© 2019
Mount St Francis
Retreat Centre

The Retreat Team

Susan M. Campbell, Director
Susan was appointed the Director of Mount St. Francis March 1, 2015. Originally from Edmonton, she is a lay woman who has served in adult faith education for over 30 years, starting at St. Francis of Assisi parish where she worked on staff with the Franciscans. Fr. Louis Geelan, it so happens, was the Associate Pastor on the team at the time. She came to Mount St. Francis after serving 18 years as the Director of the Pastoral Centre for the Diocese of Prince George. While there, she oversaw the Diocesan Lay Formation Program and taught in the areas of scripture, liturgy, ecclesiology, Christology and spirituality. She received her theological education from Newman Theological College, Edmonton (B.Th. and M.Th.); St. Paul’s University, Ottawa (completed course work in the Mission Studies program); and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (M.A. Rel. Studies). Most recently, she completed the Spiritual Direction Training Program from the FCJ Centre in Calgary. She is energetic, engaging and a good listener.

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.

Friar Gerry Clyne, OFM
Br. Gerry was born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1960. He was brought up in a strong Christian family and became a Roman Catholic in his 20s. During that time he was also attracted to Religious Life and in particular the Franciscans. He joined the Order in 1988. Br. Gerry has special interests in spiritual direction, contemplative prayer, Franciscanism and connecting creation and the spirituality.

Friar Dan Gurnick, OFM
I grew up on an acreage near Rocky Mountain House, AB with an older sister and a younger brother. After high school, I did many different types of works such as: sawmill worker, oil patch worker, paintball field owner/operator (The number 47 in my email address friardan47@gmail.com is from the number I wore on my paintball jersey.), landlord, construction worker, and support worker for the mentally disabled. I received an Architectural technology diploma from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Despite all these occupations and architectural diploma my heart longed for something more meaningful. After studying for the diocese of Edmonton for one year and a trip to Peru, I found myself on the doorstep the Franciscan Friars of Western Canada. I was in Franciscan formation and studies for six years before making my solemn profession in August 2009. The highlights of these six years were: learning more about the Christian faith through theological studies, working at the Mustard Seed Church in Edmonton, prison chaplaincy, and learning how to play the hand drum and guitar. Recently, I started writing songs.

In January 2010, I was ordained a priest and served at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Sherwood Park, AB as an associate pastor. One of my main focuses was connecting with nine Catholic schools through music and various presentations. I am in my fourth year as a formation director for men in the early stages of Franciscan discernment and formation. I also served at Sacred Heart parish in Victoria and organized and led a Franciscans and Friends youth group. Franciscans and Friends inspires young people to fall in love with God through prayer, friendships, outreach to the poor, hiking, and guest speakers.

In August 2016, I moved to Mount St. Francis in Cochrane, AB. At the Mount, I am on the retreat team; I play music and speak at schools; and I help out with maintenance at the Mount. I enjoy weight training, sharing a message about Christ and hiking especially in the Rocky Mountains.

Friar Michael Perras, OFM
Born and raised in the great prairie province of Saskatchewan. The oldest son of grocery store owners learned about serving the community growing up in the grocery store. Enjoyed growing up in a small rural town with lots of extended family nearby.

Loves being a P.U.N.K. (Proud Uncle No Kids) and a Godfather. Loves Christmas, the crèche and learning from the lives of the saints. Loves to be creative in the kitchen.

Can be found writing early in the morning. Is often tinkering in the chapel. Enjoys a good run, a good song, and setting a good table for celebrations.

Prior to joining the Franciscans worked in various ministry settings as a Youth Minister and Pastoral Assistant. Certificates in Youth Ministry, Lay Ministry and Liturgical Studies before graduating with a Bachelor of Theology Degree in 2018. Spiritual Direction training through the Haden Institute (completion Spring 2020). Solemnly Professed Friar since August 2019.