


May he rest in peace.











Easter Encounters    

                   – Br. Michael, ofm

Easter Encounters    


Easter Greetings!

Spending time with the Resurrection accounts this Easter week has allowed for pondering, insights and Easter Hope to settle in me and my journey. Along with Easter Hope comes Easter Joy which has been a reminder of Christ Risen always with us. As we continue into the Easter Season, I offer two poems. I will be taking a pause from posting reflections over the next several weeks. I pray Easter Hope and Joy continue to fill you and your homes during this season of new life.


Much peace and all good.



The Empty Tomb

The empty tomb

calls us to be

messengers of the good news

like Mary Magdalene.

The empty tomb

calls us to be

filled with awe

like the myrrh bearing women.


The empty tomb

calls us to be

heralds of hope

like Simon Peter.

The empty tomb

calls us to be

renewed in faith

like the disciple Thomas.


The empty tomb

calls us to be

dwellings of love

like the apostle John.

The empty tomb

calls us to be

sanctuaries of the Holy Spirit

like Mother Mary.

The empty tomb

calls us to

new life and new vision

now and for ever.


Alleluia! Alleluia!








In Breaking Bread

In the breaking of the bread

love is strengthened

truth is poured out

relationship is restored.

In the breaking of the bread

our Saviour

our Redeemer

our Way is made known.

In the breaking of the bread

we become one

we are called to serve

we become messengers of hope.

In the breaking of the bread

Christ has died

Christ is Risen

Christ continuously comes to us.

In the breaking of the bread

community gathers

we celebrate and remember

gifts and graces of love outpoured.

In the breaking of the bread

we know for the life of the world.

In the breaking of the bread.


Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

Easter Blessings!


Photo Credits:

Bruno van der Kraan

Mike Kenneally

Rest in Peace Father Louis Geelan 

Rest in Peace Father Louis Geelan


Father Louis Geelan (1934-2023), Franciscan Friar

and long-time member of the Mount St. Francis Retreat Team

entered his eternal glory on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 16, 2023

at the age of 88, after 66 years of religious life and 62 years of priesthood.


Known for his gentleness, kindness, warm smile and welcoming ways,

he will be remembered.


Eternal rest grant to Friar Louis, O Lord;

and let perpetual light shine upon him.


Funeral arrangements to be announced




Easter: Life from Death

Br. Michael, ofm

Life is full of unknowns

death seems to lurk always near.


Life from death

does not make sense.


Yet the parable of the seed

gives insight into this reality.


Christ Jesus

crucified – died – buried

Risen from the dead

trampling death

bringing us life.


Life not as we know it

rather beyond what we can know.


With him we too rise

death although earthly has no real grip.


Continually on the journey

new life springs forth from what has died.


Christ Jesus

Risen from the dead

our fullness of life

we praise you

for defeating death.



Alleluia! Alleluia!



Easter Blessings!


Photo Credit: Pisit Heng


Blessings of Peace at Easter Triduum

Br. Michael, ofm

We journey in these sacred days from

darkness to light,

table to garden,

cross to tomb,

despair to hope,

sorrow to joy,

Resurrection assured.

Peace and All Good to bless your home.

Easter Blessings and Greetings

from the Friars and Staff at Mount St. Francis



Holy Week: The Crossbeam

Br. Michael, ofm



The crossbeam of my life




and I fall.

The crossbeam of my life

physical ailment

mental breakdown

spiritual emptiness

                              and I fall.

The crossbeam of my life




                              and I fall.

Each time I fall,

I am strengthened by the

love and Passion of Christ

                             and I rise.

He who knows

the crossbeam of my life

leads me to freedom

in his resurrected life.

Photo Credit: Pavel Nekoranec


Lent V: Lazarus

Br. Michael, ofm


Seeking new life

amongst the tombs of life

leaves me bound up.

Broken hearted and left questioning,

called to trust and believe,

is new life possible?

New life for me,

here and now,

it seems impossible.

Even the Son of God

was disturbed greatly

and wept bitterly.

So, I too must able

to express my sorrow

and the agony of letting go.

When I do face what binds me

I am met again and again

with the promise of hope.

Jesus says: I am

the resurrection

and the life.

I know he hears my prayers,

he feels my pain

and comforts my sorrow.

The stench of life

has no grip on me,

for God’s love is greater.

I am unbound,

I believe,

I am Lazarus – free!

Photo Credit: Pablo Heimplatz

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