Franciscan

Sabbatical sights: Parks, postulants, pets

BY FR. FRANK JASPER, OFM

"some random thoughts on my sabbatical so far."

When I pulled into Mount St. Francis Retreat in Cochrane, Alberta, it was cold and rainy. I didn’t have a good sunny day for two weeks. However, the nasty weather provided some time for prayer, reading and reflection.

When the meteorologist predicted a few nice days in a row, I headed up to Banff and Jasper National Parks. It was nice in Cochrane, but very cold and nasty in the parks. The mountain in Jasper that was my goal had over a meter (about 40 inches) of snow, which closed the road for a day. I later visited there and found about 6-7 inches of snow left, and lots of mud. The positive results were that the storms put out the local forest fires. As I returned to the retreat house, the sun came out and I had a glorious day driving through the mountains.

The postulants for Christ the King reside here and they are a solid group of men, eager to follow Jesus after the pattern of Francis. They are: Adrian Macor (37), a licensed electrician; Ted Splinter (32), owner and operator of a kitchen cabinet business with his brother; Mark Wakely (35), a prison guard; and Cody Wiebe (23), a professional mover (think, Two Men and a Truck). They look forward to joining our postulants from Silver Spring at the novitiate in Santa Barbara next year.

Last week the provincial councils for the Canadian provinces met here to discuss their revitalization and restructuring. Their process is simpler than ours with only two provinces. However, they have two languages and needed simultaneous translation for those who do not speak English and French. Their process seems to be moving smoothly and quickly compared to ours. They anticipate restructuring in 2018.

The Canadians have an interesting perspective on our American president and his style of leadership. They don’t hold that against me, though they do mock us regularly, especially in the political cartoons.

So far, my sabbatical has been relaxing and interesting. I’m remembering all of you in prayer.

See lots more of Fr. Frank's photos on our Flickr page.

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